Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Viva Lovey-Dovey Viagra!

According to a University of Wisconsin-Madison physiology professor, Meyer Jackson, Viagra and other erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs "could be doing more than just affecting erectile dysfunction." Namely, Viagra increases the release of oxytocin, a key reproductive hormone (see press release here).

Sometimes called the "love hormone" or "cuddle chemical," oxytocin plays several important roles in social interactions and reproduction, including triggering uterine contractions and lactation. It is also released during orgasm and has been linked to sexual arousal.

No, this study was NOT funded by Pfizer, GSK, or Bayer, all of which market ED drugs. It was funded by NIH.

Jackson discovered this phenom in rats, measuring oxytocin released from rat pituitaries in response to neural stimulation. When the pituitaries were treated with sildenafil, they responded to the stimulation by releasing three times as much oxytocin as they did without the drug.
Sidebar: Sing the praises of these rats sacrificed for the betterment of man (and, by "man," I mean men, not women). To measure oxytocin release, researches must cut off the heads of the rats and mash their brains. A long time ago, I worked in a brain chemistry research lab guillotining many a rat. So I know how these things are done!
Furthering the Viva Viagra Cause!
"I hope that this doesn't cause some wild orgy of inappropriate recreational use," said Jackson.

Now why would you worry about that, Dr. Jackson? Perhaps because Pfizer's latest Viva Viagra DTC campaign (see "Viva Viagra Ad is No Cure for Morte Sales") has put the issue of recreational use on the front burner once again?
"Pfizer has been an outlier in shamelessly promoting Viagra as a party drug," said Michael Weinstein, the president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "All those Sin City references, everything associated with Vegas, that is what they want the association to be. It's not about a medical condition, it's about performance anxiety" (see "Pfizer Sings 'Viva Viagra' to Boost Sales of Its Drug").
Regarding limp ED sales, once the buzz about this study gets going, could we see an uptick in Viagra sales? If so, will Pfizer claim that its new DTC campaign is responsible?

Importantly, the drug had little if any effect on hormone release in the absence of stimulation. Interesting. What about self-stimulation while on Viagra or Cialis? Would that increase one's oxytocin levels and thereby increase one's affection for one-self? Inquiring minds want to know.

But any increase in lovey-dovey feelings induced by Viagra may be short-lived: "instead of (oxytocin levels) coming down in a minute or two, they stay up a little longer," said Jackson.

Maybe long enough for men to utter the words "I love you" after the act. Which may or may not be a good thing if chemically induced!

1 comment:

  1. Maybe long enough for men to utter the words "I love you" after the act. Which may or may not be a good thing if chemically induced!

    Lol :)

    ReplyDelete