Advertisement

Viagra-like drug slowed, reversed heart failure in sheep

Researchers say the study backs up limited evidence from previous studies with humans, and now will require further confirmation in human trials.

By Tauren Dyson
Viagra-like drug slowed, reversed heart failure in sheep
Tadalafil, a drug in the same class as Viagra, slowed down and reversed heart failure in sheep. File Photo by Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

May 1 (UPI) -- An erectile dysfunction drug may be able to treat heart failure, a new study says.

Tadalafil, a drug in the same class as Viagra, slowed down and reversed heart failure in sheep, according to research published Wednesday in Scientific Reports. Since sheep hearts have the same physiological makeup of human hearts, the researchers are confident Tadalafil will work on people.

Advertisement

"We do have limited evidence from human trials and epidemiological studies that show Tadalafil can be effective in treating heart failure," said Andrew Trafford, a researcher at University of Manchester and study author, in news release. "This study provides further confirmation, adds mechanistic detail and demonstrate that Tadalafil could now be a possible therapy for heart failure."

Heart failure happens when the organ is too weak to pump blood through the body. This leads to fluid back up in the lungs, which causes breathlessness.

RELATED Intensive blood pressure therapy for type 2 diabetes reduces cardiovascular risk

The researchers used pacemakers to cause heart failure in the sheep, who they then treated with Tadalafil. The drug ultimately stopped, then reversed the heart failure in the animals.

When heart failure occurs, it becomes non-responsive to adrenaline. But Tadalafil helps trigger adrenaline responses in the body to revive the heart in the same way it does to treat erectile dysfunction.

Advertisement

In the United States each year, 5.7 million adults suffer heart failure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

RELATED Work stress, high blood pressure, poor sleep trio increases death risk

"Viagra-type drugs were initially developed as potential treatments for heart disease before they were found to have unexpected benefits in the treatment of erectile dysfunction," Metin Avkiran, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said in a news release. "We seem to have gone full circle, with findings from recent studies suggesting that they may be effective in the treatment of some forms of heart disease -- in this case, heart failure."

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement