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Erectile dysfunction drugs may help treat many other conditions

Published: 19 Apr 2018 in Journal news

A new British Journal of Pharmacology review examines how phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors, which were originally approved to treat erectile dysfunction, are finding clinical uses for a wide variety of conditions. 

PDE5 inhibitors cause blood vessel dilation by targeting a particular cellular pathway that is involved in many normal physiological functions and in the pathophysiology of a wide range of diseases.

PDE5 inhibitors likely have effects on many organs and functions, and they have been approved to treat lower urinary tract symptoms and pulmonary arterial hypertension. They are also being used off-label to treat conditions including diabetes and cancer.