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Antihypertensive drugs and erectile dysfunction as seen in spontaneous reports, with focus on angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockers

Authors Ekman E, Hägg S, Sundström A, Werkström V

Published 29 March 2010 Volume 2010:2 Pages 21—25


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Elisabet Ekman1, Staffan Hägg2, Anders Sundström3, Viktoria Werkström1

1Regional Pharmacovigilance Unit, Clinical Pharmacology, Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden; 2Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden; 3Centre for Pharmacoepidemiology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

Aim: To describe spontaneously reported cases of erectile dysfunction (ED) in association with angiotensin II type I blockers (ARB) and other antihypertensive drugs.

Subjects and methods: All spontaneously reported cases of ED submitted to the Swedish Medical Products Agency (MPA) between 1990 and 2006, where at least one antihypertensive drug was the suspected agent, were scrutinized. Patient demographics, drug treatment and adverse reactions were recorded. Using the Bayesian Confidence Propagation Neural Network (BCPNN) method, the information component (IC) was calculated.

Results: Among a total of 225 reports of ED, 59 involved antihypertensive drugs including ARB (9 cases) as suspected agents. A positive IC value was found indicating that ED was reported more often in association with antihypertensive drugs classes, except for angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, compared with all other drugs in the database. Positive dechallenge was reported in 43 cases (72%).

Discussion: All classes of major antihypertensive drugs including ARB were implicated as suspected agents in cases of ED. Few risk factors were identified. The relatively high reporting of ED in association with ARB is in contrast with previous studies, suggesting that ARB have neither a positive nor any effect on ED. This discrepancy suggests that further studies are warrnted on this potential adverse reaction to ARB.

Keywords: adverse drug reaction, spontaneous reporting, antihypertensive drugs, angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockers, erectile dysfunction

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