10 facts to know about Viagra (for both male and female)

 

Viagra, a drug to treat erectile dysfunction among men, is often misunderstood by some people as a drug to improve sex drive among males which is not true.

The drug’s effectiveness on sexual dysfunction of women was not very clear but it was always considered to be a male centric drug.

Ever since the drug came into market, experts and feminists have been rooting for a drug to treat sexual problems of women.

A big breakthrough came on August 18 when US drug authorities approved Addyi, a prescription drug to treat women suffering from a lack of sexual desire.

Here are 10 interesting facts about both male and female Viagra:

1- Developed by Pfizer, the drug (for male) is originally named sildenafil citrate and Viagra is just its trade name.

2- The primary indication of Viagra is treatment of erectile dysfunction among men and it does not increase or affect sexual desires.

3- It acts by inhibiting cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5), an enzyme that promotes degradation of cGMP, which regulates blood flow in the male genitals. In other words, Viagra increases blood flow to male genitals.

4- The drug is not used only to treat erectile dysfunction but is also effective in treating pulmonary arterial hypertension, a rare disease of lungs.

5- It was initially studied for use in hypertension (high blood pressure) and angina pectoris (a symptom of ischaemic heart disease) but researchers found that it had little effect on angina. It was found that the drug could induce marked penile erections instead by increasing blood flow to genitals.

6- The drug was patented in 1996, approved for use in erectile dysfunction by the United States FDA on March 27, 1998.

7- The drug is patented in almost all countries all over the world. Pfizer’s patent on the drug expired in some countries of Europe including Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Switzerland in 2013.

8- India has its own line of Viagras as the patent rules do not apply in the country and pharma companies have their own generic product. Kamagra (Ajanta Pharma), Silagra (Cipla), Edegra (Sun Pharmaceutical), Penegra (Zydus Cadila), and Zenegra (Alkem Laboratories) are some of the variants of Viagra in India.

9- A new drug Addyi to treat lack of sexual desire among females has been developed by Sprout Pharmaceuticals that will be available in US markets from October. This drug is also referred to as ‘female viagra’.

10- Known as flibanserin, Addyi acts on brain chemicals associated with mood and appetite, similar to antidepressant drugs. The drug was originally studied as a treatment for depression before being repurposed into a libido drug.

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