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4 Bizarre Real-Life Medical Uses of Viagra

Viagra isn’t just for erections anymore. Sildenafil citrate, the active ingredient in Pfizer’s little blue pill, has proved invaluable in the treatment of ailments other than erectile dysfunction.

Viagra (sildenafil citrate) has spent more than two decades in the medicine cabinets of men, extending their sex lives and rejuvenating suffering relationships. But the iconic little blue pill is used for a host of other maladies as well. Want to see the power of Vitamin V?

Here’s our roundup of four surprising medical uses for Viagra above and beyond the one for which Pfizer developed it.

1. Athletic Performance Enhancement: There’s a new doping suspect on the scene, and it’s called Viagra. Since Viagra works by temporarily optimizing blood flow, some athletes wondered whether the drug might not increase their oxygen capacity, thereby enhancing athletic performance. Armed with this insight, it didn’t take long for Viagra to hit the sports scene.

It is also thought that Viagra can give the advantage of performing at “sea level capacity” while an athlete is in a higher altitude. This may give teams or athletes visiting a high altitude location (such as Denver) restored capacity, or, in some athletes’ eyes, an equal playing field.

While the jury remains out on whether Viagra offers a significant performance advantage, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is currently funding a number of research projects to examine the effects of Viagra at various altitudes. At this point, Viagra is not on the WADA’s banned list.

2. Jet Lag: If you’re a hamster traveling eastward across time zones, Viagra might be for you!

Could Viagra help relieve jet lag?

Lab studies have found that hamsters given an injection of sildenafil, along with a 15-minute simulation of light, were able to adjust their internal clocks by six hours in roughly half the time of hamsters that did not receive the treatment.

 

Scientists believe that since humans and mammals have similar daily cycles, there is no reason to believe these same results wouldn’t translate into people as well. Follow-up studies would need to be done on rats, mice and eventually humans in a lab setting – as well as humans in real-life – to prove Viagra’s effectiveness on jet lag, but there are likely plenty of frequent flyers who would be thrilled to give it a try.

The drawbacks to using Viagra for jet lag is obviously an, ahem, interesting situation for the traveler during the flight (sure would hate to be the TSA attendant patting down that traveler), the fact that this therapy only works when flying eastward through time zones (as in losing time versus gaining time) and figuring out the exact time to take the medication as well as the most effective dosage. Since Viagra has been heavily studied for safety and effectiveness, doctors think setting up a clinical trial should be quite straightforward. Anyone want to volunteer for that trial?

Viagra may hold hope for MS patients.

3. Multiple sclerosis: MS is caused when the sheath that protects the nerves in the brain is attacked and damaged by one’s own immune system. The results can include reduced blood flow in the brain. Scientists believe that Viagra can increase blood flow to these areas and perhaps build up gray matter in those suffering from MS.

While there are no definitive answers yet, this theory holds promise to the medical industry and those suffering from MS.

4. Avoiding Amputation: Again, Viagra’s blood flow-enhancing mechanism saves the day! Potential amputees may be able to avoid the death (and loss) of their parts by using Viagra, which stimulates blood flow to the affected area and helps it thrive and regenerate.

As per many off-label uses, extensive studies have yet to be conducted, and the discretion of the attending physician is key.

It’s exciting to see how far Vitamin V has come in its short life. We suspect we’ll see lots of other indications for this drug (or at the very least, a mounting number of off-label uses) in the years ahead. Stay tuned!

And for men who simply need Viagra or another ED drug to overcome their symptoms of ED, longtime facilitator eDrugstore.com has got you covered. Based in Tempe, Arizona, and in business since the late 1990s, eDrugstore offers a full range of ED medications, including brand-name and generic products. To learn more, visit its Erectile Dysfunction page.

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