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Entries in Viagra (9)

Thursday
Apr262012

Avanafil: Do We Need Another Viagra?

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The erectile dysfunction marketplace could get its first new entry in almost a decade with the experimental drug Avanafil, a faster-acting pill in the same class as Viagra, Levitra and Cialis, reportedly with fewer side effects.

But do we really need another Viagra?

“No, we don’t need another Viagra, but competition is good. We need to see a reduction in the cost to the consumer of these drugs, and this is not exactly another Viagra,” said Dr. Ira Sharlip, a urology professor at UC San Francisco and former president of the International Society for Sexual Medicine. “I say this because the onset of action seems to be faster than Viagra, although there are no head-to-head studies of onset of action.”

The little blue pill Viagra (sildenafil) started a late 20th century sexual revolution by destigmatizing impotence, and replacing that term with “erectile dysfunction,” or ED in the popular lexicon. Like Viagra and its competitors Levitra (vardenafil) and Cialis (tadalafil), all of which are regularly advertised on television, Avanafil increases blood flow to the penis to help men achieve and sustain an erection. But its main selling point may be that clinical trials suggest it can produce an erection in as little as 15 minutes.

“Quick onset of action is important to men,” especially a subset of patients seeking treatment for erectile dysfunction, Sharlip said.

The studies also indicate Avanafil clears the body more quickly than the other ED drugs in the same class, the phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors, according to data submitted to the FDA by Vivus Inc. The pharmaceutical company also is behind the diet drug Qnexa, which remains under FDA review.

In a Phase II study, Avanafil worked as well as Viagra while producing less low blood pressure in cardiac patients who take nitroglycerin. In the two Phase III trials that compared Avanafil with a placebo, there were no reports of blue vision or prolonged, painful erections (priapism), which are infrequent side effects associated with Viagra. In rare cases, men taking any of the PDE5 drugs have reported sudden decreases in hearing or loss of hearing.

Sharlip said he didn’t believe that those rare side effects matter much to most patients. “Despite what the FDA says, I have never seen priapism from any PDE5 inhibitor drug. Priapism is just not a clinical problem. Blue vision with Viagra is uncommon and at worst annoying. Most men who get the blue vision with Viagra don’t care about it,” he said.

The most common side effects of Avanafil in studies to date were headache, flushing, stuffy nose, mild cold symptoms and back pain.

Avanafil has been approved for use in Korea.

The FDA set an April 29 target date for its Avanafil review. Vivus, based in Mountain View, Calif., licensed rights to the drug from Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp.

The most recent FDA approval of an ED drug came in 2010 for Staxyn, a version of vardenafil that dissolves under the tongue, rather than being swallowed.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar132012

Female Lawmakers Target Viagra in Response to Anti-Abortion Laws

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- A third female lawmaker has shown her displeasure with the record number of anti-abortion measures passing across the country.

The bill introduced by Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner on March 2 targets men’s access to Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs known as PDE-5 inhibitors.

Her measure would require that a physician consult with a psychologist before prescribing the medication to a patient, as well as requiring that men taking the drug receive information about celibacy.

“The men in our lives, including members of the General Assembly, generously devote time to fundamental female reproductive issues. The least we can do is return the favor,” she said in a news release posted to her website. “By implementing more intensive screenings before prescribing the medication and requiring outpatient educational services, we can do more to prevent the potential side effects linked to PDE-5 inhibitors.”

Turner’s measure, State Bill 307, follows one currently in the House called the “Heartbeat” bill. That bill would prevent an abortion if a fetal heartbeat was detected, even if that occurred as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

The Guttmacher Institute said on its website that 92 laws restricting access to abortion services were passed in the U.S. last year. The previous high was 34 in 2005.

Because of this, female lawmakers including Turner have responded with bills and amendments focusing on men’s health and targeting Viagra and vasectomies.

In Illinois, state Rep. Kelly Cassidy sponsored an amendment to a bill forcing women to get ultrasounds before an abortion that would force men who want Viagra to watch a graphic video of the drug’s potential side effects.

In Virginia, state Sen. Janet Howell pushed an amendment to the state’s ultrasound bill that required all men seeking Viagra to get a rectal examination.

“It is crucial that we take the appropriate steps to shelter vulnerable men from the potential side effects of these drugs,” Turner said in the news release. “When a man makes a crucial decision about his health and his body, he should be fully aware of the alternative options and the lifetime repercussions of that decision.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun092011

Honeymoon With Viagra Could Be Over, Say Doctors

John Foxx/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Sales of the little blue pill that promised men they could be sexually active well into their 70s and 80s are going soft after flying off the shelves for more than a decade.

The market for Viagra-type drugs has stalled in the United States.  Last year the total number of prescriptions for so-called ED drugs declined by five percent after growing just one percent annually the previous four years, according to IMS Health, a heath-care data and consulting firm.  Viagra prescriptions drooped by seven percent; those for Levitra sank 18 percent.

The market for these virility drugs still top $5 billion in annual sales to tens of millions of men.  But for many, who saw the drugs as a powerful aphrodisiac that would cure all the things that were wrong in their lives, the drugs, purported to be some of the safest in the world, just didn't live up to expectations.

"It's not that these drugs don't work. If one doesn't work, all three don't work," said Dr. Thomas Jarrett, head of urology at George Washington University.

Cialus, which has a 24- to 36-hour window of effectiveness -- for when the "moment is right"-- is predicted to outpace the short-acting drugs this year.

Many insurance companies don't cover these so-called "lifestyle drugs," and those that do only pays for four pills a month. Out of pocket, they cost $12 to $15 a tablet, not exactly a cheap thrill.

"We still write a lot of prescriptions, but without any objective evidence, it doesn't seem like we write as many as we used to," said Jarrett.

A poor economy, coupled with market "over-saturation," and even disenchantment among men when more sex didn't improve their lives, may explain why prescriptions are down, he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr212011

Brewery Introduces Viagra Beer for Royal Wedding Night

Ablestock dot com/Thinkstoc(FRASERBERG, Scotland) -- Scotland's largest independent brewery, BrewDog, has unveiled a limited-edition beer containing herbal Viagra to mark the forthcoming royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29. The beer is called "The Royal Virility Performance."

From vomit bags to Haribo candy, there is certainly no shortage of strange royal wedding memorabilia. But so far, it's possible nothing has come out that will make the queen blush quite like what Scottish brewing company Brew Dog introduced Thursday.

Known for its eccentric brews, Brew Dog has announced a creation made specifically for the royal wedding. It's called "Royal Virility Performance," and it's an India Pale Ale containing herbal Viagra, chocolate, goat weed and a "healthy dose of sarcasm."

There will only be 1,000 bottles of the limited-edition beer available through Brew Dog's website, costing around $16.55 per 330 milliliter bottle.

With three beers creating the same effect as one Viagra pill, the celebration could add up to a pretty penny. Fortunately, a fifth of the proceeds will go to Centrepoint, a charity aiding homeless youth that is supported by Prince William.

In an effort to distinguish itself from other breweries that might be creating special edition beers for the very special occasion, Brew Dog has laced "Royal Virility Performance" with aphrodisiacs to "give the happy couple something extra on their big day," according to the company's website.

The beer ships strictly the day before the royal wedding. To further commemorate the big day, albeit in raunchy fashion, the label of the bottle is decorated with phrases like "Celebrate Big Willy Style," and "Arise Prince Willy."

Brew Dog even went as far as sending Prince William a bottle, according to Metro UK, so that he can appropriately celebrate his big day.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov072010

Drugs and Supplements to US from China Mostly Unregulated

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A review from the Government Accounting Office found a growing percentage of drugs and supplements sold in the United States comes from China and is largely unregulated and uninspected by U.S. officials.

Critics say consumers have no way to know where their pills originate because federal labeling laws are not being enforced.  The Food and Drug Administration says its staff is too small to properly inspect all the plants producing medicines for the U.S. market.  In a recent review, the Kansas City Star found 80 percent of the ingredients and 40 percent of the finished pharmaceuticals sold in the U.S. were made overseas.  The government said half of them come from China and India.

Chinese manufacturers defended their safety rate, but critics pointed to a recent case in which Chinese-made Viagra, the erectile dysfunction drug, was found to have drywall components in it.  Other drugs made in China have been found to contain none of the active ingredients required.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct202010

Viagra May Help Muscular Dystrophy Patients

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Though young boys may seem like unlikely candidates for treatment with Viagra, new research in mice suggests that the drug, which is usually prescribed for erectile dysfunction, may one day be used to minimize heart problems for pre-teen and adolescent boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Since Viagra, also known as sildenafil, was approved for erectile dysfunction in 1998, researchers have identified a number of other conditions that benefit from the "little blue pill," such as pulmonary hypertension, heart problems in severely premature infants, and decreased circulation in patients with gangrene.  New research suggests it might even help treat prostate cancer.

Now, Viagra has the potential to become a heart helper for young boys who are just beginning to suffer from cardiac degeneration due to Duchenne muscular dystrophy, or DMD.

Using mice bred to mimic DMD, researchers found that treatment with Viagra was able to normalize abnormal heart function in these mice within a few days.  When given to mice that had not yet shown cardiac symptoms, the drug also appeared to delay the onset of cardiac symptoms.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a degenerative, muscle-wasting disease that usually affects young boys, though girls can be carriers of the disease.  It causes progressive muscle weakness and loss, usually confining patients to a wheelchair by around age ten.  It often leads to death before the age of 30.  In later stages, degeneration of the diaphragm and heart can lead to potentially fatal breathing complications and heart failure.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct042010

Research Shows Viagra Could Help Treat Prostate Cancer

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(RICHMOND, Va.) -- Viagra could potentially help men outside of the bedroom.  Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and VCU Massey Cancer Center have shown that when combined with Doxorubicin, an anti-cancer chemotherapy drug, the little blue pill can effectively treat prostate cancer.  They say the mixture of both drugs reduced the size of tumors in lab mice, while simultaneously alleviating heart damage.

A downside of Doxorubicin is that it has been linked to irreversible heart damage.  Viagra, generically known as sildenafil, could be the solution to protect against heart damage, without compromising the anti-cancer drug's effectiveness.

"We believe sildenafil could be an excellent candidate for incorporation into cancer treatment protocols with the potential of enhancing the anti-tumor efficacy, while protecting the heart against both short-term and long-term damage from doxorubicin," said principal investigator, Dr. Rakesh C. Kukreja, in a news release.  He added, "My team and I are hoping to move the research forward to a clinical trial and plans are under way to do so.  The clinical trial would evaluate the effectiveness of the drug combination in cancer patients."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct012010

Viagra Doesn't Work for Half of Those Who Have It Prescribed

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BRITAIN) -- Doctors say Viagra isn't effective for half the men who take the drug.  Britain's Daily Mail reports many men who are prescribed the little blue pill have low levels of testosterone.  The drug alone does nothing to treat this.  In fact, Viagra works by enhancing the effects of nitric oxide.  This chemical doesn't function unless a person taking the pill already has high levels of testosterone.

"Viagra will only work if there are sufficient levels of testosterone. Often men with low testosterone levels won't feel like sex at all," says Dr. Geoffrey Hackett, a consultant urologist at Good Hope hospital in Birmingham, England and former chairman of the British Society for Sexual Medicine.  "They will get repeat prescriptions for Viagra in the hope that it will eventually work. Everybody thinks that Viagra is the panacea for all sexual problems; it's not," he adds.

Low levels of testosterone, which affect 40 percent of men over the age of 40, can be detected with a simple blood test.  Once the condition is confirmed, treatment can commence with testosterone pills, patches or gels.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep282010

Viagra for Prostate Cancer?  

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- An increasing number of drugs are being prescribed "off-label" after being approved for one use and proving to be useful for something else.  Off-label use of medicines accounts for about one-fifth of all prescriptions, according to a past study in the New England Journal of Medicine.  Viagra, for example, is a triple threat -- it's most commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction and is FDA-approved to treat pulmonary hypertension, but it can also be used to increase blood flow as a way to avoid amputations. And now, researchers may have found yet another use for the extremely popular drug: to help treat prostate cancer when used in combination with another cancer drug. There are other drugs that perform double duty, including a skin cancer cream used to smooth out your facial wrinkles, a baldness drug to protect against prostate cancer, and a drug for enlarged prostate and possibly prostate cancer that may stop baldness.  Many of these off-label uses meet with controversy and questions about their value, particularly since the FDA has not yet approved the uses.  As a result, drug companies cannot advertise off-label uses.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio








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