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May 19th, 2010
02:11 PM ET

Viagra associated with hearing loss

by Madison Park
CNNhealth.com writer/producer

Oh Viagra.

Sure, Pfizer’s wonder pill has side effects such as headaches, facial flushing, upset stomach, erections lasting more than four hours, bluish or sudden loss of vision.  There’s one more risk to the pill that grants erections: Hearing loss.

Research published this week in Archives of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery showed an association between long-term hearing loss and Viagra.

This side effect is already acknowledged by Viagra - especially after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration forced this labeling changes for oral erectile dysfunction medicines known as PDE5 inhibitors in 2007.

The research conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham looked into the data based on 11,525 men.  Men who self-reported hearing problems were twice more likely to indicate that they used erectile dysfunction medication.

While it’s difficult to establish cause and effect in an observational study, these findings  indicate that the FDA labeling was warranted, said study author Gerald McGwin, a professor of epidemiology at the UAB School of Public Health, in a taped news release.

The association was present for long-term hearing loss after using Viagra, and to a lesser extent other ED drugs such as Cialis and Levitra.  The sample sizes for the two latter drugs were smaller.

Since Viagra increases blood flow to the penis, perhaps the drug increases blood flow to the ear causing damage, McGwin hypothesized.

For more facts about Viagra

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soundoff (201 Responses)
  1. steve

    Wow, the perfect drug. Lots of sex, and you won't be able to hear all the nagging.

    May 19, 2010 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. JackML

    85db & above on a time weighted average can cause audio detriment. Maybe it's the screaming?

    May 19, 2010 at 18:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Mary

    What makes you think the nagging comes from the female side, as you imply? There are a lot of women out there who like sex and a lot of guys out there who are indifferent or don't want to get intimate. I wish science would invent a drug for ED that wouldn't have the risk of lowering blood pressure so guys with hypertension could take it.

    May 19, 2010 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Kate

    steve–funny!

    May 19, 2010 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Greg

    What?

    May 19, 2010 at 18:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. morgue

    thats not the pill thats just an old guy hear what he wants to hear!

    May 19, 2010 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Faith

    @steve
    lol.....I'm betting most guys would still rather go deaf than not have an erection!

    May 19, 2010 at 18:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. HorseHooves

    Damn! I can't get much of an erection, Viagra never worked for me in the first place, and I lost my hearing anyway. What's worse: I still hear the nagging. BTW I'm 66 years old and gaining.

    May 19, 2010 at 18:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Mark

    Ok as a teen I was told I would go blind, now def.....it's worth it!

    May 19, 2010 at 18:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Amanda

    Viagra is also used for pulmonary hypertension. Is the hearing loss side effects the same for women using Viagra?

    May 19, 2010 at 18:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Adrian

    First thing I thought of as well. I truly is the Wonder Drug for men.

    May 19, 2010 at 18:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Chris Brown

    The pill doesn't cause hearing loss – the time spent in nightclubs chasing down young women to share the pill with causes hearing loss.

    May 19, 2010 at 18:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Michael

    Must be all the SQUEALING FROM THEIR SIGNIFICAN OTHER!!

    May 19, 2010 at 19:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Burbank

    Actually you won't be able to hear her screaming from your studness!

    May 19, 2010 at 19:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. James in Canada

    Well at least they'll have something to hang the hearing aid on for a while when they take it out.

    May 19, 2010 at 19:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Vern

    Glad I don't use it I like to hear the screams

    May 19, 2010 at 19:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. david

    Now, is it a case of the drug actually causing hearing loss, or is it possible that men who are more likely to have an ED-type loss of function are also more likely to break down in the aural area as well?

    Come now, America, let's be a little more skeptical with our assumptions of correlation vs. causation.

    May 19, 2010 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Joe

    Did they correct for the potential damage caused by an increased level of screaming and loud moaning in the immediate vicinity of Viagra users?

    May 19, 2010 at 19:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Clint

    SAy what?

    May 19, 2010 at 19:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Noah

    Don't think any guy would be listening anytime soon.

    May 19, 2010 at 19:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. C Farrar

    Yea, are you through yet...

    May 19, 2010 at 20:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Jesse

    Steve – Hahahaha. I'd pay twice as much for it!

    May 19, 2010 at 20:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Cascadoux

    What, Viagra makes you HARD iof hearing? Viagra the wonder drug!

    May 19, 2010 at 20:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Jim

    Maybe the hearing loss is from all the noise she's been making while he's using his Viagra! WARNING FELLAS Partying of any sort will lead to hearing loss if you're doing it right! hehe

    May 19, 2010 at 20:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. ROCKWOOD

    Huh? What?

    May 19, 2010 at 20:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. peter

    Gosh, i think i am going deaf, and like steve says, no wonder i dont hear the nagging anymore...LOL

    May 19, 2010 at 20:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Junior

    I am currently in the military and have been for 24yrs. I have been under the prescription of viagra for a couple of years and during this time I have had hearing loss. I am currently seeing an ENT doctor. Should I stop taking viagra and ask for a supplemental like Cialis or Levitra?

    May 19, 2010 at 20:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. ColObvious

    They should just call it the marriage relief pill, since it fixes 2 problems that having a wife causes.

    May 19, 2010 at 20:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. cel

    anybody out there notice their ears getting bigger ???????????

    May 19, 2010 at 20:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. richard

    hard of hearing or hard?...tough question........

    May 19, 2010 at 20:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. jeffD

    Maybe the screaming causes hearing damage 🙂

    May 19, 2010 at 20:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Joe

    Not much of a study. Men with erectile dysfunction are likely to have vascular problems, and those patients may be at higher risk of developing sensorineural hearing loss anyway..... Just like diabetics tend to have worse hearing loss in age.

    May 19, 2010 at 20:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. AGuest9

    I thought it would cause issues with vision and hairy palms...

    May 19, 2010 at 20:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Brenda

    Boy, gives new meaning to the saying, "Does too much sex make you deaf?"

    May 19, 2010 at 20:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Bluto

    What did you say?

    Speak up!!

    What? You like that my erection lasts for hours?

    Eh?

    Can't hear a word you're saying.

    May 19, 2010 at 21:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Really

    Poor Rush Limbaugh! Both of his favorite drugs (Viagra and Oxycotin) cause hearing loss.

    May 19, 2010 at 21:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Tracy

    Yeah, men have enough time hearing the words "not interested" as it is...

    May 19, 2010 at 21:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Laura

    My first thought when I read that headline-so now the controversy over "when a woman says no she means no" will be moot-the man won't hear what she says anyway.

    May 19, 2010 at 21:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Larry

    I had heard it made you "hard" of hearing.

    May 19, 2010 at 21:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. rufffnuttt

    second that...

    if i had erection lasting more than four hours i wouldnt call a doctor id be going to a bar or something.

    May 19, 2010 at 21:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. atti

    I am 74. Have never used the stuff. Never will. The only time a man truly needs this sort of chemical help is when he is partnered with someone who truly doesn't excite him deeply and erotically and that is the norm for the married man beyond the first 6 months of marriage. I'd rather get relief with my imagination and alone without this garbage. MG! Look at the warnings!

    May 19, 2010 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Gunch

    And here I was sure it would affect eyesight.

    May 19, 2010 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. debbie

    ...and the women are thinking...great, he's gonna want sex, and he won't be able to hear what I want!

    May 19, 2010 at 21:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Chris_VA

    What'd you say?

    Seriously, men don't listen anyway...

    May 19, 2010 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. rich

    How about the onset of tinnitus? Loss of hearing is one issue with the inner ear, and the constant high pitch frequency of tinnitus 24/7 without the ability to ever shut it off has a devastating effect on the quality of life. Would like to know if this was included in this or similar studies.

    May 19, 2010 at 21:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. april

    It is the perfect drug, they can't hear us anyway!

    May 19, 2010 at 22:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. perfusion

    It's more likely that men who are willing to admit their pecker isn't working (and thus obtain treatment) are also more likely to admit their hearing isn't so good. Most men don't want to admit anything might be wrong with them so the brave/open ones confess more. Good for them. Who wants to be married to/partnered with a guy who can't get it up (but insists nothing's wrong) and has the TV/stereo on so loud the neighbors can hear it? What? More objective data are needed.

    As to Steve's nagging problem, maybe if you did your job(s) right, on time and without having to be asked, your nagging would be replaced with something more pleasant. You reap what you sow.

    May 19, 2010 at 22:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Cletus

    So, is that why I've had tinnitus for the last two years? Great! Definitely not worth it if that's the cause.

    May 19, 2010 at 22:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Sean

    That's exactly what I was thinking, Steve. In fact, I wonder if I'm too young to start taking it.

    May 19, 2010 at 22:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. jarvis

    What's that? I can't hear you...I've got this boner in my ear.

    May 19, 2010 at 22:08 | Report abuse | Reply
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