ED Drug Uprima Often Ineffective: Study

FRIDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- The erectile dysfunction drug Uprima did not work for two-thirds of the over 11,000 patients who tried it, according to a U.K. study in the July issue of the urology journal BJU International.

Researchers at the U.K.'s Drug Safety Research Unit and the University of Portsmouth analyzed prescribing data for 11,185 patients, average age 61, seen by about 12,000 family doctors, who filled out government questionnaires sent out after Uprima (apomorphine) was approved in the United Kingdom in mid-2001.

The study also found that:

  • 59 percent of patients who didn't find Uprima effective stopped taking the drug after one month, and a further 23 percent stopped taking it after two months.
  • 70 percent of doctors said they didn't think the drug was effective, and 30 percent said it was.
  • 28.5 percent of the patients had a history of diabetes, 18.8 percent had heart disease, 37.2 percent had tried Viagra, and 7.5 percent were receiving both Uprima and nitrate therapy for angina.
  • Headache and nausea were the most common side effects caused by the drug.
  • There were 99 deaths in this group of patients between October 2001 and December 2002. Heart attack claimed the lives of 27 patients, while heart disease accounted for nine deaths and lung cancer for five deaths. In 21 cases, the cause of death could not be established by the researchers.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Blackwell Publishing Ltd., news release, July 2006

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