Are the PDE 5 inhibitors safe and effective in people with heart disease?
Sexual activity itself comes with a risk of cardiac events like heart attack, but the overall risk is still small.
The medications have not been shown to add to this risk. Most patients with heart disease and heart failure who are stable are healthy enough to have sex.
The criteria to be healthy enough to have sex is generally that you are able to engage in mild-to-moderate physical activity, such as climbing 2 flights of stairs, without symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, etc.
If you do have these symptoms at rest, it is strongly recommend getting your condition stabilized before engaging in sexual activity with, or without, ED medication.
It’s interesting to note that there is some evidence that patients with heart disease and heart failure may have some health benefits when taking PDE 5 inhibitors over those who don’t take these medicines. Those taking the medicines tended to have fewer hospitalizations and even live longer in some studies.
However, the studies were not designed to test whether the medicines were the cause of these favorable outcomes so it is unknown whether these medicines were the cause of the better outcomes.
Nevertheless, if a physician determines you are healthy enough to have sex, these medicines are considered safe as long as you are not taking any medicines that are contraindicated with ED medication (e.g. nitrates).
This information is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.