A recent trial determined that using vardenafil HCl (Levitra) to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) in men with cardiovascular-related conditions showed the first dose to be more effective than placebo. The cardiovascular conditions reviewed included high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and/or diabetes. The randomized, placebo-controlled study of 600 patients with ED used a single, openlabel, 10-mg dose of vardenafil. After completing the sexual encounter profile (SEP), success was determined by penetration (SEP-2) and erection maintenance until completion of intercourse (SEP-3). In the 1-week period, 87% of patients using vardenafil were successful with SEP-2, and 74% were successful with SEP-3. SEP-2 success was achieved in 84% of men with high blood pressure, 84% of men with high cholesterol, and 75% of men with diabetes. Participants who achieved SEP-2 success were randomized to receive vardenafil or placebo for an additional 12 weeks. At the end of that portion of the study, those taking the 10-mg vardenafil had an SEP-2 success rate of 83%, compared with 56% for those taking placebo. Results were published in the November 2006 issue of the International Journal of Clinical Practice.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.