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New Study: Vision Not Affected By Daily Use of Viagra & Cialis

If you have taken FDA-approved erectile dysfunction (ED) medications, or have considered requesting a prescription, you may be familiar with some of the side effects included in the official patient information pamphlet.

A few of the most serious of these side effects deal with vision.

However, a recent study published in the April, 2009 edition of Archives of Ophthalmology revealed that when 212 men took Viagra and Cialis every day for three months, there were no reported changes in visual function, signs of retina damage or intraocular pressure.

Likewise, after daily use for 6 months, no vision loss or impairment of any sort was reported in 155 men who continued to take the medications.

2005 Labeling Change

After Viagra and Cialis were put on the market, the FDA stated that there were a “small number” of reports of vision loss, which prompted a labeling change on packages of Viagra, Cialis and Levitra.

Yet, the FDA said “it is not possible to determine whether these oral medicines for erectile dysfunction were the cause of the loss of eyesight or whether the problem is related to other factors such as high blood pressure or diabetes, or to a combination of these problems.”

You can access patient information for Viagra, as well as patient information for Cialis on our website.

ED Medications and the Retina

The authors of the study, as quoted in USA Today, stated that “PDE5 inhibitors can exert direct effects on the retina, and such effects probably account for many of the visual side effects… that have been reported.” Some men have rarely reported that their vision appears to have a bluish tint, or that they are more sensitive to light, after taking ED medications.

Men who have ever had severe loss of vision, which might reflect a prior episode of non arteritic ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION), should share this information with their doctor, as such patients are at an increased risk of developing NAION again.

Again, these types of side effects are rare. In the event you have side effects affecting your vision, speak with your doctor.

Summary of Study

The authors of the above Archives of Ophthalmology study concluded that, with regard to the vision of study participants, “results indicate that there is no cumulative damage or effect of clinical significance for either 5 milligrams of tadalafil (Cialis) or 50 milligrams of sildenafil (Viagra) taken daily for six months.”

This is encouraging news for a very specific study carried out by professional ophthalmologists.

A summary of the study has been provided by Reuters news organization.

Brian Bujdos

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