A new study suggests the red line between taking drugs to treat erectile dysfunction and those used to treat chest pain may not be needed.
For a long time, it was believed that ED drugs could be dangerous to men taking nitrates to treat heart problems. The fear comes from the fact that taking them together may cause blood pressure to become dangerously low.
At the least, low blood pressure could lead to dizziness or light-headedness. At most, it could result in a heart attack or stroke.
But despite the concerns, doctors in Denmark co-prescribed ED drugs with nitrates at a 20-fold increase between 2000 and 2018, and new research suggests that men taking both were no more likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke, or cardiac arrest.
The results were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and echo those of research released in 2021.
Nitrates are typically prescribed to men with heart problems and clogged arteries. They can help ease chest pain and prevent heart attacks by relaxing and widening arteries to ease blood flow.
ED drugs like Viagra and Cialis are a class of medicine called PDE5 inhibitors and produce the same effect, albeit entirely differently.
Researchers of this recent analysis believe that the results may all come down to timing and that users simply don’t take them simultaneously. Therefore, they do not have a compound effect.
Nitrates are typically taken in the morning and ED drugs in the evening, so they say any potential drug interactions are not relevant.
If you are taking these drugs, be sure to space out usage to avoid potential problems.
You can also help improve blood flow and reduce the risk for heart attacks and strokes by losing weight, leading a more active lifestyle and adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle.