New research has found an increase in the risk of erectile dysfunction and testosterone deficiency in non-diabetic men with obesity following semaglutide treatment.

The drug, which is used to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity, lists sexual dysfunction on its package inserts as a possible side effect.

The authors of the latest American study said more research is needed to assess this risk, and set out to evaluate the risk of developing erectile dysfunction after semaglutide is prescribed for weight loss in obese, non-diabetic men.

Reporting on their findings, the authors said: “Non-diabetic men prescribed semaglutide were significantly more likely to develop erectile dysfunction…and testosterone deficiency when compared to the control cohort of non-diabetic men who never received a semaglutide prescription.”

For men prescribed semaglutide, the risk of erectile dysfunction and testosterone deficiency increased by 1.47%.

One theory is that semaglutide treatment may reduce pulsatile testosterone secretion and increase smooth muscle relaxation.

However, the drug has also been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction, and strokes in obese men and women.

The researchers looked at the data from men aged between 18 and 50 with obesity – a body mass index over 30 – who did not have diabetes.

People were excluded if they had a prior history of erectile dysfunction, penile surgeries or testosterone deficiency.

This identified just over 3,000 individuals, who were then matched to a control group. Across both groups, there was a mean age of 37 years and 74% were White.

Read more in International Journal of Impotence Research.

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