Efficacy of sildenafil citrate (Viagra®) for the treatment of erectile dysfunction in men in remission from depression

Dipartimento di Salute Mentale, Università degli Studi di Torino, Orbassano, Torino, Torino, Italy.
International Clinical Psychopharmacology (Impact Factor: 2.46). 07/2004; 19(4):191-9. DOI: 10.1097/01.yic.0000117902.43995.b0
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Erectile dysfunction (ED) and depression are highly prevalent and frequently comorbid. Sildenafil effectively treats ED in men with depression and in men taking antidepressants. We evaluated the efficacy of sildenafil in men with depression in remission and ED. Patients with a history of ED when major depressive disorder (MDD) was diagnosed, which persisted after MDD was treated to remission, were randomized to 12 weeks of treatment with sildenafil (50 mg, flexible) or placebo. Efficacy was assessed using intercourse success rates, a global efficacy question (Has treatment improved your erections?), the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) and Life Satisfaction Checklist (LSC). By week 12, intercourse success rates were significantly higher among sildenafil- (74%) compared to placebo-treated patients (29%; P=0.0001). About 83% and 34% of sildenafil- and placebo-treated patients, respectively, reported improved erections (odds ratio=9.4, P=0.0001). IIEF scores in the sildenafil group (n=83) were significantly improved compared to those in the placebo group (n=85; P <0.0001). LSC sexual life item improved significantly among sildenafil- versus placebo-treated patients. The most frequently reported adverse events were transient and mild-to-moderate. Sildenafil is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for ED in patients with a history of ED at the time of MDD diagnosis, and which persisted after the MDD was treated to remission.

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    • "The understanding of pharmacological interactions between sildenafil and antidepressant drugs is extremely important because of the fact that depression and erectile dysfunctions frequently occur concomitantly. A number of clinical trials demonstrated that sildenafil is effective in treating erectile dysfunctions in patients with depressive symptoms including those taking antidepressant drugs (Fava et al., 2006; Tignol et al., 2004; Nurnberg et al., 2001, 2002). Although sildenafil displays psychotropic action both in humans and animals (Hotchkiss et al., 2005; Kurt et al., 2004; Milman and Arnold, 2002), its effect on the neurobiology of depression and the activity of antidepressant drugs is as yet unidentified. "
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies highlight the involvement of the nitrergic system in the mechanism of action of antidepressant drugs. Sildenafil, a selective PDE5 inhibitor, was shown to abolish the anti-immobility effects of bupropion, venlafaxine and s-citalopram in mice. In this study we assessed the effects of sildenafil on the activity of bupropion and venlafaxine in the forced swim test in mice. Swim trials were conducted by placing mice in glass cylinders filled with water for 6min and the duration of the behavioral immobility during the last 4min of the test was evaluated. Locomotor activity was evaluated with photoresistor actimeters. Brain and serum concentrations of the studied antidepressants were determined by HPLC method. Sildenafil at a dose of 20mg/kg, but not 5 and 10mg/kg, significantly increased the anti-immobility action of bupropion (20mg/kg). The antidepressant activity of venlafaxine (2mg/kg) was potentiated by joint administration with sildenafil at doses of 10 and 20mg/kg. Since the combined treatments did not increase the locomotor activity, the antidepressant-like effects were not related to non-specific behavioral activation. Data from pharmacokinetic studies revealed that sildenafil increased bupropion and venlafaxine levels in serum without affecting their concentrations in the brain. The present study demonstrates the enhancement of anti-immobility action of bupropion and venlafaxine by sildenafil co-administration. The observed changes might have been partly due to pharmacokinetic interactions. However, mechanisms underlying the effects of sildenafil on the antidepressant activity of bupropion and venlafaxine should be carefully evaluated in further studies.
    Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 08/2012; 103(2):273-278. DOI:10.1016/j.pbb.2012.08.012 · 2.78 Impact Factor
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    • "Although sildenafil displays psychotropic action both in humans and animals (Milman and Arnold 2002; Kurt et al. 2004; Hotchkiss et al. 2005), its effect on the pathophysiology of depression remains unclear. There is no direct evidence that sildenafil may worsen or improve symptoms of depression (Tignol et al. 2004). It has been reported that sildenafil does not produce any effect on the behavioral response in the forced swim test in rodents when given alone (Almeida et al. 2006; Dhir and Kulkarni 2007a, b; Brink et al. 2008; Savegnago et al. 2008; Brocardo et al. 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: The cholinergic theory of depression highlights the involvement of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the neurobiology of mood disorders. The present study was designed to investigate the effect of sildenafil, a phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor which exhibits cholinomimetic properties, alone and in combination with scopolamine in the forced swim test in mice. Moreover, we assessed the ability of sildenafil to modify the antidepressant activity of two tricyclic antidepressants with distinct cholinolytic activity, amitriptyline and desipramine. Swim sessions were conducted by placing mice in glass cylinders filled with water for 6 min and the duration of behavioral immobility during the last 4 min of the test was evaluated. Locomotor activity was measured with photoresistor actimeters. To evaluate the potential pharmacokinetic interaction between amitriptyline and sildenafil, brain and serum concentrations of amitriptyline were determined by HPLC. Sildenafil (1.25-20 mg/kg) as well as scopolamine (0.5 mg/kg) and its combination with sildenafil (1.25 mg/kg) did not affect the total immobility time duration. However, joint administration of scopolamine with sildenafil at doses of 2.5 and 5 mg/kg significantly reduced immobility time as compared to control group. Moreover, co-administration of scopolamine with sildenafil at the highest dose (5 mg/kg) significantly decreased immobility time as compared to scopolamine-treated group. Sildenafil (1.25, 2.5 and 5 mg/kg) significantly enhanced the antidepressant activity of amitriptyline (5 mg/kg). No changes in anti-immobility action of desipramine (20 mg/kg) in combination with sildenafil (5, 10 and 20 mg/kg) were observed. Sildenafil did not affect amitriptyline level in both brain and serum. In conclusion, the present study suggests that sildenafil may enhance the activity of antidepressant drugs which exhibit cholinolytic activity.
    Journal of Neural Transmission 01/2012; 119(6):645-52. DOI:10.1007/s00702-011-0756-9 · 2.40 Impact Factor
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    • "presence of depression ). Indeed, a depressogenic property has not been observed clinically (Tignol et al., 2004). Rather, it has been reported that sildenafil reduces self-reported depressive symptoms in patients treated for erectile dysfunction (Muller and Benkert, 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: We explored the antidepressant-like properties of two phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors in a genetic animal model of depression, namely Flinders sensitive line rats. We investigated the dose-dependency of the antidepressant-like action of sildenafil, and its interaction with the cholinergic system and behavioural correlates of monoaminergic neurotransmission, in the forced swim test. Antidepressant-like properties of tadalafil (a structurally distinct PDE5 inhibitor) were also evaluated. Flinders sensitive line rats were treated for 14 days with vehicle, fluoxetine, atropine or PDE5 inhibitors+/-atropine. Immobility, swimming and climbing behaviours were assessed in the forced swim test. In combination with atropine (1 mg/kg), both sildenafil (10, 20 mg/kg) and tadalafil (10 mg/kg) decreased immobility while increasing swimming (serotonergic) and climbing (noradrenergic) behaviours. Interestingly, sildenafil (3 mg/kg) decreased immobility while selectively increasing climbing behaviour in the absence of atropine. These results suggest that the antidepressant-like activity of PDE5 inhibitors involve alterations in monoaminergic neurotransmission, but involve a dependence on inherent cholinergic tone so that the final response is determined by the relative extent of activation of these systems. Furthermore, the behavioural profile of sildenafil alone, and its observed antidepressant-like properties, shows strict dose-dependency, with only higher doses showing an interaction with the cholinergic system.
    Behavioural pharmacology 09/2010; 21(5-6):540-7. DOI:10.1097/FBP.0b013e32833befe5 · 2.15 Impact Factor
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