August 24, 2005

Viagra unlikely to trigger heart attack-study

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - 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), Dr. Murray A. Mittleman from
Harvard Medical School in Boston 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 6
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, Inc., maker of Viagra.

SOURCE: American Journal of Cardiology, August 1, 2005.