First pill for male impotence approved in US

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 11 April 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1111
  1. Fred Charatan
  1. Florida

    An oral drug for treating erectile dysfunction has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. Sildenafil citrate (Viagra) is the first in a new class of drugs known as phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors that work by improving blood flow to the penis.

    There is a potentially large market for the drug. An estimated 30 million men in the United States are affected by erectile dysfunction, with the prevalence increasing with age. Less than 10% of these men, however, seek treatment. Dr Gregory Broderick, director of the Center for the Study of Male Sexual Dysfunction at the University of Pennsylvania, said: “In the past a man suffering from erectile dysfunction needed terrific personal motivation to see a doctor, mainly because the treatments available were so unpleasant.” He felt that …

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