• Male;
  • Men;
  • Erectile Dysfunction;
  • Sexual Dysfunction;
  • Physiological;
  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors;
  • Street Drugs


Introduction.  In recent years, recreational use of phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors has become popular as a sexual enhancement aid among some men without erectile dysfunction (ED) and even among women.

Aim.  The aim of the present study, therefore, was to investigate the recreational use of PDE5 among young and healthy men.

Main Outcome Measures.  We evaluated the use of PDE5 inhibitors among young and healthy men, their main reasons for using these drugs, and their expectations regarding its effects.

Methods.  A survey was carried out among 167 male medical students (21.2 ± 2.3 years, range 17–31). The surveys were divided into domains, assessing epidemiological data, use of PDE5 inhibitor, and the simplified International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5).

Results.  All men considered themselves with perfect erectile function. However, 9% reported previous use of PDE5 inhibitors. Of these, 46.7% had used PDE5 inhibitors more than three times, and 71.4% had mixed them with alcohol. Among this group of men, 13.3% had ED according to the IIEF-5. ED occurring with condom use, however, was twice more common, and 71.4% of the men who had taken PDE5 inhibitors thought that the drug had potential to facilitate condom use.

Conclusion.  In conclusion, the use of PDE5 inhibitors by young men is more frequent than previously reported. Condom-related ED seems to be an underestimated problem, frequently solved with PDE5 inhibitors. However, potential deleterious effects might exist. Because PDE5 inhibitors are being used as non-prescribed drugs by as much as 9% of young men, further studies must evaluate the effects of these drugs in young and healthy men. Korkes F, Costa-Matos A, Gasperini R, Reginato PV, and Perez MDC. Recreational use of PDE5 inhibitors by young healthy men: Recognizing this issue among medical students. J Sex Med 2008;5:2414–2418.