The Connection Of Erectile Dysfunction Drugs And Skin Cancer

by Terry Bryant

Erectile dysfunction drugs and skin cancer have only recently been associated with each other, and the research puts Pfizer and Viagra under yet another uncomfortable spotlight. Sildenafil, Viagra’s generic name, has been prescribed to thousands of men, but it has also been linked to a number of serious side effects, including hearing and vision loss. Now, many researchers believe it can increase the chances of developing melanoma, a deadly, aggressive skin cancer that kills more than 10,000 people every year.

The Journal of the American Medical Association was the first medical publication to release research linking erectile dysfunction drugs and skin cancer. In a June 2014 study, researchers reviewed self-reported data from approximately 32,000 men, 1,600 of whom were taking sildenafil or had taken it in the past. Researchers found that men who took sildenafil had an 84 percent increase in developing melanoma after comparing medical data taken from the men regularly.  That number is eye-catching and will make headlines, but the absolute numbers (4 per 1,000 in the control group versus 8 per 1,000 in the sildenafil group) are not enough to completely confirm the link. What it does confirm though, is the fact that sildenafil creates cell signals that make it easier for melanoma to spread through the body.

Pfizer is no stranger to litigation, and experts believe this will produce another round of claims associated with its little blue pill. Victims who have developed melanoma after taking the medication should consider speaking with a legal professional as Pfizer will likely face millions in damages.