The drug Viagra which is used in the treatment of male erectile dysfunction is found to improve blood circulation and reduces the symptoms in patients with Raynaud's phenomenon.
Raynaud's phenomenon is a disease condition in which there is a poor blood circulation due to presence of spasms in the small blood vessels of the hands and feet in response to cold or stress which results in poor circulation of blood and pain. Raynaud's phenomenon which causes poor circulation can also lead to ulceration or tissue death in the toes and fingers.
The drug Viagra is a phosphodiesterase (PDE)-5 inhibitor that alters the function of blood circulation in small blood vessels leading to the treatment of male erectile dysfunction and also used for improving blood circulation in heart diseases.
Professor Roland Fries and Colleagues have published the results of the study in Circulation - Journal of the American Heart Association. The study was conducted in 18 patients with Raynaud's phenomenon by giving them 50 mg of Viagra tablets twice daily for four weeks and a placebo group without no drugs. The results showed that the frequency of Raynaud attacks (35 versus 52), attack duration (581 versus 1046 minutes) and Raynaud's phenomenon scores (2.2 versus 3.0) after taking four weeks of Viagra. Six patients who had chronic toe or finger ulcerations, the sores healed significantly during active treatment, disappearing completely in two patients. But ulcerations reappeared or progressed again after Viagra treatment was stopped.