You may be surprised to know that the medication is used for more than just treating male sexual desire disorder. Lung diseases that have poor prognoses can be treated with it.

The drug Sildenafil works by blocking thephosphatase.

The drug helps smooth muscles relax and dilate blood vessels. vasodilation is the last effect.

The penis and the lungs have more blood flow to them, as a result of vasodilation.

Lung diseases

There are lung diseases that can be helped by the vasodilation caused by Viagra.

There are people living with PAH who have chronic cough. Many other organs can be affected by PAH and IPF.

PAH is caused by elevated pressure in the arteries of the lung which were designed for lower pressures. One or two individuals are affected by it each year.

There are between two and 29 people per 100,000 who develop IPF. It happens due to chronic lung problems.

Doctors and researchers don't fully understand why diseases start and progress because they don't have a clear cause.

Despite our best treatments, both diseases get worse over time. There is always a desire to find more effective treatments.

Evidence for sildenafil in PAH

In Canada, the use of Viagra in PAH is approved. Several high-quality randomized controlled trials have shown its efficacy to improve exercise capacity and symptom burden

There is no difference between Viagra and Revatio except that patients take Revatio three times per day in smaller amounts.

The evidence for multiple PAH treatments has been synthesised. We looked at combinations of drugs in the same class, such as Viagra, with another commonly used PAH medication.

There was a reduction in the number of worsening events compared to placebo. The markers of exercise capacity were improved by 50 meters.

Evidence for sildenafil in IPF

There have been few randomized controlled trials, which are considered to be the gold standard of evidence, when it comes to the use of the drug.

Four trials have looked at its use. If more trials were completed, the benefits would become apparent, according to a meta-analysis.

There is a lack of data that led the European Respiratory Society and American Thoracic Society to recommend against using the drug in IPF.

Treprostinil showed promise in patients with combined interstitial lung disease, an umbrella term of lung diseases that includes IPF. Patients with diagnosed interstitial lung disease were the ones who saw the greatest effect.

This shows the potential for drugs to help manage IPF.

Why this matters

Re-purposing drugs like Viagra for conditions like PAH is a good idea.

It costs a lot to develop new drugs. Viagra's side-effect profile is well-known in the medical community, so there are more concerns about safety with new drugs.

If you have a condition that makes you susceptible to hypotension or take specific anti-high blood pressure medications, you should avoid taking the drug. There are other common side effects.

While it isn't the magic pill for all lung diseases, it is clear that it has promising uses.

Tyler Pitre is an internal medicine physician at McMaster University, as well as an assistant professor of health research methods evidence and impact and anesthesiology at the university.

Under a Creative Commons license, this article is re-posted. The original article is worth a read.