Viagra and heart disease

20 October 2014        

Lab gear

Viagra could be used as an effective treatment in men with early stage heart failure and cardiac hypertrophy according to a new study.

Italian researchers analysed data from 24 clinical trials to assess whether or not the main ingredient in viagra – phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor – could have a protective effect on the heart.

The findings showed a daily dose of the blue pill prevented the heart from increasing in size in patients with left ventricular hypertrophy – a condition which causes thickening of the muscle in the bottom left chamber of the heart.

Researchers found that regular doses of viagra also improved the pumping action of the heart, suggesting it could be used to treat early stage heart failure in men.

Maureen Talbot, our Senior Cardiac Nurse, said: “Often in medicine, drugs which are used to treat one ailment can have side effects that make it an effective treatment for other conditions.

“Viagra is already a prime example of this. But this study suggests it has the potential to be put to another use – treating early stage heart failure and cardiac hypertrophy.

“But we shouldn’t get too excited too quickly. Large randomised controlled trials are needed on both men and women to support this study’s findings before it could be recommended to heart patients.”