There is a study recently published that showed that men who use opioid prescription painkillers for a long period of time are more likely to develop erectile dysfunction.
The lead author in the study was Richard A. Deyo, who is an investigator for the Kaiser Permanente Center For Health Research.
Chronic Pain Can Lead to ED
Deyo and his team of colleagues examined the health records of over 11,000 men.
The reason that the researchers decided to perform this study is
because men with chronic pain sometimes develop ED as the
result of age, depression, smoking and low testosterone.
Low testosterone is sometimes caused by chronic usage of painkillers.
The 11,327 men who participated in the study resided in the states of Washington and Oregon.
In 2004, the men enrolled in the Kaiser Permanente Health Plan when they visited their physician for back pain.
The researchers in the study looked at the men’s pharmacy records for six months before and six months after they had seen their physician for back pain.
Bad Pain Can Develop Into ED
They found that 19 percent of the men who took high dosages of opioid painkillers to relieve their back pain for four months or more were also prescribed ED medication or testosterone replacement.
Only seven percent of the men who did not take opioid medications were prescribed ED medications.
Twelve percent of the men who took low dosages of opioid painkillers were prescribed ED medications or testosterone replacement.
Deyo and his colleagues took other factors in consideration when they were examining the link between opioid painkiller usage and erectile dysfunction.
They found that men who were over the age of 60 and had another serious illness, such as depression, were more likely to develop ED.
Age was the biggest factor that put a man at risk for developing ED.
Men who are between the ages of 60 and 69 are 14 times more likely to prescribed an ED medication than men who are under the age of 30.
The Link Between ED & Pain Killers
Deyo cautions people that the findings of the study do not imply that ED is actually caused by opioid painkillers.
However, he says that the link between ED and opioid painkiller usage is something that doctors need to take into consideration when they are prescribing these medications.
Deyo has been studying painkiller usage for several years. He acknowledges that opioid painkillers are very effective for alleviating back pain.
However, long-term usage has been linked to a number of problems.
According to the Center for Disease Control, the number of people using opioid painkillers has increased drastically over the past couple of years.
In fact, sales of these medications quadrupled from 1999 to 2010.
The CDC has also reported that 30 percent of people who die from overdosing on opioids also take benzodiazepines,
which are a class of medications prescribed to treat psychiatric disorders.
Therefore, it is very important for people to be extremely cautious when they are taking these medications.
They also need to make sure that they talk to their doctor about other medications that they are taking.
License: Creative Commons
Cherry Medina is currently blogging for Erectile Doctor. A company that provides men with erectile dysfunction treatment in a discreet manner.
When she is not blogging or working, she enjoys spending time with her family and going to Yoga every other morning.
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