Skip to NavigationSkip to content

No causal link between Viagra use and melanoma, study finds

Published on 19/05/17 at 10:17am

Research from the NYU Langone Medical Center and its Perlmutter Cancer Center, based in New York City, has indicated that there is no causal link between the use of erectile dysfunction drug Viagra and the development of melanoma, a severe form of skin cancer.

The fear of such a connection is associated with the FDA’s decision that Viagra and phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors present possible safety concerns after the Journal of the American Medical Association reported a possible link between their use and the onset of melanoma.

While the new research did discover that the risk of developing the disease was 11% higher in those who used the drugs, the assertion that one directly caused the other was debunked. The study determined that the likely cause of this link is due to “detection bias” – those taking these medications are more likely to be health conscious and visit a doctor, and therefore are more likely to be diagnosed for the illness.

"Overall, Viagra and other PDE5 inhibitors are safe medications as long as men are not taking nitrates, which carry a risk of reducing blood pressure," explained urologist Stacy Loeb, an assistant professor at NYU Langone. "Physicians and patients should not be concerned about taking these medications on account of worry about melanoma."

"Physicians should still screen for melanoma risk, but they do not need to add the use of Viagra and similar drugs to the list of screening criteria specifically” she continued. “In general, men should continue to be careful about the risk of any kind of skin cancer from excessive sun exposure and use sun protection."

Matt Fellows

Mission Statement
Pharmafile.com is a leading portal for the pharmaceutical industry, providing industry professionals with pharma news, pharma events, pharma service company listings and pharma jobs,
Site content is produced by our editorial team exclusively for Pharmafile.com and our industry newspaper Pharmafocus. Service company profiles and listings are taken from our pharmaceutical industry directory, Pharmafile, and presented in a unique Find and Compare format to ensure the most relevant matches