Viagra Corner: Despatches from the Frontiers of Medicine

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The Independent Online
HOSPITAL accident and emergency departments have been warned to ask heart attack victims whether they have taken Viagra, to avoid the risk of a potentially fatal drug interaction.

Pfizer, manufacturers of the anti-impotence drug, has written to A&E physicians to alert them to the risk of giving a nitrate, the commonest short-term treatment for a heart attack, to men who have recently taken Viagra.

Evidence from the US, where there have been more than two dozen deaths linked with Viagra, has shown that the combination of the two drugs can lead to sudden, large drops in blood pressure.

Although Viagra is not yet licensed in Britain, Pfizer said it had issued the warning because some private clinics were prescribing it, legally, on a "named patient" basis, and some men had obtained it, illegally, via the Internet.

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