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J Sex Med. 2010 Mar;7(3):1062-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01644.x. Epub 2010 Jan 6.

Utilization of pharmacotherapy for erectile dysfunction following treatment for prostate cancer.

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  • 1Division of Urologic Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



Pharmacotherapies improve sexual function following treatments for localized prostate cancer; however, patterns of care remain unknown. Aim. To ascertain post-treatment utilization of pharmacotherapies for erectile dysfunction (ED) using a population-based approach.


We identified 38,958 men who underwent definitive treatment for localized prostate cancer during 2003-2006 from the MarketScan Medstat data.


We compared the use of ED pharmacotherapy at baseline (up to 3 months prior) and up to 30 months following radical prostatectomy (RP) or radiotherapy (RT) for localized prostate cancer by utilizing National Drug Classification codes for phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (PDE5I), intracavernosal injectable therapies (IT), urethral suppositories and vacuum erection devices (VED). In adjusted analyses, we controlled for the effect of age, comorbidity, type of treatment, health plan and use of adjuvant hormone therapy on the use of pharmacotherapies. Results. Men undergoing RP vs. RT were younger with less co-morbid conditions. Utilization of PDE5I was up to three times greater for men undergoing RP vs. RT, 25.6% vs. 8.8%, (P < 0.0001) in the first post-treatment year, and usage of these agents was greatest for men undergoing minimally-invasive RP procedures. A higher percentage of men also used IT, suppositories and VED after RP vs. RT (P < 0.001). However, more men in the RT group received adjuvant hormonal therapy (39.53% vs. 5.25% for RP, P < 0.01). In adjusted analyses, men undergoing RP vs. RT were more than two times likely (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.98, 2.26) to use PDE5I post-treatment while men on adjuvant hormonal therapy were less likely to use PDE5I (OR 0.74, 95% CI 0.70-0.79, P < 0.0001).


Men undergoing RP vs. RT, particularly minimally-invasive RP, are more likely to employ IT, suppositories, VED, and PDE5I pharmacotherapy post-treatment.

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