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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Viagra Given To Some Babies With Weak Lungs

In St. Petersburg, Fla., Dr. Gul Dadlani of All Children's Hospital, said sildenafil, the generic name for the drug, is a wonder drug for babies who're born with pulmonary hypertension.
"As the blood flow goes to the lung, the arteries in the lung become constricted or tightened," Dadlani told BayNews9.com. "With Viagra therapy, it relaxes those vessels and allows more blood flow to go to the lungs and improves the symptoms for the patient."The doctor said that the drug does not have the same effect it has on men who use it to treat erectile dysfunction.One woman said the drug helped save her son's life, though she did have some misgivings about trying it."The first thought in my mind was, 'What else is it going to do for him besides work as a pulmonary dilator?" Cherish Nero said.Viagra does carry some risk for babies. Doctors say if the levels are too high it can drop blood pressure. There are also no studies completed on long-term effects.Research from the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine in 2006 said that even a single does of sildenafil can have benefits as children are withdrawn from a respirator.

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