Navigation Links
Erectile Dysfunction Tied to Long-Term Narcotic Use in Men

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, May 15 (HealthDay News) -- If you're a man, the pain-killing medications known as opioids may do more than relieve pain -- they may also put a damper on your sex life.

A new study found that men who were prescribed medications for erectile dysfunction or low testosterone levels were more likely to be taking opioid (narcotic) medications for chronic back pain.

"People who have persistent pain problems need to know that a potential side effect of long-term opioid use may be erectile dysfunction," said lead study author Dr. Richard Deyo, a clinical investigator for the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore. "This is not a well-known potential side effect among patients, and it should be considered when thinking about treatment."

Deyo also noted, however, that "the nature of this study as an observational study limits our ability to make a causal [cause-and-effect] inference. Opioid use and erectile dysfunction seem to go together, but we have to be cautious about saying one causes the other."

Results of the study were published in the May issue of the journal Spine.

More than 4 million people use opioids on a regular basis, Deyo said. Commonly prescribed opioids include hydrocodone, oxycodone and morphine. In this study, use of opioids was considered long-term if patients used them for more than 120 days, or more than 90 days if more than 10 prescriptions were filled for the drugs.

The study included data on about 11,000 men who had back pain. In that group, more than 900 received medications for erectile dysfunction or testosterone replacement. Those who were given prescriptions for erectile dysfunction medications or testosterone were older than those who didn't get such prescriptions. They also were more likely to have depression and other health conditions.

And those who were taking erectile dysfunction medications or testosterone tended to be smokers or users of sedative medications, according to the study.

Erectile dysfunction drug prescriptions were for sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis) and vardenafil (Levitra).

Age was the most significant factor in getting a prescription for erectile dysfunction, according to the study. Men between the ages of 60 and 69 were 14 times more likely to receive a prescription for an erectile dysfunction medication than men who were between 18 and 29.

After adjusting the data to account for other possible factors, including age, the researchers found that men who took opioid pain medications for long periods were about 50 percent more likely to take erectile dysfunction medications or testosterone replacement therapy.

Dr. Daniel Shoskes, a professor of urology at the Cleveland Clinic's Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute, said the study doesn't prove that the pain medications cause the erectile dysfunction.

"A direct association between long-term opioid use and [erectile dysfunction] has not been clearly defined," said Shoskes, who was not involved in the study. "The reason these men were having [erectile dysfunction] could be related to the pain or the things that are causing the pain. You can't conclude from this study that opioid use causes [erectile dysfunction]."

Study author Deyo said there's evidence that men who stop taking opioids after using them for a short time will see an improvement in erectile dysfunction, but he said it's not clear if the same is true after long-term use.

Deyo added that opioids can be effective for short-term use, but there's "growing evidence that long-term opioid use may not be effective for chronic pain. The body compensates for taking long-term pain medications, and changes in the brain and spinal cord may make people more sensitive over time."

Effective alternatives include a tailored exercise program and cognitive behavioral therapy designed to help reduce people's fear of pain, Deyo said.

Shoskes said other factors that contribute to erectile dysfunction include diabetes, heart disease, peripheral vascular disease and alcohol use. He said this study may prompt doctors who treat men with chronic pain to ask about erectile dysfunction, although he said it's not clear from this study whether the erectile medications were helpful for these men.

More information

Learn more about erectile dysfunction from the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Richard Deyo, M.D., clinical investigator, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, and professor of family medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland; Daniel Shoskes, M.D., professor and staff physician, department of urology, Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Ohio; May 2013 Spine

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Long-term use of prescription painkillers for back pain linked to erectile dysfunction in men
2. Most Men With Erectile Dysfunction Dont Seem to Get Treatment
3. Most men with erectile dysfunction remain untreated, say US scientists
4. Erectile Dysfunction Clinic Set to Open April 1st in Maryland
5. Common erectile dysfunction drug not helpful for heart failure patients, study finds
6. The Elator Announces it's Recognition from The Sinclair Institute for its Penile Support Device for Men Suffering from Erectile Dysfunction
7. Erectile Dysfunction May Signal Hidden Heart Disease
8. Erectile dysfunction drug also helps men ejaculate and orgasm
9. Advanced Male Medical Center Provides New and Effective Therapies to Treat Erectile Dysfunction
10. Grief is not a disease, but cancer is -- what about erectile dysfunction?
11. Miriam researchers urge physicians to ask younger men about erectile dysfunction symptoms
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Erectile Dysfunction Tied to Long-Term Narcotic Use in Men
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... CBD College is proud to ... Programs (CAAHEP) awarded accreditation to its Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. CBD College is honored ... one of twelve colleges and universities in the state of California make the cut. ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Patients ... central Michigan, have come together on Thanksgiving Day to share the things that ... viewing on the Serenity Point YouTube channel, patients displayed what they wrote on ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... ... Jobs in hospital medical laboratories and in the imaging field lead the ... Aureus Medical Group . These fields, as well as travel nursing, ranked ... jobs through the company’s website, , The leading healthcare staffing agency ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of the world-class Asterisk based contact center ... reliability. , The new Q-Suite 6 platform is based on the latest Java Enterprise ... a specific piece of software for many key components of the suite. Much of ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... recognized once again for its stellar workplace culture with the company’s Cincinnati office ... , Medical Solutions’ Cincinnati office was named a finalist in Cincinnati Business Courier’s ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... --> Medical ... response system (PERS) market is ... 5 years with APAC being ... to see a high CAGR ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... --> --> ... immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer.   ... with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer.   ... with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy for advanced cancer.   ... immunotherapy can be efficiently combined with photodynamic therapy (PDT) ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Nov. 26, 2015 Research and Markets ( ... Pacific Cardiac Pacemaker Market Outlook to 2019 - Rise in ... Demand " report to their offering. ... Boston scientific and others. ... including Medtronic, Biotronik, Boston scientific and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: