Q. Is there any treatment for Peyronie’s disease on the horizon? I am wondering about effectiveness and side effects of enzymes.
A. Peyronie’s disease is a condition in which scar tissue has formed on the side of the penis. This leads it to bend during erection, a situation which may be painful and can make sexual relations difficult. Epidemiologists believe that Peyronie’s disease may affect from 3 to 9 percent of men, possibly even more (Research and Reports in Urology, online Jan. 14, 2013).
Doctors have tried quite a range of oral therapies for Peyronie’s disease, from vitamin E and potassium para-aminobenzoate (Potaba) to colchicine and tamoxifen. Most of these did not help, although l-carnitine and pentoxifylline (Trental) reduced the curvature.
In 2013 the FDA approved an injectable collagenase enzyme (Xiaflex) for treating Peyronie’s disease. This medicine reduces penile curvature. Side effects include bruising, swelling and pain at the injection site. Because Xiaflex can cause penile fracture, however, FDA restricts prescribing to health care professionals who are experienced in its use.