Safety and efficacy of vardenafil, a selective phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor, in patients with erectile dysfunction and arterial hypertension treated with multiple antihypertensives

Hermann van Ahlen, Klaus Wahle, Wolfram Kupper, Aksam Yassin, Tjark Reblin, Marcus Neureither
Journal of Sexual Medicine 2005, 2 (6): 856-64

INTRODUCTION: Vardenafil, a phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor, was evaluated in a prospective trial in the primary care setting involving hypertensive men with ED who were receiving at least one antihypertensive medication.

AIMS: To investigate the safety and efficacy of flexible-dose vardenafil therapy compared with placebo in PDE5 inhibitor-naïve subjects with arterial hypertension and ED.

METHODS: In this multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 354 patients received placebo or vardenafil (5-20 mg) for 12 weeks. Primary efficacy measures were diary responses to the Sexual Encounter Profile (SEP) questions 2 (vaginal insertion) and 3 (maintenance of erection). Additional efficacy measures included positive responses to the Global Assessment Question (GAQ).

RESULTS: Compared with placebo, vardenafil significantly improved mean SEP2 and SEP3 success rates over the 12-week study period (intention-to-treat [ITT] and last observation carried forward [LOCF]) analysis). For LOCF, SEP2 and SEP3 were 83% for vardenafil vs. 58% for placebo and 67% for vardenafil vs. 35% for placebo, respectively (P<0.0001 vs. placebo). Improved erections (GAQ) were experienced by 80% of vardenafil-treated patients at study end, compared with 40% for placebo (P<0.0001, LOCF). The most commonly reported treatment-emerging adverse events were headache (3.1%) and flushing (1.6%), which were mild-to-moderate and transient in nature. Importantly, there were no significant changes in systolic and diastolic blood pressure or heart rate between the vardenafil and placebo groups. The average number of antihypertensives used per patient was 1.5 and 1.4 in the vardenafil and placebo groups, respectively. Both the incidence of adverse events and the ability to maintain an erection were unaffected by stratification into distinct subsets according to the class of antihypertensive medication being received.

CONCLUSION: Vardenafil significantly improves EF in hypertensive men treated with concomitant antihypertensive medication, is well tolerated, and does not significantly affect blood pressure.

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