new study has found that the use of the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra (sildenafil) is linked to an increased risk for Melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. The study was published online on April 7, 2013 in the journal JAMA by researchers at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.

The study group comprised 25,848 men who were enrolled in the Health Professionals’ Follow-up Study (HPFS) and were followed from 2000 through 2010. The investigators note that they decided to conduct the study based on earlier studies that reported that phosphodiesterase inhibitors, including Viagra, may stimulate the synthesis of the skin pigment melanin. Increased melanin synthesis has been linked to increase melanoma risk.

What the Study Found.

The investigators found that recent Viagra users were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with invasive melanoma than nonusers. Men who had taken Viagra at least once also were found to have an increased risk for melanoma. In contrast, neither group of Viagra users had an increased risk for squamous cell carcinoma or basal cell carcinoma. The data was adjusted for a number of factors, including age, body mass index, tobacco use, physical activity, and childhood reaction to sun. The data was also adjusted for melanoma risk factors such as mole count, hair color, and family history. The risk associated with Viagra use was 81 cases per 100,000 person-years

The study did not include other drugs, such as tadalafil (Cialis; Eli Lilly) and vardenafil (Levitra; GlaxoSmithKline), because they were not FDA approved when the study began. The researchers noted, however, despite those drugs not being included in the study, the link between Viagra and melanoma might be partly due to the later use of Cialis and Levitra among recent Viagra users. They noted that Cialis and Levitra had a longer clearance time (time for the drug to be cleared from the body); thus, they could have contributed to the increased risk of melanoma associated with Viagra.

Do You Have a Viagra or Cialis Lawsuit? We can help.

If you or a loved one has suffered melanoma after use of Viagra or Cialais, contact Davis & Crump today for a free case evaluation. Simply complete the free claim evaluation form to the right or email us at info@daviscrump.com or call us at 1-800-277-0300.

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