Study Finds Viagra® Use May be Associated with Increased Risk of Melanoma

A major new university study points out the use of the Erectile Dysfunction drug Viagra® may be associated with a dramatically increased risk of developing melanoma, a potentially deadly cancer, often beginning as skin cancer.  Viagra is manufactured by the New York City-based pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.  

These alarming new findings, reported online on April 7, 2014 by the prestigious Internal Medicine Journal of the American Medical Association, were based on a careful study of more than 25,000 American men conducted over nearly 10 years by researchers from leading Medical Schools, including Harvard, Brown and other leading universities and hospitals. 

More than 76,000 total new melanoma cancer cases, and nearly 10,000 deaths from melanoma cancer, are projected to occur in the United States during 2014, according to the Federal Government.

Keep Aware of News About Melanoma Cancers and ED Drugs

The attorneys at Advocate Law Group P.C., working in consultation with knowledgeable physicians, pharmaceutical experts and other medical and industry professionals, together with other leading law firms in the Advocate Law Group Network, are actively investigating the link between Viagra® and melanoma cancers. To keep abreast of the latest developments in terms of the link between Viagra and melanoma cancers, and to determine whether you might have a claim against the drug’s manufacturer or others, please sign up for our free Newsletter.

Nearly Twice The Risk

The study found that men who had used Viagra – even one time – had almost twice the risk of developing invasive melanoma than non-users. The researchers took into account and ruled out other possible factors that might account for the dramatically higher incidence of melanoma – such as age, tobacco use, physical activity, etc. Men who had erectile dysfunction but did not use Viagra did not show an increased risk for melanoma.

How Might Viagra lead to Melanoma Cancer?

Physicians involved in the university study explained that one of the key ingredients in Viagra, sildenafil, may be a trigger in promoting melanoma development, however they have not yet established a direct cause. Viagra’s sildenafil is a known PDG5A inhibitor. One of the new study’s co-authors, Dr. Abrar Qureshi, who Chairs the Dermatology Department at Brown University’s medical school, Viagra may increase the risks of melanoma because it affects the same genetic pathway that allows the skin cancer to become more invasive. That would make Viagra-related melanoma cancers even more dangerous.

What About Other ED Medications?

Although Viagra is the only ED medicine that contains the drug sildenafil, which was the subject of the newly published study, other ED medications contain drugs that operate through bio-mechanisms having somewhat similar impacts, including  PDG5A inhibitors.

Cialis® is a drug marketed by Eli Lilly, based in Indianapolis. Its key ingredient is the drug tadalafil. Levitra® contains the drug vardenafil and is manufactured by the German pharmaceutical manufacturer Bayer AG. Those drugs, just as the sildenafil in Viagra, are also PDG5A inhibitors

The recently published study did not address the possible risks also posed by those drugs as the study was initiated before Levitra or Cialis came on the market. However, Advocate Law Group is working with its medical and pharmaceutical experts to investigate whether, as they fear, those drugs also may possibly increase the incidence and/or severity of melanoma cancer to men who used those drugs.

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The attorneys at Advocate Law Group P.C., working in consultation with knowledgeable physicians, pharmaceutical experts and other medical and industry professionals, together with other leading law firms in the Advocate Law Group Network, are actively investigating the link between Viagra® and melanoma cancers. They are also investigating whether other Erectile Dysfunction drugs as such as Cialis® and Levitra® which contain other drugs that operate as PDG5A inhibitors may also be linked to melanoma cancers.

What Did Pfizer Know and When Did It Know About a Possible Link?

As part of the Advocate Law Group Network’s investigation they will be seeking to determine what Pfizer knew about the possible link between melanoma cancers and Viagra, whether Pfizer should have known of the link, when Pfizer first became aware of the possible link, and why Pfizer failed to make immediate public disclosure and warn doctors and their patients. Our investigation is in its early stages.

What is known already is that Pfizer has been repeatedly charged with misrepresenting the risks of various drugs it marketed, improperly marketing other drugs, and engaging in other serious violations of law. According to Pfizer’s 2014 Proxy Statement and its 2013 Annual Report to Shareholders, these earlier actions – which required 9 pages printed in tiny type in its recent Financial Report to describe – already have resulted in well over a billion dollars in verdicts and settlements against Pfizer.

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We would be pleased to keep you alert to the latest developments in terms of the possible link between Viagra and other ED drugs and melanoma cancers. Simply sign up for our free Newsletter. There is absolutely no cost or obligation.

In addition, all men who are using any drugs for erectile dysfunction are urged to talk with their prescribing physicians, to limit sun exposure and use sunscreen, and to be on the lookout for irregularly shaped darkish-pigmented lesions on their skin.

Viagra® is a registered trademark of Pfizer Inc.

Cialis® is a registered trademark of Lilly ICOS L.L.C., a unit of Eli Lilly and Co.

Levitra® is a registered trademark of Bayer A.G.

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