New topical gel for erectile dysfunction

Researchers have developed a new gel formulation for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. This gel formulation contains nitrates or nitroglycerine that is being used to treat angina chest pain and also an important ingredient in making explosives.

The oily, colourless liquid that is prepared using nitroglycerine has been found to work 12 times faster that Viagra. It also acts by releasing nitric oxide gas or NO. NO is responsible for immediate widening or dilatation of the blood vessels of the penis over which it is applied. This leads to erection. The blood flow to the penis increases remarkably.

The team conducted a study at University College Hospital in London and other centres around the country. They noted that in 44 percent of the men, an erection of the penis was noted after five minutes of use of this new gel formulation. They tested a total of 232 men with erectile dysfunction and found that 70 percent of the men achieved an erection within 10 minutes of application of the gel. The results from this small study were published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

The 232 men participated in two different studies, each lasting four weeks. In one trial they used a new topical gel called MED2005 that contained 0.2 percent glyceryl trinitrate or nitroglycerine. Then they switched over to the other trial where they were given an inert placebo gel to use before intercourse without their knowledge. In each of the trials they had to rub a pea-sized quantity of the gel onto their penis before they had intercourse.

A quarter of the users noted a significant improvement in their erection. This was assessed using a set of questions that were provided to the participants to answer. Questions included confidence in getting and maintaining an erection as well as hardness of the penis and satisfaction with the intercourse. On the other hand 14 percent of the placebo users also reported satisfactory improvement. While Viagra and other medications take almost an hour before they can start to act, this gel worked within 10 minutes in 70 percent individuals say researchers.

According to researchers, the best advantage of this formulation is its ease of use and fast onset of action. The gel however, like most other drugs that contain nitroglycerine leads to side effects such as headaches, hot flushes, nausea. Alteration of some of the components could address this problem say the scientists.

This gel is in for further studies and human trials until it is deemed safe and effective for use among humans. It is being speculated that the gel formulation could cost as little as £1. It is found to be most effective among those with mild forms of erectile dysfunction say researchers.

Erectile dysfunction is the most prevalent of the male sexual dysfunctions (prevalence age 30 to 80 years) at 19.2% as compared to 31% for all types of male sexual dysfunctions. It has deeper physical as well as psychological impact and a treatment that is noninvasive and effective would be more than welcome.

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