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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Transient global amnesia after intake of tadalafil, a PDE-5 inhibitor: a possible association?

Inhibitors of phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5) are well established as an oral treatment for the majority of patients with erectile dysfunction (ED). PDE-5 is found in high concentration in smooth muscle cells of the corpora cavernosa. However, enzymes of the PDE family are also expressed in various other tissues, including the brain. Little is known about its effects on the central nervous system (CNS), although it has been suggested that PDE-5 inhibitors might cross the blood-brain barrier. Side effects, such as headache, nasal congestion, flushing, nausea, are much more common. We describe a patient who had a transient global amnesia (TGA) after his first-ever use of tadalafil, a potent PDE-5 inhibitor. Despite the fact that the aetiology of TGA has not entirely been clarified at present, we consider the hypothesis of a causal relationship as tempting with respect to the current hypotheses of TGA pathophysiology. This case, together with others, suggests that PDE-5 inhibitors might be capable of exerting adverse effects in the CNS. Physicians should be aware of the possibility of neurological disturbances when prescribing PDE-5 inhibitors for ED.[1]


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