2 Surprising Ways Viagra Is Used In Non-ED Cases

The “little blue pill” made history by being the first phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitor approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). This is a major breakthrough for the roughly 100 million men worldwide who have experienced its symptoms at one point or another.  

But did you know that Viagra (sildenafil) also has other uses outside of ED treatment? Yes, there are several uses, many presently being applied and many more being studied, that surprise even those who use it as part of their ED treatment plan.

Lung Development in Premature Babies

Babies born before their 37th week of gestation are considered premature, a condition that presents a wide range of challenges for healthcare professionals. Premature babies have higher risks of severe or long-term health issues, such as physical defects and/or mental retardation, because their bodies weren’t as developed as they should have been while in the womb.

Preterm babies are typically born with a pair of immature lungs, thus, putting them at greater risk of respiratory illnesses and distress. Doctors may use tiny doses of sildenafil to expand the blood vessels inside these babies’ lungs and to reduce their pressure. The babies’ lungs can then function more efficiently that, in turn, can speed up their weaning from a ventilator.  

Adjunct Treatment for Raynaud’s Syndrome

Sildenafil works in erectile dysfunction by increasing blood circulation to the penis. Keep in mind that penile erection is partly a matter of the penile blood vessels filling up with blood and holding it in its chambers until such time orgasm is achieved.

Doctors then use sildenafil as an adjunct treatment in Raynaud’s syndrome, a medical condition wherein blood vessels become narrower than usual as a response to emotional stress and/or environmental cold. The most commonly affected areas of the body are the fingers and toes, which usually loses their normal color and sensations during an attack. The condition can also cause excruciating pain in most patients, most of whom are women as well as men who live in cold climates.  

By prescribing sildenafil, among other similar drugs, doctors can help their patients with Raynaud’s syndrome reduce the severity, duration and frequency of their attacks. The drug, after all, works by increasing blood circulation to the body’s extremities including the toes and fingers.  

In both cases, a doctor’s prescription is a must. Sildenafil may have its positive uses but like all drugs, its abuse and misuse can cause side effects and complications, which may outweigh its benefits.  

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