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 Viagra Drug May Boost Exercise Capacity in Pulmonary Fibrosi

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PostSubject: Viagra Drug May Boost Exercise Capacity in Pulmonary Fibrosi   Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:50 pm

Viagra Drug May Boost Exercise Capacity in Pulmonary Fibrosis Patients




LOS ANGELES, CA -- March 12, 2007 -- UCLA researchers have found that
Viagra may help patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.



Published in the March issue of the journal Chest, the research shows
that more than half of the patients treated with Viagra (Sildenafil)
improved their walking distance by at least 20% during a standard test
to measure lung function.



"Over five million worldwide suffer from this devastating disease, so
we are hopeful that this drug may prove an effective therapy for
pulmonary fibrosis," said the study's principal investigator, David A.
Zisman, MD, medical director of UCLA's Interstitial Lung Disease
Program and assistant professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine
at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.



Many patients with pulmonary fibrosis also have pulmonary hypertension.
According to Zisman, Sildenafil may help breathing by opening or
dilating blood vessels to allow more blood flow to the lungs.



In this pilot study, 14 idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients
initially took a standard six-minute walking test. All patients were
then given oral Sildenafil therapy for three months, followed by a
second walking test to gauge performance changes.



Researchers noted that 57% of the patients improved their walking
distance by 20% or more. The average improvement in walking distance
was 49 meters (161 feet).



Eleven patients completed the study. Only two patients experienced side
effects and had to stop the medication one due to diarrhea and the
other due to abnormally low blood pressure.



"In this small pilot study, the drug was well-tolerated," said Zisman.
"The next step is to confirm this finding in a large, randomized
clinical trial."



The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.
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