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«The blue pill is now obsolete»

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«The blue pill is now obsolete»

The blue pill who changed male sexuality turns 25. On March 27, 1998, the Food and Drug Administration (Fda) recognized Viagra (Pfizer) as the first oral medical therapy for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. A quarter of a century that has seen Viagra dominate world sales in the sector and pave the way for other molecules that have arrived later and recently for generics. Imitated and falsified, it is the most popular tablet online, the blue pill has not only influenced the fantasies under the sheets but also the costume ending up the protagonist of films and songs. The latest Osmed report (2022) indicates drugs for erectile dysfunction among the “most expensive” categories, with residents of Campania “among the greatest users”.

«Before the blue pill for erectile dysfunction there were only injections or hormonal therapies, I remember in my first years as a doctor that in scientific congresses it was said that whoever invented a pill against erectile dysfunction would win the Nobel. And in fact he discovered nitric oxide “as a signal molecule for the cardiovascular system”, then at the basis of the mechanism of Viagra, he won the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 1998 – Alessandro Palmieri, president of the Sia, the Italian Society of Andrology – The arrival of this drug has given us a valuable tool to help patients and brought andrology out of the shadows by highlighting our specialty and how it is necessary for overall men’s health. In fact, we will hold a congress on Mont Blanc to address the effects of climate change on men’s health, from erectile dysfunction to fertility”.

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The new treatments

The arrival of Viagra has also given way to a line of scientific research that did not exist before, “new molecules and oral therapies and then the approach with the patient has changed – continues Palmieri – In the past we acted on the symptom, but now we are able to cure erectile dysfunction, for example we use shock waves on the corpora cavernosa. An approach that improves the quality of the erection: in a high percentage of cases we can solve the problem. We have completely different medical therapies than Viagra that melts in your mouth like a postage stamp. Or, there are very good vasodilator supplements.

In recent years – observes the president of andrologists – progress has been made in this sector and we can say that today the blue pill and those that came after are used less and less, Doctors can often recommend it of general medicine and pharmacists, but specialists have other tools».

Finally, there is the chapter on penile prosthesis surgery. “There has also been a boom here: in a few years we have gone from 3-400 implanted devices to over 1,500 – concludes Palmieri – They are increasingly technological and safe”. «But what we care about is prevention and as a scientific society we are now aiming to involve other categories: the armed forces, the Italian Red Cross and driving schools. On June 21 there will be an Andrology village in Rome, on the Pincio terrace, dedicated precisely to prevention », he concludes.

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