Viagra can also save your heart
Viagra, which has been widely used against erectile dysfunction across the world, could also be used as an effective treatment for heart disease , without any side effects . says a study published in the journal BMC Medicine. The study reveals that long-term daily treatment of Viagra can provide protection for the heart at different stages of heart disease.
Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor (PDE5i) is the main ingredient in Viagra and other drugs commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction. The inhibitor blocks the enzyme PDE5, which prevents relaxation of smooth muscle tissue. The presence of PDE5 in the heart has led to previous research on whether the inhibitor could treat non-urological conditions.
Scientists from the Sapienza University of Rome carried out a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials by searching for articles published between January 2004 and May 2014 to test the effectiveness of PDE5i in providing cardiac protection, and to find out whether it was well-tolerated and safe. They identified 24 suitable trials for analysis from four research databases: MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library and SCOPUS. For the first time, the scientists conducted a parallel analysis of the effects of the inhibitor on the size and shape of the heart and its performance.
The analysis shows that PDE5i prevented the heart increasing in size and changing shape in patients suffering from left ventricular hypertrophy, a condition which causes thickening of the muscles in the left ventricle. The inhibitor also improved heart performance in all patients with different heart conditions, with no negative effect on the patients' blood pressure.
Lead author of the study, Andrea Isidori said: "We found that the main ingredient in Viagra can be used as an effective, safe treatment for several patients with heart disease. Large clinical trials are now urgently needed to build on these encouraging findings."
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