Study Finds Viagra not Dangerous for Men with Heart Problems

Published June 1st, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The anti-impotence pill Viagra had no ill effects on men with cardiovascular problems, according to a study to be published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine. 

The study, sponsored by the company that produces Viagra, looked at 14 men middle-aged with heart trouble, but who were not taking nitrates to treat their condition. 

"We found that Viagra had no direct adverse cardiovascular effects in men with severe coronary artery disease," said Howard Herrmann of the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center. 

"Our data support the consensus position of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association that sildenafil (Viagra) is safe for patients with stable coronary artery disease who are not taking medications containing nitrates," said Herrmann, the study's main author. 

This study was conducted after some patients taking Viagra experienced heart attacks, some fatal. The researchers found no problems linked solely to the drug, but found that other intervening factors could be important. 

Researchers choose 14 middle-aged men who had at least one coronary artery that had narrowed so greatly that they required a widening of affected blood vessels. 

These men -- whose mean age was 61 -- had high rates of hypertension (57 percent), diabetes (43 percent) and smoking (57 percent). 

They stopped taking nitrate-based medicine 24 hours before taking Viagra, but continued taking beta-blockers, aspirin, heparin and vessel-dilating drugs. 

Doctors noted that the patients' arterial tension was lower one hour after taking Viagra. They noted no change in the diameter of the coronary arteries or blood flow. 

Herrmann's study was sponsored by Pfizer, the company that makes Viagra. Herrmann warned that the study's results apply only to the effect of the drug on blood circulation of men affected seriously by coronary disease. 

It did not examine the risk of taking Viagra with other drugs, particularly with nitrates or in combination with sexual activity, which increases demand for oxygen in the heart -- BOSTON (AFP) 

 

 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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