Q & A Library

Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

For Men Only: Peyronie's Disease?

An enzyme product called Neprinol is advertised as a possible correction for Peyronie's. What is your opinion of this approach and are there any other viable, nonsurgical options?

Answer (Published 1/4/2010)

Peyronie's disease affects the penis, causing it to bend, arc or become shortened during an erection. Peyronie's develops when a hard, fibrous scar or plaque develops on the penis making it less flexible. As a result, erections can be painful, and intercourse can become difficult or impossible. While we don't know what causes Peyronie's, the disorder sometimes occurs after trauma in which the penis is bumped or bent. It is more common in men who have Dupuytren's contracture, an inherited hardening of elastic tissue in the hands, and also occurs more frequently in men with diabetes, smokers and those who have a family history of the disorder. In addition, certain drugs can lead to Peyronie's, including beta blockers (for high blood pressure and heart problems) and interferon (for multiple sclerosis and chronic hepatitis). The anti-seizure drug phenytoin (Dilantin) can sometimes be responsible too and risk increases with age.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for Men's Health - Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for Men's Health - Help keep your prostate healthy with simple changes to your lifestyle and diet. Learn more - and get access to an exclusive version of Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid - start your free trial of the Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging online guide today!

Unfortunately, treatment for Peyronie's is difficult. There's no one drug or procedure that reliably works. I have recommended Potaba, a relative of the B vitamins, available by prescription. It can slow the buildup of plaque. Vitamin E supplements have been recommended to prevent additional scarring, but studies haven't shown it to be effective. Injections of the drug verapamil seem to help dissolve plaque, and injections of two other drugs, interferon and collagenase, also may help break down collagen and thus eliminate scar tissue. As far as neprinol is concerned, I've seen no studies demonstrating its effectiveness.

Fortunately, in 20 to 50 percent of all cases men with Peyronie's experience spontaneous remission. Given that possibility, I would recommend holding off on surgery for this disorder. While surgery is often successful, it can lead to complications, and isn't usually performed until the condition has stabilized and the patient has been pain-free for at least six months.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle on (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being in just eight weeks! Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe Wellness Guide
Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Food Pyramid

Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you and their corresponding answers from Dr. Weil.

Copyright © 2015 Weil Lifestyle
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here