Everyone has heard of sildenafil and how it is used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). But few people are aware of the other beneficial effects and uses for this medication.
Sildenafil was originally tested for heart problems and in particular, chest pain. Sildenafil works as a vasodilator (in other words, it widens the blood vessels) and it had modest results for treatment of chest pain. Patients during testing experienced the unexpected “side effect” of improved erections. The focus then turned to treatment of erectile dysfunction.
2 Billion Sold
It was released in 1998 after FDA approval to treat ED and almost two billion pills were sold in the first 10 years. Now, sildenafil is used in smaller doses (20mg) to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension and lower urinary tract symptoms. Further studies are showing benefits with a host of orders: urology benefit, relief of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), treatment of bladder disorders, pulmonary hemodynamics, neurology, rheumatology and for Raynaud’s phenomenon.
In addition, studies of sildenafil are now giving researchers data that may benefit the heart. The class of drugs has shown increased cardiac output because it improves diastolic relaxation. It allows the heart’s ventricles to achieve better filling with blood before contraction. Isn’t it exciting that sildenafil is used to make love and it actually goes back to the heart!