Cream could be like instant ViagraPossible treatment for erectile dysfunction "works in seconds"
The sex lives of millions of men (and women!) across the world have been improved due to the effects of anti-impotence drugs such as Viagra.
But these drugs are not without their problems - they can take hours to be effective and often have side-effects. Plus they are not suitable for many men with other medical conditions.
Now scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have created a cream containing "nano-particles" which can be effective against erectile dysfunction in seconds.
Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, affects millions of men in the UK. At least half of all men aged between 40 and 70 can expect to suffer from ED at least once.
Drugs such as Viagra work by improving the flow of blood to the penis. In fact, these drugs were originally developed to treat high blood pressure before the pleasant side effect of allowing men to get and keep erections was discovered.
Technically, these drugs act by blocking the effects of a particular enzyme. The cream developed by the researchers contains "nano-particles" - tiny particles smaller than a grain of pollen - able to produce the same effect as ED drugs. The particles in the cream are able to penetrate the skin and act immediately.
Because the cream is applied direct to the penis, there are also none of the side effects associated with ED drugs.
The study was carried out on rats and the treatment was found to be successful in 9 out of 10 cases. Also encouraging was the speed of response.
"The response time to the nano-particles was very short, just a few minutes, which is basically what people want in an ED medication" noted one of the leaders of the study, Dr Kelvin Davies. "In both rats and humans, it can take 30 minutes to one hour for oral ED medications to take effect."
Although this is all potentially good news, it will take at least 10 years before we can expect to see this type of treatment made available to humans.
The study was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
This article was published on Mon 21 September 2009
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