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Men Taking Prescription Painkillers Face ED Risk

Filed May 16th, 2013 Laurie

Men taking prescription opioid painkiller drugs like OxyContin are more likely to suffer erectile dysfunction (ED).

A new study in the journal Spine notes that men who were prescribed opioid painkillers either in high doses or for long periods of time were 50 percent more likely to seek medication for the treatment of ED than men who did not take the drugs, according to a report.

The actual rate of sexual dysfunction may be much higher, a lead study author from Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research at Oregon Health & Science University believes. Dr. Richard Deyo said that most men do not report symptoms of ED to their doctors.

The study got its findings from the health records of 11,000 men who are taking a prescription opioid painkiller drug, like OxyContin or morphine. Researchers determined a high dose to be 80 milligrams of OxyContin or 120 milligrams of morphine. The study determined that more than four months was a long period of time. Of the men who had taken the drugs at high levels or for that duration of time, 19 percent had developed ED and sought treatment for it, according to the report.

This study, researchers hope, will add to evidence that long-term use of opioid painkillers should be avoided altogether. We’ve been reporting on other dangers associated with the use of opioid painkillers, namely depression, dependence, addiction, and potential overdose, which could lead to death.

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