Viagra relieves life-threatening condition in swimmers and divers

Viagra, or sildenafil, is best known for treating male impotence, but it can also help in cases of pulmonary arterial hypertension.

When athletes or scuba divers make a sudden entry into cold water, they can develop a condition called swimming-induced pulmonary edema (SIPE).

When this happens, the blood vessels in the arms and legs constrict, leading to a pooling of blood in the heart and lungs. Symptoms include coughing up blood, difficulty breathing and low blood oxygen.

Although the symptoms often dissipate over 24 hours, the condition can kill. Not everyone is prone to it, and those who are tend to be unaware until they are in the water and rapidly developing symptoms. Those who experience SIPE should seek medical attention.

Small dose of sildenafil reduces pressure in lungs

Dr. Richard Moon, an anesthesiologist and medical director of the Duke Center for Hyperbaric Medicine & Environmental Physiology in Durham, NC, and colleagues studied 10 athletes who had experienced SIPE while exercising or competing in triathlons.

The team monitored the participants carefully as they exercised under conditions similar to those likely to trigger the SIPE response. They then compared the 10 athletes with 20 participants who had no history of SIPE. 

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Autor / Fonte:MedicalNewsToday
Link: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/306754.php