Viagra and Heart Attacks

Hundreds of lawsuits claim that Viagra causes heart attacks, even though there is no evidence that it does this.

A man gets an erection by opening closed muscles in his penile artery to allow blood to flow into two huge balloons in his penis. Viagra relaxes muscles to open the artery. Doctors prescribe nitroglycerine to open closed blood vessels to the heart in men who suffer heart pain. Taking Viagra and nitroglycerine together can open too many blood vessels and send a person into shock.

Making love is not an athletic event as it takes only the amount of energy necessary to walk up two flights of stairs. But some men have arteriosclerotic heart disease which blocks arteries leading to the heart, making it difficult to even walk up stairs. Viagra allows these men to make love, but it does not strengthen their hearts. They should start a supervised program of exercise to strengthen their hearts so they can walk up at least two flights of stairs and not have a heart attack when they take Viagra. See report #1269.

KK Chew, BGA Stuckey, PL Thompson. Erectile dysfunction, sildenafil and cardiovascular risk. Medical Journal of Australia, 2000, Vol 172, Iss 6, pp 279-283.

Reported 5/1/00; checked 8/9/05

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