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Viagra blindness label warning

July 12th 2005

Viagra Pill

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved new labeling for Cialis, Levitra and Viagra, after a small number of reports of sudden vision loss in patients taking the drugs.  It is unclear whether these drugs are responsible for the blindness, but 38 cases were reported to the FDA for Viagra users, 4 cases in Cialis and one using Levitra. 

The vision losses may have been attributed to NAION (non arteric ischemic optic neuropathy), a condition where blood flow is blocked to the optic nerve.  It is also advised that patients tell their doctor if they have ever experienced vision loss episodes before taking the medicines.  These patients would be at an increased risk of developing NAION again.

Men are at most risk for developing NAION if they are older than 50 years of age, have diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or high levels of cholesterol.  NAION is one of the most common causes for loss of sight in adults with 1,000 to 6,000 cases per year.

 

"It is not possible to determine whether these oral medicines for erectile dysfunction were the cause," or whether other health conditions caused the NAION, the FDA said in a statement Friday.   

It is unclear whether these erectile dysfunction medicines were the cause of the vision loss.  It is possible that other factors could have contributed to the NAION cases, including high blood pressure or diabetes.  The FDA advises patients to stop taking the medicines if vision is lost or decreased in one or both eyes.  The patient should immediately contact a doctor.  

Pfizer makes Viagra. Cialis and Levitra are sold by Eli Lilly & company (and ICOS corp) and GlaxoSmithKline respectively. Levitra is also sold by Schering-Plough Corp. in the United States and by Bayer AG elsewhere.  Stock prices rose today for all of the affected companies.   


By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

 

 


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Sunday, July 11, 2010 01:18 AM