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New Inhaled Impotence Drug Shows Promise

Backers Say PT-141 Is Effective and Safe

GI Problems Seen at Higher Doses continued...

One in 10 men who received placebo treatments reported restoration of normal erectile function, compared with roughly one in three patients treated with the lowest dosage of PT-141 and one in two patients treated with the highest dosage.

Palatin Technologies CEO Carl Spana, PhD, said men taking part in future studies will be started off at the lowest dosage and dosages will be increased gradually, if needed, to minimize side effects.

The company is also planning drug interaction studies evaluating the safety of PT-141 in men using nitrate medications for heart disease. Viagra and similar drugs are not recommended for these patients, and Spana says they account for roughly 10% of men with erectile dysfunction.

"We have no reason to expect that PT-141 will interact with nitrates," he says. "This represents a significant potential advantage."

San Francisco urologist Ira Sharlip, MD, who researches new impotence treatments but was not involved with the PT-141 study, tells WebMD that it is too soon to know whether the new drug will end up being an important new treatment.

"Right now in the United States we have Viagra and Levitra, and I expect that Cialis will soon be available," he says. "These are good drugs, but they aren't perfect. They don't work for everybody, so having a drug that works by a completely different mechanism of action is an attractive prospect."

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