Published: February 2009

Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5) inhibitors associated with sudden hearing loss

Prescriber Update 30(1): 1
February 2009

Prescribers are advised of the risk of sudden hearing loss associated with PDE-5 inhibitors (sildenafi l, tadalafi l, vardenafi l).

A case has been published describing a 44-year old male who developed bilateral deafness during treatment with sildenafil for erectile dysfunction.1

As of 30 April 2008 the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring had received three reports of sudden decrease or loss of hearing with sildenafi l (2) and tadalafi l (1).

Hearing loss is commonly reported in ageing populations, especially in patients with risk factors for erectile dysfunction. However, sudden hearing loss is an uncommon event in any age group. Although this adverse reaction is rare, prescribers are reminded to advise patients to consult a physician immediately should a sudden decrease or loss of hearing occur.

The data sheets for these medicines have been updated to provide prescribers with information on the risk and steps to take should sudden hearing loss occur.

  1. Mukherjee B, et al. (2007). A case of sensorineural deafness following ingestion of sildenafil. The Journal of Laryngology & Otology 121:395-7.