One of the causes described as the origin of erectile dysfunction is Peyronie’s disease, a pathology that affects approximately 6% of middle-aged men worldwide and is characterized by the appearance of fibrosis in the tunica albuginea that surrounds the body cavernosum of the penis This fibrosis prevents a normal erection since it often causes physical discomfort (and psychological concerns) causing a painful erection, due to the classic curvature of the penis underlying the calcifications associated with this disease.
What is pentoxifylline?
In 2010, a study conducted by Safarinejad et al. at Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran showed that oral pentoxifylline improves erectile function and penis curvature in patients with Peyronie’s disease.
This research was based on a randomized, double-blind study with oral pentoxifylline and placebo in patients with Peyronie’s disease. In total there were 228 men with the chronic disease that received orally 400 mg of heavily released pentoxifylline or placebo twice a day for 6 months.
Each month, each of the individuals was evaluated, from the first month to a month after the treatment. An important improvement was demonstrated in the erectile function of men who were controlled with pentoxifylline, as well as the curvature and size of the penis. The results of the study showed that 37% of men who received treatment had a better improvement of the volume of the plate and of the curvature, compared to 5% who received placebo.
The improvement was observed for 2 months initiated pentoxifylline and the beneficial effects increased as time passed with treatment. In addition, there was a general decrease in the progression of the disease; It is given by the curvature of the penis, increases in the volume of the plate and a decrease in the resistivity index, the maximum systolic velocity or the score of the International Erectile Function Index [IIEF].
A retrospective cohort study at the University of California in 2011, published in Asian Journal of Andrology used 63 men with Peyronie’s disease and evidence of calcifications by echo sonography. Pentoxifylline was administered via oral for one year, evidence that 91% of them had an improvement in calcifications and the symptoms of the disease. Concluding that pentoxifylline can be a promising agent to stabilize or even reduce calcifications that cause erectile dysfunction in these patients.
By 2019, a more recent study published in the Sexual Medicine Journal compared the use of colchicine and pentoxifylline in patients with Peyronie’s disease, demonstrating that they have enough results in these patients. These patients improved both the curvature of the penis and a decrease in the plate that causes this disease. Previously Paulis et al. had studied that pentoxifylline associated with other antioxidant drugs decreases further the progression of the disease in these patients in their early stages. As well, better results were obtained in those patients who received pentoxifylline via oral in conjunction with injections in the penis.
Currently, each country has carried out the studies to observe whether pentoxifylline is a feasible option as an alternative and conservative treatment of Peyronie’s disease; as well as for those patients who do not want to undergo a surgical procedure. The Argentine Society of Urology demonstrated the safety of this drug in a study, noting that the adverse effects were minimal and the effectiveness rate in the improvement of the erection was high.
Efforts so far have yielded promising results for those patients who want non-surgical therapies. Studies on Pentoxifylline for Peyronie’s disease should continue to increase, to determine the role of this drug as a safe and successful therapy in these patients.
Andromedi’s opinion on using pentoxifylline for Peyronie disease. Does this drug actually work?
At Andromedi, we have conducted our own relevant field studies to quantify whether pentoxifylline is a feasible option as an alternative and conservative treatment for Peyronie’s disease, both as an early phase treatment and for those patients who do not wish to undergo a procedure. surgical. Although in our experience it is a completely safe and useful substance in the treatment of the disease, with minimal adverse effects, its efficacy rate is not as high as one would expect reading those studies that we mentioned at the beginning of the article.
In our centres in Seville, Madrid and Tenerife we have opted for years for a cocktail of drugs applied locally by iontophoresis. It is treatment-induced through electricity. Pentoxifylline is not included in the “recipe” of this specific drug combination for the dissolution and elimination of Peyronie’s fibrotic nodules. It is applied in a pad that is placed in direct contact with the skin of the penis by means of an adhesive. The opposite pole is placed on a leg using another adhesive, this pole pushes a very low-intensity continuous current towards the device of the penis, causing the absorption of the medication through the skin of the penis. This way of applying the drug prevents the drug from passing through the digestive tract without having to be injected.