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Viagra May Alleviate Priapism in Sickle Cell, Other Patients

Long-term treatment may help phosphodiesterase-5 dysregulation that causes priapism

WEDNESDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term treatment with phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors such as sildenafil (Viagra) or other drugs may help alleviate recurrent priapism due to sickle cell disease or unknown causes, according to a report in the May issue of Urology.

Arthur L. Burnett, M.D., and colleagues from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, administered sildenafil or tadalafil to four men with recurring priapism due to sickle cell disease (three patients) or idiopathic conditions (one patient).

Two of the men took a 5-mg oral dose of tadalafil three times weekly, and the others took sildenafil (50-mg oral dosage). The treatment was effective in all cases, allowing patients to regain erectile function and alleviating priapism recurrences.

"These observations support the hypothesis that phosphodiesterase-5 dysregulation exerts a pathogenic role for priapism associated with hematologic dyscrasias, as well as idiopathic priapism," Burnett and colleagues conclude.

Burnett has been a speaker for Pfizer, Lilly/ICOS and other companies.

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