Adcirca (tadalafil) is manufactured by Eli Lilly and Co. It was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2009 as a treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Adcirca is generally prescribed as a once-daily treatment. The drug is costly, averaging over $1,000 per month for a single supply. Studies have shown an increased risk of developing melanoma while taking Adcirca (tadalafil).
Adcirca and Melanoma
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Its main cause is exposure to UV light, produced by the sun as well as artificial ultraviolet lamps. Its treatment includes surgery, radiation, medications and chemotherapy. Recently, a class of drugs known as PDE5-inhibitors were linked to melanoma.
Melanoma is generally characterized by a new or unusual mole growth. A healthy mole is typically an even brown or tan color, with a diameter of no more than 6mm (½”). Most moles are generally present from birth, although new moles can develop throughout a person’s life. If a mole becomes extremely dark, misshapen or red, it may be considered abnormal. Doctors recommended that you regularly examine your moles using the “ABCDE” checklist outlined below.
How can I tell if I have Melanoma?
It is important to visit a doctor if you notice a growth or any abnormality in skin texture or complexion. Physicians recommend the “ABCDE” checklist of symptoms to determine if a doctor’s visit is necessary:
- Borders (irregular with edges and corners)
- Color (variegated)
- Diameter (greater than 6 mm (0.24 in), about the size of a pencil eraser)
- Evolving over time
If any of these symptoms are present, contact your doctor immediately.
Does Adcirca cause Melanoma?
In June of 2016, the FDA announced that it was evaluating the need for regulatory action regarding Phosphodiesterase (PDE)-5 inhibitor drugs such as Adcirca. This warning came in response to recent reports linking drugs like Adcirca to an increased risk of melanoma.
What are the side effects of Adcirca?
The use of Adcirca comes with risks. Below is a list of side effects associated with the use of Adcirca (tadalafil).
Common Side Effects
- Redness or warmth in your face, neck or chest
- Cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing or sore throat
- Memory problems
- Diarrhea, upset stomach
- Muscle pain or back pain.
Serious Side Effects
- Chest tightness or heaviness
- Cold sweats
- Faintness or lightheartedness when standing
- Irregular heartbeat
- Hearing loss
- Pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back or neck
- Pounding in the ears
- Shortness of breath
- Slow or fast heartbeat
Adcirca vs. Cialis
Adcirca and Cialis are both brand names of the generic drug, Tadalafil. While both drugs share an identical chemical formula, they are prescribed to treat two different conditions. Cialis is prescribed in the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED), while Adcirca is used for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Adcirca and Cialis both belong to a class of drugs known as PDE5-inhibitors. Viagra (ED) and Revatio (PAH) also share this classification. Studies have shown that all PDE5-inhibitor type drugs cause some degree of increased risk in developing Melanoma.
The FDA and Adcirca
The FDA made recent announcements about the need for further review of these drugs. One major study published in the medical journal, JAMA, showed a 20% increased risk in developing melanoma when taking PDE5-inhibitors.