Harvard Men's Health Watch

Should you take an erectile dysfunction drug to also ease urinary woes?

We think not. Standard medications to treat the symptoms of an enlarged prostate are still the best first choice for men.

Difficulties with urination become more and more common in men over age 50. Often the cause is the noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland—benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. As the prostate puts pressure on the urinary plumbing, men experience symptoms such as difficulty starting urination, straining to empty the bladder, and having to get up frequently at night to urinate (nocturia). Some men try to live with it, but at some point they may feel the need to explore medical solutions.

BPH's frequent fellow traveler is erectile dysfunction (ED). A fair number of older men develop both ED and symptoms of BPH. What could be more appealing than a single pill that might help with both ED and urinary problems?

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