A third of men with erectile dysfunction could not perform after taking their first tablet of an impotence drug and gave up sex entirely, according to a study presented at the European Society of Sexual Medicine on Tuesday.
The findings show the importance of the first-time pill for erectile dysfunction patients who could potentially see better results by switching tablets or increasing the dose, Dr. David Edwards, a general practitioner in Oxfordshire in England, and colleagues said.
Erectile dysfunction drugs like Pfizer Inc.'s Viagra, Eli Lilly and Co's Cialis and Bayer AG's Levitra work by increasing blood flow to the genitals.
The study presented at a conference in Lisbon and funded by Bayer looked at 631 men with an average age of 55 who had erectile dysfunction. All had at some point taken a pill for their condition, and 70 percent were still on some medication.
When the pills did not work the first time, 68 percent of men reported a loss of self-esteem, 32 percent felt depressed and 24 percent said they believed their condition could never be treated.
One third simply did not return to their doctor to try an alternative treatment after a failed attempt, something the researchers said highlighted the fact many men delay or ignore treating their problem.
"These data confirm that men are still reluctant to seek help for their erectile dysfunction and highlight the importance of first-time success on improving aspects of well-being," the researchers wrote in an abstract.