Introduction: PDE5 inhibitors are the firstline treatment for erectile dysfunction. Although all these drugs share the same mechanism of action, each agent could have different characteristics in terms of selectivity, pharmacokinetics and tolerability profile. Materials and Methods: This manuscript illustrates a project, undertaken by the Italian Society of Urology in order to obtain a “snapshot” of the experience of Italian urologists with the use of PDE5 inhibitors in the clinical practice. This project included a survey, targeting a sample of 136 Italian urologists experienced in the treatment of ED, and the organization of a conference of experts who, based on the findings of the survey, the scientific literature and the clinical experience, would define some recommendations for the use of PDE5 inhibitors in clinical practice with a particular focus on Avanafil, the most recent drug in this class. Results: The following recommendations on the use of Avanafil were issued: 1) In patients who are candidates for the use of Avanafil, it is advisable to use the 200-mg dose from the first administration; 2) When used at the highest dose (200 mg), Avanafil shows a favourable tolerability profile with an efficacy similar to that of other agents; 3) The patient should be instructed to take Avanafil on an empty stomach, i.e., 30-45 minutes before or 2 hours after a meal; 4) The efficacy window of Avanafil is between 30 minutes and 6 hours after dosing, which qualifies this molecule as a new drug with an intermediate duration of action; 5) Avanafil at a dose of 50-100 mg/day may be a therapeutic option in chronic rehabilitation. Conclusions: Among PDE5 inhibitors, Avanafil is a new agent with an intermediate duration of action, characterized by high efficacy and good tolerability even at the highest dose (200 mg).
Erectile dysfunction; PDE5 inhibitors; Avanafil; Italian survey; Recommendations; Dosage