Sunday, November 23, 2008

Viagra May Go Non-prescriptive in Israel

If the Pfizer pharmaceutical company asked for permission to market Viagra - the erectile dysfunction (anti-impotency) drug - without a doctor's prescription, the Health Ministry's pharmaceutical division will consider it, chief pharmacist Batya Haran told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

"On principle, we don't take such initiatives of changing conditions of sales and eliminating restrictions," she said. "But if the company comes and requests turning Viagra [or other erectile dysfunction drugs] into over-the-counter [OTC] drugs, we will discuss this."

The Post asked Haran if the ministry had a policy on changing the status of such drugs. Viagra (sildenafil citrate) is generally known to be safe, except for specific cases. These include men who already take cardiac drugs containing nitrates such as nitroglycerin for angina pectoris (chest pains due to an inadequate supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart). Nitroglycerin works by increasing nitric oxide, so men who take nitroglycerin and Viagra together could get into trouble (heart attacks) from the additional nitric oxide.

Less seriously, Viagra can have an effect on color vision, causing men to see the world with a bluish tinge for hours. It may also trigger headaches, as it opens up arteries in the brain's lining and causes excess pressure.


Actually, they've been 'blue' for hours before swallowing the drug

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