Viagra Improves Exercise Capacity in Lung Patients

Small study shows 59 percent of patients increase distance in six-minute walk test

WEDNESDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- Sildenafil may help improve exercise capacity in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, according to a short report in the March issue of Chest.

David A. Zisman, M.D., of the University of California Los Angeles, and colleagues examined exercise capacity in 14 patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis before and after three months of open-label sildenafil therapy using the six-minute walk test. Patients were given 20 to 50 mg sildenafil three times a day.

The mean improvement in walking distance in the 11 patients who completed both walk tests was 49 meters. When including all patients, the researchers classified 57 percent of the group as "responders," meaning they showed improvement of walking distance of 20 percent over baseline or greater.

"Based on the results of this study, we believe sildenafil is a promising therapy for patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary arterial hypertension," the authors write. "The results of this study should be confirmed in a large, randomized, placebo-controlled trial."

Abstract
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