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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. e santos

    i have been using viagra for a number of years, my hearing loss started slow never thought it had anything to do with viagra, but guess from reading this i was wrong. my question now is.now what? go without sex?or loss all hearing.

    May 19, 2010 at 22:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. PaddyReagan

    Madison Park and others who contribute such stories should be eligible for residuals. Their output provides a steady menu of material for the nation's comedians. The biggest question posed: Will this hearing loss routine be on Jay Leno tonight or tomorrow night?

    May 19, 2010 at 22:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Dick

    " What did you say dear, wrong what?

    May 19, 2010 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. stp

    Hearing is a wasted sense on some men. The only thing some men can hear is the sound of their own bragging and the lame old jokes about nagging women. Funny, it's usually that guy who finds himself alone without the need for viagra.

    May 19, 2010 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Thomas A Mayer

    The problem is that men can't hear the word "no."

    May 19, 2010 at 22:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Luke

    Dude, that is hilarious...and true!

    LMAO

    May 19, 2010 at 22:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Magdalena

    This will make it a lot easier to hide from the four hour erection zombies.

    May 19, 2010 at 22:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Tim

    What? Did you say something? lol

    May 19, 2010 at 22:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. slozomby

    Headline: Once again, Injesting random chemicals proven bad for you.

    May 19, 2010 at 22:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. freelancebasics

    I think their hearing is fine... They're just so focused on getting their rocks off that they don't care what's being said to them.

    My favorite side effect is still the "delayed lower back pain". Seriously? Do you need to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out? You're usually sore the next day after using muscle groups extensively for the first time in a long time.

    May 19, 2010 at 23:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Mac Carter

    I would consider hearing loss vs. maintaining a good, solid erection and, satisfying my partner, more than an acceptable trade-off

    May 19, 2010 at 23:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. donx

    Another meaningless study done in the name of science but without any real thought beyond the need to publish or perish.

    Duh...maybe men with erectile problems already have problems with blood flow and those problems also cause hearing loss in the sensitive inner ear?

    How about looking at men with erectile problems and see if those not taking viagra have less hearing loss – now that might be a useful study.

    May 19, 2010 at 23:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. stupid idiot

    Does this mean if we take viagra we might have an eargasm now?

    May 19, 2010 at 23:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. TK

    Say what???

    May 19, 2010 at 23:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Tom Wayne

    maybe these men are deaf from women screaming in their ears at the moment of ecstasy!

    May 19, 2010 at 23:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. reyna elena

    This is bad. So you got it standing. But you can't hear the moaning. Bummer! Hahaha!

    May 19, 2010 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. tim

    about time we here this when i turn 20 im taking viagra early so i dont got to hear for like the rest of my life

    May 19, 2010 at 23:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. tylerdurden

    ED drugs are emblematic of our willingness to patch up health problems without treating the underlying symptoms. We want our cheeseburgers, nights in front of the TV, sodas, and our erections too! These drugs would hardly have a market if patients addressed cardiovascular disease, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle.

    May 19, 2010 at 23:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. BJ

    Too funny. They missed the obvious. The hearing loss is either from women screaming from multiple orgasms . . . . or from begging them to stop.

    May 19, 2010 at 23:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. in42

    I wondered why she didn't make a sound!

    May 20, 2010 at 00:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Cassie

    When will people realize that Viagra is not candy? It's real medicine, people.

    May 20, 2010 at 00:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. BABAK

    Sorry can't hear you!

    May 20, 2010 at 00:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Phil Studge

    How often do have to take the pills to experience the hearing loss? What if you just use Viagra once every month or so?

    May 20, 2010 at 00:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Phil Hroneck

    Huh? What did you say?

    May 20, 2010 at 01:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. woody

    @steve – That statement gets a silent smile and nod of approval from all men everywhere...

    May 20, 2010 at 01:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. LEON

    LOLs! Steve's comment is really funny! I really don't know that people hate hearing the nagging during long sex night !

    If viarga caused you lose hearing, I think it won't be a problem. Why not learn American Sign Language? American Sign Language is a human language, rich culture and new world you can live in after the sound or hearing world.

    Thank you to the Viagra producer for giving people possibilities like learning American Sign Language.

    May 20, 2010 at 01:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Iva

    It increases blood flow. What else does it do? Who knows? Is the FDA your friend? You'll have to decide that for yourself.

    May 20, 2010 at 01:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. steve

    I can tell you that after being married for 17 years to the same woman, I fail to see the negative side to this story!

    May 20, 2010 at 01:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Kris Wood

    Exactly steve...I was like "OHHH, THAAATS how it works..."

    May 20, 2010 at 01:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Tiffini S.

    If you experience an erection lasting more than four hours while using Viagra, don't call a doctor, call me!

    May 20, 2010 at 02:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Fiona

    So now they have another excuse to not hear "NO." Great.

    May 20, 2010 at 02:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Joe in Austin

    I take Viagra because of surgery for prostate cancer. The changes in blood flow are supposed to aid healing of the erectile nerves. In addition to tremendous nasal congestion, these pills are not covered by my insurance, and they go for $20 each. Try taking that 8 times a month, no sex involved.

    May 20, 2010 at 02:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. baatman74

    Yep, it effects the hearing. I have been enjoying Viagra for about two years, I notice my hearing is much worse... But, I didn't associate it until I read this article!!

    May 20, 2010 at 03:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Laurie

    It's not like that's going to keep them from using it. They're willing to risk a heart attack to get a little, why not their hearing?

    May 20, 2010 at 04:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Tiago

    WHAT??
    SPEAK LOUDER!!

    May 20, 2010 at 05:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Oliver

    I wonder how much of Viagra efficacy is placebo? The biggest cause of ED is psychological. Lots of people say it doesn't work for them.

    May 20, 2010 at 06:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. JB

    They already had a problem hearing "no" anyway...

    May 20, 2010 at 07:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. dogs rule

    Viagra, etc., – all this stuff is disgusting! ESPECIALLY on TV~! Most of us can't WAIT for husbands/partners to get old enough to MOVE ON to more intellectual pursuits!
    It's been making men DUMB for years; DEAF is only a natural progression!

    May 20, 2010 at 07:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. AbbyMD

    Confounding Bias.....oh and "it’s difficult to establish cause and effect in an observational study,". But whatever...every drug causes something...

    May 20, 2010 at 07:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Tiff

    Pfizer should give away free hearing aid devices with each prescriptions.

    May 20, 2010 at 07:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. getItUpYourself

    Worse than that, it has been linked to retinal bleeding... and blindness... nothing like "feeling young again"... and losing your hearing and sight... Drug companies should be brought up on criminal charges for these side effects. That's my opinion.

    May 20, 2010 at 08:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Mary

    There are many, many drugs that are ototoxic, but never reported, even in the PDR. Few physicians are even aware of ototoxicity in medicines they prescribe while telling patients these drugs are "safe". I ALWAYS ask about hearing side effects, and rarely does a doctor know anything. Even pharmacists, who usually know more about ototoxic drugs, are often at a loss. My theory is R&D in the drug field puts little effort into screening drugs for hearing side effects. Sometimes, verbal reports will make a difference. Score one for the guys: at least you know what Viagra might do to your hearing. Alas, hearing, once gone, does not return.

    May 20, 2010 at 08:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. MK

    Be on the lookout for Viagra users who can't hear the word "no".

    May 20, 2010 at 08:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Leonard

    I've never heard that before...besides most of the men who use this drug are at that age where hearing is on a decline already.

    May 20, 2010 at 08:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. James

    If this isn't a wake up call nothing is considering the popularity of drugs like Viagra. Is getting an erection so important that you'd trade your hearing? The side effects of most drugs should trouble anyone. Drugs are so misused and people should stop taking most of them except when they actually need them.

    My doctor will prescribed anything I want or anything he thinks I need and I just say "no". My blood pressure was high so I exercised, lost weight and, gee, my blood pressure is 112 over 70 now. My doctor just wanted me on...say it everyone...a pill.

    Let me put it to you this way, be creative. If you can't get an erection find a partner who will work with you and do something else...adapt. Drugs are not an adaptation. Improve what you can and adapt to what you can't.

    May 20, 2010 at 08:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. dlo

    your comment has made my morning Steve. Kudos!

    May 20, 2010 at 08:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. theotherside

    true that but, then you won't be able to hear her try to tell you about her venereal warts

    May 20, 2010 at 08:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Colleen

    Great......more over-sexed men who can't hear 'NO'.

    May 20, 2010 at 08:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Memphis Slim

    Obviously, hearing loss in horny old men is MUCH more important than health issues that injure women.

    Let's make sure those poor boys don't lose a sense they never use while men continue to rape, maim and kill women and children.

    May 20, 2010 at 08:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Jones

    They have finally found the link between the two!!! The guys get their wives screaming so loud, because they haven't had that much excitement in 30 year, that it blows out their ear drums!! Better watch out guys and get some ear plugs!

    May 20, 2010 at 08:51 | Report abuse | Reply
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