Objective: Vardenafil has been shown to be efficacious in patients with erectile dysfunction (ED). We evaluated first-dose and repeat-dose response to vardenafil 20 mg. Methods: This randomized, placebo-controlled study consisted of a 4-week, treatment-free run-in phase; a 1-week, open-label challenge phase; and a 12-week, double-blind treatment phase. Primary efficacy was assessed in terms of reliability of insertion based on dose as measured by the Sexual Encounter Profile question 2 (SEP2). We assessed safety by evaluating adverse events (AEs). Results: Baseline patient characteristics in the 2 treatment groups were similar. The most common comorbidities were hypertension (41 W, dyslipidemia (28%) and diabetes mellitus (24%). Of the 573 patients receiving the 20-mg vardenafil challenge close, 464 (81%) achieved first-time successful penetration (SEP2), and 401 (70%) reported successful erection maintenance (SEP3). Patients receiving vardenafil 20 mg had statistically (p < 0.001) and clinically superior SEP2 rates (85%) through weeks 0-12, compared with patients receiving placebo (45%). The increase in reliability of insertion was seen within the first 4 weeks of treatment. Vardenafil therapy was statistically (p < 0.001) and clinically superior to placebo for all secondary efficacy end points as well. Most AEs associated with vardenafil were mild to moderate, with headache, flushing and nasal congestion most frequently reported. Conclusion: Vardenafil 20 mg had a high first-close success rate for both SEP2 (81%) and SEP3 (70%); this was maintained through to the study end point (85% for SEP2 and 78% for SEP3). These findings were achieved in men with frequently associated comorbidities including hypertension, dyslipidernia and diabetes.
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