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Over-The-Counter Viagra

Push for over-the-counter Viagra - the pills that treat impotence.

The anti-impotence pill Viagra could be available as an over-the-counter drug, it is reported.
The drug's maker Pfizer says it is considering submiting an application to European regulatory authorities to clear it for sale in pharmacies.

It is estimated that over 127 million men have already used the little blue pill for erectile dysfunction on prescription.

Medics said a change would be welcome but might mean other linked diseases were missed with no health check ups.

Ups and downs

Often, men with erectile dysfunction have underlying health problems such as diabetes, which can be spotted by their GP at the time they come for an anti-impotence prescription.

"If men can buy Viagra and rival anti-impotence drugs over-the-counter without a prescription, this opportunity is missed," said Dr David Ralph from the Institute of Urology at University College London.

But there would be benefits too, he said, such as combating the problem of Viagra sold illegally on the internet from unknown sources, which may be fake and if taken with some medicines could be fatal.

He said it would be safe to buy over-the-counter provided the pharmacist did the necessary checks to ensure the medication was suitable for the patient.

Embarrassment factor

It might also be a more attractive option to men as going to see the GP about sexual problems can be embarrassing, he added.

But he cautioned: "There is more to sexual relations than an erection. There may be other problems."

Viagra works by relaxing the blood vessels in the penis. This allows blood to flow into the penis causing an erection.

However, the drug is not an aphrodisiac and does not increase sex drive.

It is licensed only as a treatment for men who have been diagnosed by a doctor as having impotence.

WARNING

Also, some men, such as those with severe heart disease or low blood pressure, should avoid it because of possible risks and side effects.

Viagra for Women

Recent releases of a "viagra for women" product have proved to be less than effective and ultimately withdrawn as a marketed product.

Viagra is not currently licensed for use in women and its safety in women has not been established.

Indeed, female sexual dysfunction seems to be psychologically - rather than physically - rooted. Generally speaking, men are visually stimulated while women are emotionally stimulated.

"What the genitals are doing may play a less important role in how a woman defines her sexual arousal," says Cindy Meston, assistant professor of clinical psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. "I don't think there will ever be an aphrodisiac that will make women want to have sex all the time."

Viagra is designed to increase blood flow to the genitals. Viagra works well for many men who suffer with impotence - or erectile dysfunction - because it's considered a physical - rather than an emotional - problem. That's not to say that Viagra can't "restore function" for women, says Dr. Myron Murdoch, clinical instructor of urology at George Washington Medical School. It can for some who have lubrication problems, but it's not for all women.

While Viagra-like drugs may help the 10-20 percent of women reported to have difficulties with lubrication (blood flow to the female genitals increase lubrication), it's unknown to what degree such drugs would help the 43 percent of women with sexual dysfunction who either say they're uninterested in sex or that sex provides little pleasure.

Viagra Spray

Currently and despite speculation there were no plans to pursue a spray version of the drug. More on Viagra Australia

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