Erectile dysfunction drug cures heart disease
A drug used to treat erectile dysfunction and pulmonary hypertension, can help children and young adults with congenital heart disease to better tolerate exercise.
The researchers hypothesised that a single oral dose (50 mg) of sildenafil (Viagra) would improve exercise capacity and exercise haemodynamics in patients with chronic systolic heart failure. To test this hypothesis, researchers randomised 28 children and young adults of New York who had undergone surgery for complex birth defects of the heart an average of 11 years earlier to receive either placebo or sildenafil three times a day for 6 weeks.
Significant improvements were found in exercise performance during treatment with sildenafil compared to placebo. The findings included improved ventilatory efficiency and, in two subgroups of patients, an improved ability to perform moderate levels of exercise. These changes suggest an overall improvement in the physiology associated with this unique circulation.
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