VlAGRA without the wait: Anti-impotence lotion that offers instant results and no side-effects
Scientists are developing a cream that promises to be faster acting than VlAGRA but without the side effects.
The lotion is said to produce almost instant results, unlike anti-impotence tablets which can take 30 minutes to an hour before taking effect.
Erectile dysfunction affects about one in ten men in the UK, with 70 per cent of the cases having physical causes and the remaining 30 per cent attributed to psychological factors.
Scientists are developing a lotion said to produce almost instant results, unlike anti-impotence tablets which can take 30 minutes to an hour before taking effect
The secret of VlAGRA, and other drugs in the same class, is that they allow blood to flow more freely by helping arteries to relax. They do this by blocking the effects of an enzyme called phosphodiesterase type 5.
But these so-called phosphodiesterase inhibitors are known to cause side effects ranging from headaches to vision problems and more serious complications.
Men who have previously suffered a stroke or a heart attack are warned to take the medication with caution.
And the drugs are not always effective, with one in three men reporting that they do not work. Now a team of researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University, New York, believe they have the answer.
They have developed a way to deliver the drugs straight to the affected area with nanoparticles, naked to the human eye, contained in a lotion.
In tests, performed on rats, the new delivery method has proven successful in nine out of ten cases.
However scientists believe it will take ten years before the drug is available on the market.
Kelvin P Davies, co-author of the study, published in the journal Sexual Health, said: 'The response time to the nanoparticles was very short, just a few minutes, which is basically what people want from erectile dysfunction medicine.'
There are currently three licensed drugs in the UK for treatment of erectile dysfunction: VlAGRA, Cialis and Levitra. Health Service-prescriptions for impotence drugs are offered only to those whose problem is caused by medical conditions such as prostate cancer, diabetes or multiple sclerosis.
Others have to buy them for around £55 a packet. VlAGRA, the trailblazer, was initially tested as a treatment for angina and high blood pressure in the 1990s, when clinical trials revealed its potential as a cure for impotence.
Manufactured by Pfizer, it went on the market in 1998 and the company estimates nearly a million UK men have been prescribed it.
Two years ago it became available in high street pharmacies, to save the blushes of men too embarrassed to ask for a prescription from their GP