Advice for the impotent

ABU DHABI - Medical experts have expressed concern that impotency has become one of the most common diseases in the region, adding that social stigma inhibit men from seeking help for the disorder that can, in most cases, be cured by proper medical treatment.

By Nada S. Mussallam

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Published: Sun 11 Jan 2004, 12:15 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:21 AM

Dr Khalid Ali Al Zahrani, Consultant in Dermatology, Venerology and Andrology at the Khalid Specialist Centre in Makkah, addressing a symposium organised by the Saudi Pharmaceutical Industries and Medical Appliances Corporation (SPIMACO) at the Abu Dhabi Inter-Continental Hotel on Wednesday evening on the subject, `Erectile Dysfunction (ED) and its treatment', said according to a global study, that included Saudi Arabia, approximately 30 per cent of the population of the kingdom was diagnosed with (ED), adding that most of the cases were moderate.

"No exact estimate is available due to several reasons, on top of which is the social stigma associated with the disease blocking the way for men to get proper treatment. The ED condition is normal and usually temporary, so it is highly unfortunate that the term, `impotency' itself implies a certain humiliating disability in men," said Dr Zahrani.

SPIMACO announced during the symposium the launch of a drug named, `Snafi' (Arabic meaning strong and capable man) in the UAE that is reported to be highly potent, selective and reversible PDE-5 inhibitor used for treating ED.

The drug, which was registered with the Central Drug Control Department at the UAE Ministry of Health in September, will soon be available in markets in Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman.

Dr Zahrani said that in many ED cases, the major cause could be that the person was suffering from certain chronic aliments.

"About 70 per cent of the etiology of ED, is attributed to chronic diseases, especially diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs)," he said.

Psychological factors could also have their impact in causing ED, mainly in young people, added Dr Zahrani.

He advised that men should be more open in discussing their intimate relations with their doctors, warning that patients should be keen to get physicians guidance in using PDE-5 inhibitors.

Dr Abdullah Abdulkader, Managing Director of SPIMACO, said men in the Arab world should recognise ED as a disease in a step to get rid of social stigma and the inhibition towards efficient solution to the problem. "Impotence or asthenia are not signs of incapability or weakness of men, but rather an indications for the existence of a disease that needs to be treated efficiently to ensure secure family life," said Dr Abdulkader.

At national level, Dr B. Viquar, Director and General Practitioner at Al Itihad Medical Centre in Abu Dhabi, said: "Asthenia is one of the common problems in the UAE, with the disorder mainly prevalent among elderly people."

He warned of using PDE-5 inhibitors without the prescription of physicians, adding that random usage of these drugs might have adverse side effects.

"Although they proved to have efficacy in treating ED, however, compared to the first generation drug the new drug has certain mild side effect like headache and muscle pain.

"People should realise that PED-5 inhibitors are not for pleasure and should be used under medical consultation," said Dr Viquar.

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