Pharmaceutical

Lawmakers discuss the side effects of Viagra; are men fully informed of risks?

Viagra single pack Lawmakers discuss the side effects of Viagra; are men fully informed of risks?The Tennessee House of Representatives discussed the dangers of Viagra and other erectile-dysfunction drugs when a bill was brought before the Health Subcommittee seeking to make it more difficult for men to obtain the prescription drug. According to the Times Free Press, Rep. Sherry Jones’s bill proposed “a 48-hour waiting period, a stress test, counseling sessions and a partner’s affidavit for men seeking erectile-dysfunction drug prescriptions to improve their sexual performance.”

Rep. Jones said that the bill sought to help protect men by making sure that they fully understood the risks of taking what she called “dangerous drugs.” When she went before the panel she shared a personal story about a Viagra fatality due to cardiac arrest, in addition to the statistic that 522 Viagra users died while taking the drug its first year on the market.

Besides cardiac arrest she listed many other serious side effects of Viagra. Some of these side effects include heart attack, stroke, seizures, blood clots in the brain, bleeding from the lungs, rectal bleeding, continued painful erection, and depression. The side effects listed as “severe” on WebMD is long.

The drug has also been linked to an increased risk of developing melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. In a study that analyzed the answers of 25,848 health care professionals who’d been surveyed for 10 years, researchers found that men who take Viagra are 84 percent more likely to develop melanoma than men who do not. They published their findings in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2014.

The Times Free Press reports that Dr. John Hale, president of the Tennessee Medical Association, addressed the panel in opposition to the bill. He said that physicians take patients’ health conditions into account when prescribing drugs like Viagra and that “there’s no way you can do stress tests on everyone who comes in for these things. I understand there’s a problem with it but you’d make a lot of constituents very upset” if the bill were to pass.

The bill did not pass. The male-dominated sub-committee, which included two male doctors, rejected the bill on a voice vote.

Sources:
Times Free Press
Cancer Connect
WebMD
WebMD