Clinical Safety Profile of Sildenafil in Singaporean Men with Erectile Dysfunction: Pre-Marketing Experience (ASSESS-I Evaluation)

Safety and tolerability of sildenafil citrate was assessed in a population subset of 60 Singaporean men with erectile dysfunction taken from the Asian Sildenafil Efficacy and Safety Study (ASSESS-I), a double-blind, placebo-controlled, flexible-dose study. The men, from two centres, with ≥ 6 months’ history of erectile dysfunction, were randomized to two treatment arms for 12 weeks. One group (30 patients) received sildenafil (initial dose 50 mg taken 1 h before sexual activity for the first 2 weeks, increased to 100 mg or decreased to 25 mg, according to efficacy and/or tolerability). The remaining 30 patients received a matching placebo. Incidence and type of adverse effects were evaluated at 2, 4, 8 and 12 weeks. Nine patients (30.0%) on sildenafil (33.1% in the full ASSESS-I study) and one patient (3.3%) on placebo (22.8% in the full ASSESS-I study) experienced treatment-related adverse events, the most frequent being headache in the sildenafil group (reported by five patients [16.7%]; 11.0% in the full ASSESS-I study). Flushing, visual disturbance, dizziness, insomnia, myalgia and back pain each occurred in one patient in the sildenafil group (3.3%); in the placebo group, one patient (3.3%) had headache. Importantly, the incidence of cardiovascular and respiratory system adverse events were relatively less than in the full ASSESS-I population (cardiovascular 3.3% in the present study versus 10.2% in the full ASSESS-I population; respiratory 3.3% versus 5.5%). All adverse events were transient and mild, and did not lead to treatment withdrawal. There was no effect on sitting blood pressure, heart rate or standard laboratory parameters; more importantly, there was no incidence of myocardial infarction, stroke or priapism. These results should reassure Singaporean patients and their physicians of the safety of sildenafil for erectile dysfunction.