In a new laboratory study in mice, sildenafil, a commonly used drug for erectile dysfunction, has been found to worsen abdominal aortic aneurysms, indicating that additional research may be needed. to see if the drug can have the same effect in people.
Sildenafil works by blocking enzymes that regulate the contraction of vascular smooth muscle cells. There have been at least four cases of aortic dissection after the use of drugs that inhibit cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase 5, including the drug sildenafil, according to the study authors.
Chronic use of sildenafil aggravated the development of abdominal aortic aneurysm in mouse research. These findings are consistent with some clinical cases of aortic dissection reported after the use of medications such as sildenafil, which are PDE5 inhibitors. Therefore, Caution may be appropriate in the chronic use of sildenafil-like medications among men with aneurysms or who are at their highest risk for an aneurysm..
An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a weakening or bulging in the lower section of the aorta, which carries blood from the heart to the abdomen, pelvis, and legs. If an abdominal aortic aneurysm leads to dissection, the inner layer of the artery wall may divide, resulting in further damage to the artery. Rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm is a medical emergency and only about 20% of patients survive.
Abdominal aortic aneurysms occur more often in older men who have risk factors including emphysema, a family history of abdominal aortic aneurysms, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, and sometimes obesity.