Viagra May Treat Babies Who Need Oxygen During Pregnancy And Birth

Moinuddin Ahmad
Moinuddin Ahmad
Updated on Feb 17, 2024, 00:53 IST- 2 min read
Indiatimes

A recent study conducted at the Montreal Children's Hospital (MCH) in Canada suggests that Viagra, commonly known for its use in treating erectile dysfunction, may have potential benefits in treating babies who experience oxygen deprivation during pregnancy or at birth, a condition known as neonatal encephalopathy.

Viagra Internet photo

Current options for treating oxygen-deprived newborns are limited, with therapeutic hypothermia being the primary method to prevent brain damage. However, approximately 29% of babies who undergo therapeutic hypothermia still develop significant neurological issues. The study explored the use of sildenafil, marketed as Viagra, as a potential solution.

The research team found that administering sildenafil to babies who experienced brain damage despite therapeutic hypothermia was both feasible and safe. The study involved 24 babies with moderate to severe neonatal encephalopathy who received therapeutic hypothermia but still had brain damage. Of this group, eight babies received sildenafil, while three received a placebo.

Viagra Unsplash

The study concluded that sildenafil was well absorbed by babies with neonatal encephalopathy and was deemed safe. In an exploratory analysis, newborns treated with sildenafil showed partial healing of injuries, fewer signs of brain volume loss, and increased deep gray matter at 30 days of age compared to the placebo group. Additionally, neurodevelopmental evaluations at 18 months showed promising results for babies treated with sildenafil.

The researchers emphasise that while all neonates in the study had significant brain damage at the beginning, sildenafil's potential effectiveness, coupled with its affordability and ease of administration, could offer a promising treatment option for neonates suffering from neonatal encephalopathy worldwide.?

However, further research is needed in subsequent phases of the study to validate these findings.

With IANS inputs

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