January 2012 Archives

Viagra Helps Children With Disfiguring Condition

Thumbnail image for research_icon.jpgViagra has a history of unforeseen beneficial side effects and happy accidents - it started off as a heart medication, after all.  Now doctors have discovered another medical application for the drug, in what Dr. Richard Smith, a pediatric otolaryngologist calls an "exciting and serendipitous finding."

According to a small study and preliminary report, sildenafil can shrink disfiguring lymphatic growths in children, know as severe lymphatic malformations. The cause of the growths is unknown, but the masses of fluid and lymphatic vessels can grown as large as a basketball.

Doctors aren't sure how sildenafil works to shrink the growths, but one theory is that it stimulates circulation in the lymphatic system, allowing fluid to drain. The drugs new-found property was discovered while an infant was being given sildenafil for pulmonary hypertension, and doctors observed that a lymphatic growth shrunk during the treatment.

The cost of the treatment is reportedly up to $1,000 a month, but Pfizer has been donating the drugs. That's great - they win some points for that. But my question is, why is it so expensive in the first place? The drug is Revatio, which is essentially the same thing as Viagra, right? Is it just more expensive because it's packaged in a different dosage? That's one of the silly things about the pharma business - they charge you more for a smaller dose.

Anyway, the discovery is good news for kids with this rare condition, and may not be a cure, but at least offers hope for treatment.

Court Puts Kibosh on Viaguara Brand Drink

Thumbnail image for news-icon.jpgThe Polish company that tried to trademark the name Viaguara for a beverage is out of luck. The European Union's General Court rejected their appeal of a 2005 decision which blocked registration of the brand name on the grounds that it was too similar to the famous drug.

The court ruled that the beverage would be taking unfair advantage of Viagra's reputation. The court also expressed concern that confusion between the products could be medically dangerous, which seems like a bit of an exaggeration.

So what is Viaguara? Some sort of energy drink, probably containing guarana, possibly containing alcohol. Whatever it is, it's going to have to go to market with a much less exciting name, which hasn't proven to be an issue for, say, 5-Hour Energy. Although a product called 5-Hour Viaguara would really fly off the shelves.

What Happens If You Take Viagra and Don't Have Sex?

Thumbnail image for faq-icon.jpgIs it harmful if you take a Viagra, and then don't have sex? Like, what if you took one by accident?

I don't think people take Viagra "by accident" very often - although the tablets do bear some resemblance to the over-the-counter analgesic Aleve (ironic if you took something for your stiff back and something else got stiff instead).

If "by accident" you mean you misinterpreted your date's signals and she decides to go home early, well, that's a more likely scenario. Using Viagra takes some planning, and things don't always go according to plan.

So, if you take Viagra and don't have an appropriate "outlet", will anything bad happen? No, your penis won't explode, no matter what the drug pamphlet warns about possible "permanent damage to the penis". Unless you have an erection for four hours or more - then you should get to the doctor asap. Otherwise, the drug will eventually work its way out of your system and everything should return to normal.

If you become aroused while under the influence of Viagra and don't have an orgasm, you may experience pelvic congestion, aka "blue balls". This is usually a dull pain in the pelvis and testicles, caused by the pressure of accumulated blood. While this may be uncomfortable, it's not harmful, and if you don't do anything about it, eventually it should subside as the effects of the Viagra wear off (if not, see above). If you're not going to be having sex, the easiest way to relieve it is to masturbate. Repeat as necessary.

Viagra Keeps the Bloom on Your Rose

Thumbnail image for news-icon.jpgBritish gardening expert David Domoney recently gave this pro tip on his TV show: to keep cut flowers from going limp, give them a dose of Viagra. The nitric oxide helps preserve the integrity of the flowers and prevents them from breaking down.

We've known about this trick for years. Israeli and Australian scientists documented that a small dose (1mg) of sildenafil added to their water could keep flowers fresh up to a week longer. Independent research  corroborates the laboratory findings. After a week, flowers given Viagra just stand up straighter, while the others are floppy and droopy.

Domoney said that if you're reluctant to part with your Viagra, or it's too hard to come by, a bit of aspirin might do instead - to keep your flowers perky, that is. It won't perk up much else.

Can I Use Viagra to Counteract the Effects of Alcohol?

Thumbnail image for faq-icon.jpgI sometimes have difficulty keeping an erection after I've been drinking. Can Viagra help fix this?

Alcohol is infamous both for leading the bedroom, and leading to disappointment in the bedroom. As Shakespeare himself observed,  "[Alcohol] provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance." Viagra might seem like the cure for that dilemma, but it's not a good idea. The makers of Viagra advise against using the drug with alcohol, and so do many Viagra users.

Alcohol consumption dampens the effects of Viagra to begin with, so it may not work as well, or you might try taking more than your usual dose to get the same effect. Even if it does work, you may be very sorry the next morning.

An alcohol and Viagra cocktail can be a recipe for a killer hangover. Viagra can cause a pounding headache. So can alcohol. They both cause blood vessel dilation, which is the source of that incessant and painful pulsing in your skull, so they may amplify each other's effects. They also both cause stomach irritation.

Many people can take Viagra after having a couple of drinks and experience no ill effects - individual tolerance can vary. But if alcohol, whether on an occasional or ongoing basis, is the cause of your erectile dysfunction, you're better off not falling back on Viagra to solve the problem.

Viagra May Win Defense Department Contract

Thumbnail image for news-icon.jpgViagra may soon be the drug of choice for helping US military personnel keep their little soldiers at attention. The formulary advisory panel of Tricare, the military's health plan, has recommended that military pharmacies drop  their current erectile dysfunction drugs, Bayer's Cialis and Staxyn, in favor of Viagra.

Their pharmacies had dispensed Viagra until 2005, when cost considerations prompted a change. Now the blue bill is back in favor, as Tricare cites cost-effectiveness and clinical considerations as the basis for their recommendations.

If Viagra is reinstated, users would pay $9 for a 90-day supply through Tricare's mail order pharmacy and $12 at retail pharmacies for a 30-day supply.

The drug would be dispensed free at military pharmacies to qualifiying patients.

It's gratifying to know that our military truly is dedicated to letting its members be all they can be.

After Penis Tattoo, Ink's Not the Only Thing That's Permanent

Thumbnail image for humor_icon.jpgEveryone who's taken Viagra, or even seen a commercial for it, knows that an erection lasting four hours or longer, no matter how entertaining, is a sign you should see your doctor. Well, what if you had a stiffy 24/7. And a bad tattoo on it to boot.

Such was the dilemma of a young Iranian man whose case was recently written up and has the distinction of being "the first known case of nonischemic priapism following penile tattooing."

He had his peter engraved with his girlfriend's initial and Persian script reading borow be salaamat (that translates to "good luck on your journeys" not "borrow my salami"). Well, now his schlong is boldly going into a medical journal and urological infamy.

While penis tattooing isn't the wisest choice, the problem this guy encountered is a relatively rare occurrence. The tattoo artist used a heavy duty needle and a traditional middle eastern tattooing method that involves jabbing through the skin by hand, not with a machine that would allow for depth control, then rubbing in the coloring agent. The punctures caused fistulas and bleeding into the penile tissues - and no doubt a world of hurt both during and after.

The internal damage lead to an inter-penile aneurism, and blood began to pool in his member until it reached a permanently erect state. Doctors advised him to have the blood removed, but he opted for a shunt procedure, which failed. Since he's no longer in pain, and can function normally otherwise, he's refused further treatment - perhaps understandable given the amount of genital trauma he's endured.

As the authors of the medical article astutely conclude: "Tattooing should be added to the etiologies of nonischemic priapism. Considering this case, we discourage penile tattooing." It can also be added as an effective but inadvisable cure for erectile dysfunction.

Nano Tech: For Resistant Infections, and Resistant Erections

Thumbnail image for research_icon.jpgNitric oxide, the catalyst for Viagra's magic, has a number of other important functions in the body. It's been established that NO can stimulate healing (besides sexual healing, wise guy). NO has properties that combat bacteria, stimulate immune response, and promote healing in wounds, and it's ideal for tough-to-treat MRSA (methicillin-resistant S. aureus) infections. The problem is that it's a gas, and so far there hasn't been a good way to deliver it to the site of an infection.

Welcome to the world of nanoparticles. Nanoparticles are - well, the most important thing about them is that they're really, really, really tiny, so they can go places bigger particles can't. Now researchers have developed NO-releasing nanoparticles that can penetrate skin, where they unleash that NO like scrubbing bubbles on infected soft tissue.

Oh, yeah - and the nanoparticles had one other interesting effect in lab tests: they caused rats to get erections. Bonus.

So, how do you think the researchers came up with that bright idea? One of the co-authors of the paper describing the study "notes that, beyond the antimicrobial and wound healing applications, the important role of nitric oxide in maintaining vascular health also lead to the team's testing of the efficacy of NO nanoparticles in addressing conditions associated with endothelial dysfunctions."

Translation: "We know what Viagra does, so we thought we'd give it a shot and see if this worked too."

"NO nanoparticles were shown to increase erectile function when applied topically to the penis of rats...and even more importantly, in a post-radical prostatectomy animal model with cavernous nerve transection - a clinical scenario in which PDE-5 inhibitors (Viagra) are ineffective."

Sorry. Now you all need a little brain bleach to expunge the image of some unfortunate lab assistant tasked with applying this stuff to rat genitalia, but the takeaway is that it may be able to get the job done even when Viagra can't - giving hope to those whose erectile dysfunction is Viagra-resistant.

I could see the development of NO-delivering nanoparticles having a similar trajectory to that of Viagra: a drug developed for one purpose that turns out to be wildly effective at something much more compelling. Oh, sure, saving lives is great and all, but face it, stiff erections trump staph infections.

Viagra Hoarding: Extreme Pharmaceuticals

Thumbnail image for humor_icon.jpgSome people hoard animals, some people hoard old newspapers or empty margarine tubs. And some people, apparently, hoard erectile dysfunction drugs.

In Union City, New Jersey, 75-year-old Rafael Molfa Gandulla called police to report a break in and theft of some luggage. While searching the premises for evidence, the cops came across $2,000 worth of Viagra and Cialis.

Wow.  Costco pharmacy must have been having a special on the 5 lb. jars.

How much is $2,000 worth of Viagra? Well, at $7.50 per pill (a typical price), that's about 266 tablets. A few pills short of a kilo, but still, that's a well-stocked medicine cabinet. Is there any legitimate reason to have that much in your possession? Maybe he was kind of OCD and had anxiety about getting caught without his Viagra when he needed it. Maybe he was hoarding it to drive the price up.

It probably seems a little sketchy to have thousands of dollars of pharmaceuticals on hand. Especially when you also have $20,000 in cash sitting around your house. Theoretically, all those pills might have been for Mr. Gurdulla's personal use - he is 75, after all. Although, judging from his mug shot he doesn't exactly look like Casanova material. But whether or not all of that was for Mr. Gardulla is moot - since he didn't have a prescription. He also had a small amount of (non-medical) marijuana, and received drug charges for both.

Detectives speculate that the stolen luggage may also have contained thousands worth of pills. Mr. Gurdulla said the luggage had been packed for a trip he was about to leave on. There would have been a lot of rockin' on that cruise ship.

So what's this guy's story? Viagra smuggler? Geriatric swinger? Or obsessive compulsive pharmaceutical hoarder? If you could work a dead body in there somewhere, it would make a great episode of CSI.

Bitter Backlash Against Brits' Pill Rationing

Thumbnail image for news-icon.jpgThe UK's National Health service is getting sharp criticism from both patients and doctors, after announcing it's new "guidelines" for General Practitioners around Viagra prescriptions. The NHS has recommended that GPs limit Viagra user to two tablets per month.

Viagra is already hard enough to get under the NHS's restrictions, so it's no surprise that patients are displeased with the edict. But their doctors aren't happy about it either. Maybe they resent the NHS dictating how they should care for their patients - especially when the agency refuses to share the reasoning behind the new pill quotas with the public.
The recommendation was based on evidence in a study by an organization contracted by the NHS, who say they can't publish the information for copyright reasons. Said an NHS spokesperson, " 'As far as we're concerned we're not allowed to, because of the contract we hold with them, publish the evidence they give us because it's their product, it's what they produce, it's not our intellectual property, it's not something we produce.' "

Dr. Paul Roblin, chief executive of a GPs Local Medical Committee, accused the bureaucrats of finger-pointing: 'There are four organisations involved...we're trying to find who actually supports the restriction of information, it's actually quite difficult, they all blame each other'.

The organization that conducted the original study is called Solutions for Public Health, which might be a misnomer. Wouldn't you think the public would have a right to know how public health policy is determined?

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2011 is the previous archive.

February 2012 is the next archive.

This is the blog for the Viagra Stories website, aka magicbluepill.com where real people share their experiences taking Viagra.