Erectile dysfunction may be tied to prolonged opioid use.

The Oregonian (5/16, Muldoon, 237K) reports, "A study published online today in the journal Spine indicates erectile dysfunction may be linked to prescription painkillers known as opioids." After examining data on some 11,327 men undergoing treatment for back pain, researchers found that "long-term opioid use increased by 50 percent the likelihood of also getting an ED prescription."

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (5/16, Fauber, 221K) "Pulse" blog reports, "Opioid use is known to lower testosterone levels." Patients "prescribed an opioid daily dose of more than 120 milligrams of morphine equivalent were 58% more likely to be getting an ED or testosterone drug."

On its website, Fox News (5/16, Woerner) reports, "Overall, about 19 percent of the men taking opioids over long periods experienced ED - but researchers said the number might be even higher." HealthDay (5/16, Gordon) and MedPage Today (5/16, Petrochko) also cover the story.