The history of developing the so-called vitamin V was neither smooth nor errorless. Actually, it was due to errors, those multiple discoveries were made. Remember Columbus, who believed he sailed to Asia. Another example is sticking paper which has multiple applications nowadays as it can be glued anywhere without spoiling the surface: it’s originated from an expert’s failure to develop an effective adhesive substance.

The same errors often occurred in medicine, so a lot of drugs appeared. Among them were especially useful ones, such as a medication for smallpox, penicillin etc. Actually, the creation of Viagra itself could be referred to the category of happenchance. However, the impact it had later on medicine was enormous.

Initially, Dr. Ian Osterloh, together with his team, set to develop a medicine for angina, a heart disease, caused by too little oxygen supply to the heart. Sildenafil citrate was used as an active substance of the medication. Scientists assumed that the medicament would inhibit the enzyme phosphodiesterase, which would significantly expand arteries and improve blood flow. This was supposed to help relieve heartache. However, after conducting a series of trials, medical experts realized that sildenafil citrate, would not produce the expected analgesic effect. In December 1992 the company stopped funding the research and started scaling it down.

An amazing fact incidentally saved the situation and gave way to a new worldwide application of the medicine. Many men, who participated in the clinical trials, risking their health refused to return the test samples of sildenafil tablets to the laboratory. After that, the experts of Pfizer (a company that ordered and funded the research) decided to find out the cause of that behavior. And to their great surprise, they found that a side effect of the of the medicament was increased erection in male persons.

The most interesting fact is that all research participants signed the document, which clearly stated that they were obliged to inform the company of all, even the slightest, side effects, such as itching. But for some reason, they complained of a headache, nausea, diarrhea, arterial hypertension, but no one reported on erection. However, when Pfizer started examining the patients’ reports and questioning them, it became clear that every 2nd tested experienced increased erection when taking the medicament.

The case with sildenafil citrate marked a significant breakthrough in the medical field, in particular, in sexual disorder treatment. The medicine did not help to reduce a heartache, as it failed to affect heart vessels and allow them to increase blood flow to the heart. However, sildenafil citrate positively affected blood vessels of a male reproductive organ. There were conducted additional clinical trials that showed a stunning treatment effect. As a result, the remedy’s focus was shifted from treating heart problems to curing erectile dysfunction. This application was welcomed by millions of men experiencing the disease.

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