Viagra is the brand name for sildenafil, which is a common medicine to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). Pfizer markets sildenafil as Viagra to treat ED and in early 2000s FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved the marketing of sildenafil as Revatio for pulmonary hypertension. Viagra is marketed in 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg doses as a diamond blue colored pill. In addition to Viagra other common drugs marketed for ED are Cialis (tadalafil) and Levitra (vardenafil).

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Does Viagra Work For MS Patients?

Does Viagra Work For MS Patients?

It is clear that Viagra is the most common medication used for erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is difficulty having and maintaining erection in a male, which can lead to infertility due to inability to ejaculate. MS in male patients can lead to erectile dysfunction and about 70% males suffering from MS are affected by it. Therefore, Viagra can be prescribed for MS patients suffering from ED. Although, Viagra is of no use for MS patients presenting with other neurogenic symptoms, it is definitively helpful for erectile dysfunction in MS patients.

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MS patients suffering from ED should take Viagra orally 30-60 minutes before sexual intercourse. It is effective for about 4 hours after oral intake. Priapism, which is a rigid erection for more than 4 to 8 hours, is an occasional side-effect of medications. However, it can be reversed if treated early.

MS not only causes sexual dysfunction in men, but also leads to low libido in women. FDA has approved flibanserin (Addyi) for premenopausal women with low libido.
Sexual dysfunction can be psychological or physiological in origin. There is a complex interaction of the brain and sexual organs via spinal cord, but when the nerve conduction is disrupted it leads to sexual abnormality. This can be presented in the form of loss of libido, hypo-orgasmia, anorgasmia, ED and ejaculation dysfunction in men. Women also suffer from loss of libido, reduced vaginal secretions and problems with orgasm.

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Some men with ED may note no benefit from Viagra and in these men, alternative treatments can be tried. Alternative medications include, Cialis and Levitra. If they do not respond to these medications also, other alternatives include prostaglandin E1, vaccum devices, alprostadil injections or suppositories. In addition, ED surgery is also available.

How Sildenafil Works?

Sildenafil works by relaxing muscles of blood vessel walls, which increases blood flow to the area by augmenting NO (nitrous oxide) and cGMP (cyclic guanosine monophosphate). Sildenafil acts upon phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) enzymes that are specifically found in tissues of penis, lungs, eyes etc. Sildenafil works by binding to the active site of PDE5, thus prevents it from the breakdown of cGMP making vascular smooth muscles more sensitive to NO and cGMP, thus relaxes the blood vessels. This leads to erection in ED patients.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis or MS is a progressive disease of the central nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. The disease affects the myelin sheath of the nerves leading to their scarring. This further causes discrepancy in impulse conduction of nerves, as scarring of myelin sheath exposes nerves and can lead to its damage too. The disturbance in nerve impulse conduction is the reason for varied symptoms associated with MS.

The cause of MS remains unknown, but autoimmunity is considered to be the most probable cause resulting in demyelination. Autoimmunity can further be provoked by a combination of genetic and environmental factors (infection, smoking). Although, multiple sclerosis is 2-3 times more common in females, it can also affect males. It typically affects individuals between the age group of 20-50.

Symptoms Of MS

As the nerve conduction is spread throughout the body, it affects both the sensory and motor functions. The symptoms of MS are highly variable among affected individuals. The symptoms may include abnormal sensations in parts of the body, tingling, numbness, pain, visual changes, coordination problems, tremors, ataxia, spasticity, spasms, hearing problem, headache, fatigue, weakness, bowel changes, bladder incontinence, seizures, and sexual dysfunction.

Also Read:

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22513975

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: May 1, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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