Finding Applies Also To ED Drugs Cialis, Levitra, Staxyn, and Stendra, As Well As Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) Medications Revatio And Adcirca
About six months ago we posted this item, "Viagra May Increase Risk Of Melanoma In Men Who Have Used This ED Drug, According To An April 2014 Medical Journal Article", in which we reported that Viagra (sildenafil), a popular erectile dysfunction (ED), appeared to increase the risk for malignant melanoma, a potentially fatal form of skin cancer.
That medical journal article, "Sildenafil Use and Increased Risk of Incident Melanoma in US Men: A Prospective Cohort Study", was published by JAMA Internal Medicine in April 2014.
Since then, there has been some commentary pieces written by medical reporters about this Viagra - melanoma study.
First, from the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) web site, there is "Viagra and melanoma correlation: Is it real?". From that article, we get this apparent validation of the underlying medical study:
Unlike many of the junk studies we routinely lambaste here, this one is well run and also has a biologically plausible mechanism to explain the findings. It is also a prospective study—one planned in advance to explore a theory—rather than a retrospective study, (often called data dredging) where data from past studies are analyzed to find some kind of correlation between two events. The former is almost always more scientifically valid compared to the latter....
ACSH’s Dr. Josh Bloom says, “The mechanism that the authors propose is very complicated, but this is to be expected. The processes of cell proliferation and survival are dependent upon a large number of interdependent biochemical events, all falling under the general topic called cell signalling. Although not proven, the proposed role of [Viagra (sildenafil)] in these processes is reasonable, and this does help support their findings.”
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Next, from a MedPage Today article, "Viagra Frisky Might Be Melanoma Risky", there is some more medical support for this still relatively new finding:
Though just an association -- not proof of causality -- the link between [Viagra (sildenafil)] and melanoma does have a potential molecular basis, said Ryan Sullivan, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
"[Viagra (sildenafil)] may promote tumor growth, at least in tumor cells," Sullivan told MedPage Today. "There's plausibility, but this not causation as of yet. There's still a lot of work that needs to be done before we can definitively say that drugs for erectile dysfunction cause melanoma."
If the association proves to be a real relationship, then the effect on melanoma risk probably applies to all drugs in the PDE5-inhibitor class, he added. [Emphasis added]
As such, this new drug injury finding which also seems to apply to the erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, Staxyn, and Stendra, as well as the pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) medications Revatio and Adcirca -- all being phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitors.
We will continue to monitor this malignant melanoma side effect of Viagra as well as Cialis, Levitra, and other drugs in the PDE5-inhibitor class.