Hamed Mohammed Eldarawany, Rakan Ridha Alanazi, Rami Fahad Alzahrani, Saad Mohammed Alabdullatif, Abdullah hussain al-sulaiman, Fahad Abdullah Alnajim
Background: Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (PDE5I) are common worldwide first-line medical therapy for erectile dysfunction. Many studies have reported the recreational use of PDE5I by healthy males who lack the knowledge of the risks of this use. This study aims to assess the knowledge, awareness, and practice of medical professionals, as well as the general population towards the use of PDE5I. Methods: This is a cross-sectional survey-based study divided into two questionnaires, which were carried from October 2019 to January 2020. The surveys were applied to healthcare providers (pharmacists and physicians) as well as the general population. All data were collected first into Microsoft Excel sheet version 2016 then transferred to SPSS version 25.0 to be analyzed. Results: A total of 486 participants were involved in this research. Among them, 346 were a general population and 140 healthcare providers. Three-fourths (77.1%) of healthcare providers perform routine medical interviews including taking medical history before prescribing or selling PDE5I and the two third of them (62.2%) referred patients to specialized physician. Only 31.5% of the general population use PDE5I. Two-thirds (61.9%) use it out of curiosity and 78.2% who received the drug from the pharmacy reported that pharmacists do not ask for a prescription before selling the drug. Low levels of awareness have been found among the general population including awareness of side effects and contraindications of PDE5I. Conclusion: PDE5I are commonly prescribed and used in Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia for recreational purposes. Healthcare providers not have enough knowledge of PDE5I drugs while the majority of the general population is unaware of adverse effects, seriousness or contraindications of PDE5I use for ED. Urgent need for strict low and regulations to restrict the access of PDE5I drugs may be indicated. Keywords: PDE5I; erectile dysfunction (ED); recreational.