Use of Erectile Dysfunction Medication Without a Medical Reason

Are erectile dysfunction drugs used by sexually healthy men? Erectile dysfunction drugs, known as phosphodiesterase inhibitors, have been widely used since 1998 to treat erectile dysfunction.

These drugs are mainly intended for the treatment of erectile dysfunction of vascular etiology. In some cases, they are also used in the treatment of psychogenic erectile dysfunction in combination with psychosexual therapy. However, many use them as part of a lifestyle, i.e., for performance reasons only, without having any medical indication. The abuse of drugs to treat erectile dysfunction by men without an erection problem is increasing more and more. Related studies have shown that 4%-15% of young men have used these drugs without indication.

What are the consequences of using erectile dysfunction drugs as a lifestyle? The results of a study of 1,207 young men with an average age of 22 years were recently published. The results showed that as the off-label use of the drugs increased, the man’s confidence in his ability to create and maintain a satisfactory erection decreased.

Furthermore, as erectile confidence decreased, erectile function was negatively affected. That is, it appeared that the use of drugs without an indication can create problems of psychogenic erectile dysfunction because the man believes less and less in his ability to have an adequate erection without medical help. This study shows that the reckless use of drugs can have psychological consequences that prevent satisfactory sexual function.

When a man is worried about his sexual function and performance, even if erectile dysfunction has not yet appeared, he can turn to specialists, not only to advise him on the correct use of drugs but also to learn ways to control himself and his arousal.


Harte CB, Meston CM (2012) Recreational use of erectile dysfunction medications and its adverse effects on erectile function in young healthy men: the mediating role of confidence in erectile ability. J Sex Med 9:1852-1859.


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