Date Published

July 3, 2012

Updated For

ALS PCS Version ALS PCS Version 5.2


Question: Do all Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors generic names end in "fil"? Are all drugs that end "fil" Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors? Is this an adequate way to start down the path toward withholding Nitro due to Phosphodiesterase Inhibitor contraindication?


Thanks for the question. The short answer is that unfortunately no, not all phosphodiesterase inhibitors end in "fil". For instance, aminophylline, theophylline, milrinone are but only a few phosphodiesterase inhibitors with different names. That being said, most of these medications are not used routinely in the community (if at all) nor are they used for erectile dysfunction (ED). For other information on phosphodiesterase inhibitors and the ischemic chest pain directive, please see a previous question posted under the "Cardiac Ischemia" category and posted on Jan 31, 2012.

While sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil, and the newer udenafil and avanafil all are medications ending in "fil" and do have indications for erectile dysfunction (ED), it may be somewhat risky to rely upon the suffix only to identify this class of medications. For instance, the ace inhibitor class (ramipril, lisinopril, enalapril, captopril) all end with a similar suffix and this could be confusing.

The best approach is to recognize the full name of the medication, then confirm with the patient why they are taking it and the timing of the last dose.



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