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Phosphodiesterase Type 5 (PDE5) Inhibitors in Erectile Dysfunction: The Proper Drug for the Proper Patient


Ferdinando Fusco, MD, PhD, Urologic Clinic, University Federico II, Naples 80132, Italy. Tel: +39 081-7462611; Fax: +39 081-5452959; E-mail:


Introduction.  Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a very common multidimensional disorder affecting men worldwide. Physical illness, reaction to life stresses, or an unhappy couple relationship influence clinical outcome. Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors are recognized as efficacious and well tolerated, and are the first-line treatment for ED.

Sildenafil, tadalafil, and vardenafil are the most widely used and studied PDE5 inhibitors. Data acquired during a routine diagnostic workup for ED should be taken into account when choosing the best PDE5 inhibitor for the individual patient, creating an individualized treatment plan, and going beyond “experience-based” subjective opinion and unfounded ideas and prejudice regarding currently available drugs.

Aim.  As the process of matching a given patient's profile to any selected PDE5 inhibitor often relies more on physician's personal convictions than on solid evidence, the aim of this review is to identify the main clinical, demographic, and relational factors influencing the choice of the PDE5 inhibitor to be used for the treatment of ED.

Methods.  A systematic literature search and current treatment guidelines were evaluated in a systematic manner.

Main Outcome Measures.  The main clinical, cultural, and demographical factors to be considered for the treatment of ED have been identified.

Results.  Main factors influencing the choice of the treatment for ED have been described. A short list of items that may help in choosing the right PDE5 inhibitor for the treatment of different patients in daily clinical practice has been prepared.

Conclusions.  The simple algorithms prepared should be a useful tool to be used in daily practice, which may help in choosing the right treatment for each subject affected by ED. Corona G, Mondaini N, Ungar A, Razzoli E, Rossi A, and Fusco F. Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors in erectile dysfunction: The proper drug for the proper patient. J Sex Med **;**:**–**.