April 27, 2009

Topical Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Could Rival Viagra

Scientists in the United States have produced a study indicating a new generation of anti-impotency drugs that are rubbed into the skin could prove more effective than traditional pill-based medications like Viagra.

The new technique involves tiny objects called nanoparticles that were rubbed onto rats which researchers believe could also be used to help humans.

The nanoparticles are applied directly to the problem area and absorbed directly into the skin, releasing the anti-erectile chemical nitric oxide.

Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York presented the results to the American Urological Association (AUA) today.

Ira D. Sharlip of the AUA called it a "very interesting" concept.

He said the results have the potential to impact treatment of many conditions, including erectile dysfunction, if it can be translated from the animal lab to clinical practice.

The study showed that five of the seven rats treated with the nanoparticles showed signs of arousal and experts say the new treatment would likely have fewer side effects than Viagra, which is taken orally and been shown to cause headaches and facial flushing.

The team also stated that nanoparticle therapy could work much more quickly than Viagra, which sometimes takes up to an hour to become effective.

"The results showed the potential for "nano-medicines," said Kelvin Davies of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, who oversaw the research.

He said the nanoparticles could facilitate transport of erectogenic agents, localizing the therapeutic impact without the potential consequences due to systemic absorption.

The researchers filled the nanoparticles with nitric oxide, a chemical that occurs naturally in the body where it makes blood vessels expand and fill with blood.

Sharlip said premature ejaculation is one of the most common sexual dysfunctions in men, occurring in 20-30 percent of men of all ages.

He is hopeful for an effective, patient-friendly treatment for such a distressing problem.

"This new topical spray has a number of characteristics that will be attractive to patients with premature ejaculation," he said.


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