Cialis can have added benefits for men who get a prescription because of… (Eli Lilly )
The makers of the erectile dysfunction medication Cialis (tadalafil) on Thursday got the Food and Drug Administration's blessing to market their popular drug for an affliction that affects more than half of all men older than 60:benign prostatic hyperplasia, or enlarged prostate.
So now, when he can no longer urinate without fits and starts, a man can score a prescription for Cialis and, if he's lucky enough to have health insurance with a drug plan, get it paid for by insurance.
About half of all men in their 60s are thought to have some signs and symptoms of enlarged prostate. And since the prostate gland continues to grow as most men age, an even larger share of older men will develop symptoms such as weak urine stream, straining and difficulty starting to urinate and increased frequency of urination at night. If severe symptoms are untreated, a man can develop urinary tract infections, bladder stones, and damage to the bladder and kidneys.
The medications that have been most widely used to treat symptoms of enlarged prostate often have sexual side effects quite different from those of Cialis, prompting some men to avoid them. Alpha blockers (including tamsulosin, marketed as Flomax) and alpha-reductase inhibitors (such as finasteride or dutasteride, marketed as Avodart) can reduce libido, erectile function and ejaculatory function. (For the official list of drugs that can cause impotence, see here.)
Cialis' sexual side effects are more likely to be thought of as incidental benefits.
Beyond the usual warning (don't use Cialis if you take nitrates, as it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure; call your doctor if you have an erection lasting more than four hours; yada, yada...), here's one more for men thinking they'll try the latest thing for enlarged prostate: Don't take it in combination with alpha blockers (known better by commercial names such as Flomax, Uroxatrol, Cardura and Hytrin) because the FDA says it hasn't studied the combination for safety and says there is a risk that taking the drugs together would lower blood pressure.