Do Erectile Dysfunction Drugs Like Cialis and Viagra Damage the Retina?

May 2, 2009

Tadalafil  (Cialis®) and sildenafil (Viagra®) have been found to be safe for the retina and do not have permanent visual affects according to a recent study reported in the April edition of Archives of Ophthalmology.  Investigators reported that daily dosing for 6 months of either phosphodiesterase inhibitor type 5 did not lead to any ERG b-wave abnormalities nor did it lead to any visual abnormalities or toxicity according to the randomized trial.

Both tadalfil and sildenafil (PDE type 5 inhibitors) do have crossover effects to phosphodiesterase type 6 involved in retinal light transduction.  This may explain visual complaints of blurred vision and decreased color/light perception, but the effects are usually mild and temporary.

The association of these drugs with NAION (nonarteritic ischemic optic neuropathy) or other eye disease is not proven and may be coincidental.

Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Retina Specialist
www.TotalRetina.com

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