Viagra as a treatment for COVID-19? The expert says no. | Health

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SHREVEPORT, La. — A nurse in the United Kingdom reportedly credited the drug Viagra with saving her life from a life-threatening case of COVID-19.

Asthmatic, Monica Almeida’s condition became critical and she was placed in an artificial coma and put on a ventilator. Before turning off the ventilator, the doctors gave him a very high dose of Viagra. Within 48 hours, her lungs were working again and she has since recovered. She and her doctors reported that it was the “little blue pill” that saved her life.

But was it really Viagra?

In addition to its popular use to treat erectile dysfunction, Viagra, or sildenafil, is also used to treat pulmonary hypertension, or high blood pressure in the lungs. It stimulates the production of nitric oxide in the body, which helps relax blood vessels in the lungs so that blood can flow more easily.

But Dr. Bob Holladay, professor of internal medicine at LSU Health Shreveport, says that for COVID, a little blue pill isn’t likely to provide immediate recovery.

“So since Viagra can help improve the production or prevalence of nitric oxide in the vessels, it may have some benefits. That’s the theory behind it. But it’s not really strong. It’s not really strong. isn’t really powerful in that regard,” he said. “And so, it’s not like you’re going to take it and all of a sudden you’re better.”

Holladay says there are other drugs and inhalants that doctors use that are much more potent and effective in treating lung issues, especially for COVID-19.

A study was done in Chile with some patients receiving sildenafil and the rest receiving a placebo. There was no significant difference in the results between the two groups.

So if you catch COVID-19, should you run and get a prescription for Viagra?

“They don’t need to do that. It just won’t help them. It’s not a miracle drug or anything like that. It won’t be a huge difference for them,” Holladay said. “Go see your doctor and get the recommended therapies. If you are seriously ill we have monoclonal antibodies and if you are in hospital we use other drugs.

While many men believe the little blue pill is a miracle drug for its most popular use, it has also been used in the treatment of premature babies to help their lung function. So, Viagra certainly turned out to be a powerful drug. But so far, it hasn’t proven to be much help in the fight against COVID-19.

Doctors say you should never take any medicine, including Viagra, to treat COVID-19 unless directed by your doctor. All medicines have side effects that can endanger health. Vaccines are still the best protection against severe COVID-19 disease, doctors say.

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