Viagra skin patch in development – And it works faster than tablets!

couplePeople usually wear plasters to stem blood flow, but imagine putting one on to actually get something into the bloodstream?

For that is the idea behind a new way to treat erectile dysfunction in men, with scientists at universities at Cairo and Saudi Arabia looking at getting viagra into the blood, acting in a similar way to a smoking patch.

Men suffering with impotence problems would theoretically be able to wear the viagra skin patch on their upper arm or the abdomen, and perhaps most importantly for men, will kick-in within just a matter of seconds or minutes. Viagra can take between 30 minutes to an hour to work.

This means it will get men in the mood for sex even quicker than the time it takes them to get into the bedroom and take their clothes off!

Moreover, after taking the tablet version of viagra, some men occasionally experience various non-life threatening side effects such as blurred vision, slight headache, indigestion and muscle pain. The new erectile dysfunction skin patch would mean an end to these unwanted effects.

The team involved in the research at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, along with scientists at Cairo University, utilised a new drug delivery method, known as transferome technology.

A tiny patch measured at just 1cm squared was created, comprised of minute particles of sildenafil citrate (the active ingredient in viagra) which is coated with thin layers of fat and chemicals that will enable the skin to absorb the drug.

The patch was then tested on rats in order to judge just how much – if any – of the medicine would manage to penetrate the skin. The patch used on the rats only contained 1 milligram of viagra, which means bigger patches would need to be fashioned to accommodate for doses of viagra prescribed to men, which can range from 25mg to 100mg.

In a report in the journal Drug Design, Development and Therapy, scientists said the results demonstrated that viagra particles successfully transmitted through both the outer and inner layers of the skin.

In a report on the findings they said: “This could be a promising delivery system for the drug.

“The skin is an alternative route to the oral one, prolonging the effect and reducing variability.”

Although the patch has only been tested on rats thus far, there are hopes for future clinical trials on humans.

Since viagra first became available in 1998, its popularity has skyrocketed and has boosted the love lives of millions of men across the globe. After viagra became a huge success, its chunk of the market was somewhat reduced following the 2003 FDA-approvals of both levitra (vardenafil) and cialis (tadalafil) for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

According to official health statistics, over 3.5m prescriptions were dispensed in England during 2015 alone for medicines to treat erectile dysfunction.

The manufacturers of viagra, Pfizer, were forced into lowering the hefty price of viagra after seeing its patent expire in 2013 and this led to many generic sildenafil products entering the market, drugs that contained exactly the same active ingredient of the branded viagra, but could be sold to patients for just a fraction of the price.

However, men might not want to completely ditch their oral medications just yet. The British Society of Sexual Medicine’s Dr Geoff Hackett warns that the patches will actually hit patients hard in the wallet compared to existing treatments.

“It might be a nice way of delivering the drug,” he said.

“But I can’t see how a patch likely to cost around £10 is going to replace a pill that’s a fraction of the price.”

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