Viagra Ingredient Helps Blood Pressure Disorder

Rare condition can destroy heart

WEDNESDAY, June 8, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- The active ingredient in the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat a dangerous form of high blood pressure called pulmonary hypertension.

The new drug, to be called Revatio, contains sildenafil, the ingredient that relaxes blood vessels among users of Viagra. The 20 mg. dose of Revatio, to be taken three times daily, is cumulatively higher than the daily formulation for Viagra, the Associated Press reported.

Pulmonary hypertension, though rare, can destroy the heart. Another oral treatment, Tracleer, was approved in 2001.

In clinical trials, people who took Revatio reported side effects similar to those of Viagra, including headache and flushing.

The Revatio approval came on the heels of last week's reports that the FDA is investigating whether Viagra and similar impotence drugs may contribute to a rare form of blindness.

For more information about pulmonary hypertension, visit the Pulmonary Hypertension Association.

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