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Published on 28 July 2010

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Viagra form may treat youngsters

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Children with a rare lung disorder may be treated with a form of erectile dysfunction drug Viagra if US regulators are satisfied with its use.

Revatio is produced by the world’s biggest drug-maker Pfizer and currently sold as a treatment for high blood pressure, but may soon be used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension.

The condition causing high blood pressure in arteries in the lungs, resulting in the right side of the heart working harder than normal and leading to chest pain, fatigue and dizziness.

In 2001 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked Pfizer to study the medicine in children suffering from the lung disorder.

If the firm meets the FDA study requirements, the drug would be given an extra six months on the market without generic competition.

Chad Knoderer, a paediatric clinical pharmacist at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, who has used Viagra in children with the disorder, said: “It’s a good option in pediatric patients because it is well-tolerated, in that it doesn’t have as many side effects as some of the other options.”

The FDA wants its panel of advisers to decide what is the best measurement to use in determining whether the drug is effective in children with pulmonary hypertension, with advisers due to meet on July 29.

Copyright Press Association 2010

FDA



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