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The Drug That Blinds May Treat Heart Problems Too

Viagra -- the impotence drug responsible for blinding patients -- could be used one day soon to treat heart failure, based on a Johns Hopkins study.

This latest news comes on the heels of previous work that found Viagra reversed the damage done by hypertrophy, a condition in which heart muscles are weakened by heart failure and enlargement, in mice.

To approximate heart problems, 35 healthy men and women were injected twice with dobutamine (a drug that increases one's heart rate and pumping strength) over three hours. In between the dobutamine injections, patients were given a placebo or Viagra. Scientists found Viagra had slowed heartbeats in those who took it by 50 percent.

This "good news" has led researchers to test Viagra's effectiveness further in a clinical trial on patients with heart failure. Unfortunately, folks, this is a great "real world" example of how conventional medicine will throw drugs at a condition in a vain attempt to "cure" it at the drop of a hat, and ignore safer, better treatments.

In fact, one of the more effective treatments for heart disease is exercise. That costs you and your body nothing more than the time you put into it, and, certainly, not your eyesight.

Besides, if erectile dysfunction drugs were really safe, Public Citizen probably wouldn't be asking the FDA to add black-box labels to Viagra, Cialis and Levitra, warning potential victims about their risk of non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) -- sudden vision loss when blood flow to the optic nerve is blocked.

Yahoo News October 24, 2005

Circulation, Vol. 112, No. 17, October 25, 2005: 2642-2649

Yahoo News October 21, 2005

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