Misuse Of Viagra Could Cause Permanent Impotence
LONDON - Misuse of the anti-impotence drug Viagra as an aphrodisiac to improve sexual performance could cause permanent impotence, a British doctor said on Thursday.
Dr Roger Kirby, a urologist at St George's Hospital in London, said the magic blue pill that revived the sex lives of millions could cause persistent and painful erections in potent men, as well as muscle damage that could be permanent.
"Firstly there are no data to support the claim that sildenafil (Viagra) really does improve the normal erection or alter orgasmic sensation," Kirby said in a report in Student BMJ, a British medical journal.
Misuse of the drug also causes a condition called priapism, prolonged erections. "This in turn may lead to permanent erectile dysfunction," Kirby said.
Viagra, made by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc, has been one of the world's best selling drugs since it was launched last year. To the estimated one in 10 men who suffer from impotence it offers new hope of a normal sex life.
But the recreational use of Viagra in discos and nightclubs among potent men has sparked concern among doctors. Kirby said these men should also be aware of other side effects of the drug such as headaches, facial flushing, heartburn and vision problems including seeing a "blue haze."
More than 70 men have died after taking Viagra, prompting Pfizer to add new warnings on the drug's label. The company recommends that men with a history of heart disease, low blood pressure and heart attacks should be examined before taking the pill.
Men using nitrate-based drugs for heart disease and angina must not use Viagra.
"Not many clubbers suffer from angina, but the nitric oxide donor amyl nitrate (in "poppers") is sometimes used as an orgasm enhancer. The combination of this with Sildenafil is potentially extremely hazardous," Kirby added.
The combination of the drugs could lead to a drop in blood pressure which could cause a heart attack or stroke.
"Sildenafil has little to offer normally potent men and usage by them carries inherent risk," Kirby added.