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Showing posts from September, 2013

Sildenafil citrate: How Pfizer sold the wrong drug to the right people!

In 1989, researchers Peter Dunn and Albert Wood, working at the Pfizer’s research facility at Kent, England, were able to synthesize a drug that could be used to treat patients with high blood pressure and chest pain. Called Sildenafil citrate, this drug could inhibit functioning of the enzyme, cGMP-specific phosphodiestrase type 5, simply called PDE-5, making blood vessels more receptive to nitric oxide in the blood, further leading to the relaxation of the arterial wall and regulation of blood pressure. Like every other drug discovery, Sildenafil citrate, too, now had to go through rigorous clinical trials before being able to actually help patients. Phase I clinical trials were conducted at a hospital in Wales which did not progress very well. In addition to the regular side-effects such as headache, impaired vision and indigestion, sildenafil was also found to result in unintended penile erections in male subjects. What was even worse for Pfizer is that the study found that the d…