Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Just-Discovered Side Effect of Viagra

It turns out that Viagra and other impotence drugs not only help men achieve an erection, but also make them want to cuddle by boosting levels of a hormone linked with feelings of love, say researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Reuters Health reports that the drugs, which have the generic name of sildenafil, raise levels of oxytocin in rats by affecting the part of the brain that controls the release of this hormone. And it probably does the same in humans.

Oxytocin is released in abundance during childbirth and during the let-down of milk in breastfeeding mothers, as well as during orgasm and feelings of sexual pleasure. "This is one piece in a puzzle in which many pieces are still not available," lead study author and physiology professor Meyer Jackson said in a statement. "But it raises the possibility that erectile dysfunction drugs could be doing more than just affecting erectile dysfunction."

Jackson said this could give Viagra and related drugs additional uses, perhaps to promote social bonding. While he hopes that other scientists will read about his study and test it in other animals and humans, he cautioned Reuters, "I hope that this doesn't cause some wild orgy of inappropriate recreational use."

Viagra can have fatal side effects if used with certain types of other drugs and should never be used without a doctor's prescription.

The study findings were published in the Journal of Physiology.
--From the Editors at Netscape



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