Erectile dysfunction treatments lead to increased risk of melanoma and basal cell carcinoma.

The use of PDE5 inhibitors such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra) are common for those with erectile dysfunction. More and more research has shown an increased risk of some types of skin cancer for those taking these medications. Interestingly, there have been no studies showing an increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma.

For this reason, those with a history of melanoma should take this into consideration when considering taking one of these medications. Those with a personal history of multiple dysplastic moles or family history of melanoma should also take this into consideration. For patients whom have had multiple basal cell carcinomas should also weigh the risks of taking these medications.

Viagra linked to increased melanoma risk

According to an article published online April 7, 2014 in JAMA Internal Medicine, the use of sildenafil (Viagra, Pfizer) is associated with an increased risk of developing invasive malignant melanoma. Other medications used to treat erectile dysfunction, including Cialis and Levitra, were not studied as they were not approved at the time that this study was initiated.

Although further studies are needed, one with a history or malignant melanoma or a family history of melanoma should seriously consider avoiding the use of PDG5A inhibitors (Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra). It is recommended that one discuss this with their Primary Care Physician or Dermatologist.