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Pfizer Inc. Message Board

  • mister_bean911 mister_bean911 Apr 1, 1998 11:23 AM Flag

    TIME article (part 1)

    Here's the article about Viagra in Time magazine if you want to
    read it:

    Cross-Gender Sex Pill
    A new drug designed to treat impotence in men may have surprisingly similar effects in women



    Irwin Goldstein could hardly wait for the FDA to approve Viagra. The renowned Boston University urologist is so excited about last week's approval of the first-ever impotence pill for men that he is opening a new sexual-dysfunction clinic, and will soon begin prescribing the drug--for women.

    As doctors learn more about the causes of impotence, they're becoming increasingly convinced that the underlying mechanisms of male and female sexual dysfunction may not be so far apart. And if that's the case, it's entirely possible that the same pharmacological science that restores sexual function to men can work similar magic in women.

    Viagra trials in women are already under way in Europe. In April the FDA is holding an invitation-only meeting of scientists
    and pharmaceutical executives to discuss possible testing and use of the drug in women in the U.S. And in June leading sex
    researchers will devote their annual meeting in Cape Cod to discussing how a range of impotence drugs might be tested in female
    patients. If the medications prove effective, they could offer women a safer alternative to the current best weapon against female
    sexual dysfunction, hormone-replacement therapy, which carries a slightly increased risk of cancer. Meanwhile, with the approval of
    Viagra (release date: mid-April) as an impotence treatment, doctors will be able to prescribe it "off-label" for women too. "We
    intend to use it in women once it's released for men," Goldstein says. "Not even a question."

    Viagra's effects on the hydraulics of male sexuality are pretty straightforward. Originally developed as a heart medication, the drug works directly on the blood vessels, blocking an enzyme called phosphodiesterase. This enzyme prevents the release of certain neurotransmitters--most notably one called cyclic GMP--that cause the smooth muscles surrounding arteries to relax, allowing the arteries to expand. When this occurs in penile arteries, it leads to engorgement, which leads to erection.

    While Viagra doesn't work for every impotent man, it does work for up to 80% of them. "There appears to be no group that has been tested that has a zero response," says urologist Dr. Harin Padma-Nathan of the University of Southern California. Even men with the most severe forms of impotence--spinal-injury victims, diabetics, those who have undergone prostate-cancer surgery--have responded.

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