A class of erectile dysfunction drugs that includes Viagra has been linked to a slight increase in the risk of the skin cancer melanoma, according to a study out Monday.
While the research in the Journal of the American Medical Association stops short of proving that the drugs cause melanoma, researchers said their findings warrant a closer look at medications known as PDE5 (phosphodiesterase type 5) inhibitors.
They include sildenafil, vardenafil and tadalafil,which go by brand names such as Viagra, Levitra, Cialis and others.
Using Swedish medical records spanning 2006 to 2012, researchers found about 4,000 cases of melanoma. Of those patients, 11 percent had filled at least one prescription for a PDE5 inhibitor to treat erectile dysfunction.