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New ED Drugs on Horizon

Faster Acting, Longer Lasting Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction

2-in-1 Erection Drug

Sexual dysfunction pioneer Irwin Goldstein, MD, now editor of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, reported findings from a human study of a long-acting erection drug called SLx-2101.

Like Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra, SLx-2101 works by inhibiting an enzyme that makes smooth muscles contract. Unlike the currently approved erection drugs, SLx-2101 is two drugs in one.

When first taken, SLx-2101 is a powerful erection drug. While it is still working, the body begins to process it into a second drug. The second drug, dubbed SLx-2101m1, is also a powerful erection drug.

"Existing erectile dysfunctionerectile dysfunction drugs either act quickly or act for a long time," Goldstein said, at the news conference. "What is so exciting is that for the first time we have a drug that has both clinical advantages. It is a fast-acting drug that acts well beyond 48 hours."

Interestingly, Goldstein said that SLx-2101 improves erections not only in men with erectile dysfunction, but also in men already able to have erections.

SLx-2101 is being developed by Surface Logix Inc. Goldstein serves as a consultant to the company.

Faster, Shorter-Acting Erection Drug

Not everyone wants or needs a long-lasting erection drug. For them, a new drug called avanafil may be helpful.

Avanafil reaches maximum blood concentrations 35 minutes after it is taken, reports Mayo Clinic researcher Ajay Nehra, MD. It has a half-life (the time it takes for the body to eliminate half the quantity of a drug) of 90 minutes, compared with four hours for Levitra and Viagra and 17.5 hours for Cialis.

Why would someone want an erection drug that doesn't last very long? Nehra said that aside from personal preferences, men who take nitrate-based heart drugs (such as Nitrostat, Isordil, and Imdur) are warned against using erection drugs at the same time.

In human tests, Nehra and colleagues found that men taking a nitrate-based drug while on avanafil had less of a drop in blood pressure and less of an increase in blood pressure than men who took the heart drug while on Viagra.

"Caution will continue with short-acting nitrate drugs," Nehra said. "But with avanafil, men may be able to continue this medication."

Avanafil is being developed by Vivus, Inc., in Mountain View, Calif. Avanafil is the generic name for the drug; it does not yet have a brand name.

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