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    Nightly Viagra May Restore Normal Erections

    Erections Maintained Even Without Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

    WebMD Health News

    May 13, 2004 -- When men with erectile dysfunction take Viagra every night, rather than just when the mood strikes them, they may experience a return to normal erections, say researchers at a meeting of men's health specialists.

    "Nightly treatment may help promote erectile function as the result of this drugs' beneficial effect on endothelial cells," Frank Sommer, MD, said in a news conference. Endothelial cells line the walls of the blood vessels. Erections occur when the blood vessels in the penis dilate and fill with blood. Sommer, chief of andrology in the department of urology at the University of Cologne in Cologne, Germany, presented his findings at a meeting of the American Urological Association.

    Normal Erections Without Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

    He and his co-investigators studied 76 men who had erectile dysfunction for at least six months. Group 1 took 50 mg of Viagra nightly at bedtime. Group 2 took 50-100 mg of Viagra when they wanted, presumably before sexual intercourse. The investigators also followed a third group of men with erectile dysfunction who received no treatment. The men were an average of 47 years old.

    After 12 months of nightly Viagra followed by one month of no erectile dysfunction treatment, nearly 60% of men in group 1 had a return of normal erections. Less than 10% of men that took Viagra as needed had a similar return of normal erections.

    At the end of a six-month period without any erectile dysfunction treatment, all but one of the men in group 1 still had normal erections. Normal erections were determined by an erectile function questionnaire completed by the men.

    Researchers also measured blood flow to the penis. After one month of no erectile dysfunction treatment, group 1 had a significant improvement in blood flow. However, group 2 had no significant change and blood flow, and group 3 worsened.

    "This is the only study we know of that has investigated the long-term effects of taking erection-promoting therapy on a daily basis," Sommer says. "After only one year, [Viagra] taken regularly at bedtime may be ... a useful tool for curing erectile dysfunction."

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