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Erection Drug Was Not Useful to Two-Thirds of Its Users

prescribed Uprima for decreased libido, pain and sexual arousal problems. Prescribing information was not provided for the other five.
?Most patients (99 per cent) received the manufacturer's recommended dose of 2-3mg, with the remainder receiving between 4-12mg. (Starting dose information was completed on 79 per cent of forms).
?99 deaths (just under one per cent of the total sample) were recorded on the forms. The most frequently reported cause of death was heart attack (27 patients), followed by heart disease (nine) and lung cancer (five). In 21 cases the cause of death could not be established by the researchers.
The 11,185 forms covered patients who were first prescribed Uprima between October 2001 - three months after the drug was launched in the UK - and December 2002. Just over 21,000 Questionnaires were issued and 57 per cent of GPs responded.

At least six months after the first prescription for Uprima was issued for each patient, their family doctor was sent a Green Form Questionnaire that requested details about the patient's age and sex and their use of Uprima.

They were also asked to record any significant events that had occurred since the patient was prescribed Uprima, such as suspected drug reactions, unexpected deterioration or improvement in the patient's condition, referral to a specialist or any clinically important changes in laboratory tests.

The form also included questions on diseases commonly associated with erectile dysfunction - such as diabetes and heart disease - together with previous use of similar drugs and co-prescribing of medication for angina.

"Prescription-Event Monitoring provides surveillance on a national scale after new drugs are launched" explains lead researcher Professor Saad Shakir.

"Because family doctors are not approached before the decision to treat a patient has been made, they are not subject to detailed inclusion or exclusion criteria.
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