Study: Viagra use unlikely to trigger heart attacks

BY admin

August 26 2005 12:00 AM ET

Men who take
Viagra to overcome erectile difficulties do not increase
their short-term risk of having a heart attack, a review of
clinical trials indicates. The finding is
“consistent with the growing body of
evidence” demonstrating the cardiovascular safety of
Viagra (known generically as sildenafil), Murray A.
Mittleman of Harvard Medical School and colleagues
note in the American Journal of Cardiology.

There have been
isolated reports of heart attacks occurring with Viagra
use, but until now no controlled analyses have been
published, according to the team.

In the first
large-scale study to look at this issue, Mittleman’s
group analyzed the risk of a heart attack within six
and 24 hours after taking Viagra among 9,317 men
enrolled in 80 international clinical trials from 1993
to 2000. A total of 69 heart attacks were recorded, but only
22 of these occurred within 24 hours of Viagra use.
This suggests that “the absolute risk for
[heart attack] temporally associated with sildenafil,
and presumably sexual activity, is small, even in men with
erectile dysfunction,” the investigators write.

The study was
funded by Pfizer, maker of Viagra.

Some studies have
shown that gay men are more likely to try or to
regularly use Viagra than their heterosexual peers. Viagra
is also often used in conjunction with such club drugs
as ecstasy and crystal methamphetamine to better
enable users to maintain erections and engage in sex,
frequently with multiple partners. (Reuters, with additional
reporting by Advocate.com)

Tags: Health

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