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Viagra, Cialis do not damage eyesight

Tuesday, April 14, 2009, 14:31 This news item was posted in Pharma category and has 6 Comments so far.

 

Sexual impotence pills sildenafil and tadalafil do no damage to eyesight, finds study.

Viagra and Cialis –the common drugs prescribed for men having erectile dysfunction or sexual impotence, do not cause any damage to eyesight, according to a new study.

Healthy men who took Cialis or Viagra daily for six months did not develop any significant vision problems, the study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology.

Pfizer’s Viagra (sildenafil) and Eli Lilly’s Cialis (tadalafil)  pills have long been linked to  blue-tinged vision ore even permanent damage to eyes of the men using them.

Viagra and Cialis can cause changes in light perception right away that clear a few hours later, said Raj Maturi, an author of the Lilly-funded research and an ophthalmologist at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis.

The study in Viagra and Cialis users found no evidence of permanent visual changes in patients who took the drugs every day for six months, Maturi said.

“The average patient should be relieved these drugs don’t cause significant visual dysfunction,” Maturi stated.  “And he can be comfortable taking them in the long-term.”

The chemicals in Viagra  and Cialis act on compounds in the blood vessels of the penis, allowing for more blood flow that can lead to an erection, according to background information in the article. Similar compounds exist in the eye.

Researchers examined 244 men, ages 30 to 65, using a test that measured the electrical impulses from their eyes, as well as comprehensive ophthalmologic exams. A third of the patients took Viagra, a third took Cialis and a third took a placebo.

The men underwent comprehensive eye exams, including electroretinography, a test to measure the electrical response of the light-sensitive cells in the eye, before, during and after treatment.

Each patient visited the examiners six times, and were screened before the study began, halfway through the study, and twice after the study was over.

The exams turned up no cases of a rare optic nerve disease that can cause vision loss in one eye, the authors wrote. The ailment, called non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy, is caused by lowered blood pressure. A European advisory panel said in 2006 that people with the disorder shouldn’t take erectile-dysfunction drugs.

The study didn’t aim to find cases of the disease, Maturi said.

The research was done in healthy men, some of whom had mild erectile dysfunction, Maturi said. The results may not apply to patients with diabetes, who may be more sensitive to lowered blood pressure that could damage the optic nerve.

Among the 194 men who completed the study, the researchers found no significant differences between treatment and placebo groups on electroretinography, visual function tests, measurements of pressure within the eyeball or assessments of the anatomy of the eye.

“Our results indicate that there is no cumulative damage or effect of clinical significance,” for the studied doses of either drug, the researchers wrote in the Archives of Ophthalmology.

They said their study was limited because the doses used were lower than some other studies that did find retinal changes. And they said the results could not be generalized to men with eye problems, who were excluded from the study.

About 6.2 percent of U.S. men are unable to achieve an erection, with rates rising to 16.7 percent in ages 60 to 69, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Indianapolis-based Lilly sponsored the study. Eli Lilly also helped design the research, collect the data and prepare the manuscript. Viagra had sales of 1.9 billion last year for Pfizer, based in New York. Cialis revenue was $1.2 billion for Lilly.

However, the study did not evaluate Bayer AG’s Levitra or vardenafil, a similar drug.

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6 Responses to “Viagra, Cialis do not damage eyesight”

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