Clinical Studies on Uses of Sildenafil

Sildenafil is primarily prescribed to be used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) in men. ED is the inability of men to get a penile erection and/or maintain it. This condition severely affects the sex life of men as well as their spouses and partners.

Millions of men in the U.S. are ED sufferers and 25 percent of men aged 65 and up have impotence problems. Some of the physical and psychological causes of ED are depression, spinal cord injury, diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and artherosclerosis. Impotence is also a result of vascular, nerve or tissue damage to the penis. The condition is also a side effect of several prescription drugs such as antidepressants, beta blockers, appetite suppressants, antihistamines, antipsychotics, antihypertensive, diuretics, cimetidine, tranquilizers and finasteride.

Investigational Uses and Effectiveness:

A 2002 study of Hispanic and African American men showed that Sildenafil is both effective and safe to be used across different ethnic and racial groups in the United States.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland have discovered that the drug provides other clinical benefits to diabetics, other than treating ED. Results from animal studies showed that the drug has a relaxant effect on the pyloric muscle of stomach, thus enhancing digestion and relieving gastroparesis symptoms. The report noted that 75 percent of diabetics were suffering from gastroparesis, a condition that causes nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and bloating.

The drug has been approved for use in men, and not in women. However, there were clinical studies that showed that Sildenafil may help relieve female sexual dysfunction. In one study, both male and female subjects reported to have improved arousal and satisfactory sexual experience when they started taking the drug. There were also studies which indicated that the drug may help significantly in improving arousal and libido in women who were ingesting selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRI).

The possible use of the drug to treat infertility in women is also studied. Vaginal suppositories that contain Sildenafil have been proven effective to be used by women who experienced repeated unsuccessful in vitro fertilization (IVF) because of poor tissue development in the uterus. In one study, thickening of the uterine lining were observed in 70 percent of female subjects, with successful embryo implantation on 29 percent of the subjects and 45 percent getting pregnant.

Other medical uses of Sildenafil include disorders caused by defective nitric oxide production such as esophageal motility dysfunction. A 2000 study showed that the drug works by relaxing the muscles in the lower esophageal.

Despite the need for further human studies to evaluate other medical benefits of Sildenafil, there is no argument that the drug is considered as a miracle pill by men with ED.