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ED Drugs May Help Painful Fingers

Q. The cold weather has exacerbated my Raynaud’s disease. I was told Viagra could help this condition since it opens the blood vessels. Would it help me?

A. Several years ago an article in the journal Circulation (Nov. 8, 2005) suggested Viagra might help victims of Raynaud’s disease when other treatments fail. A more recent review (Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs, Jan., 2009) confirms the possibility that drugs for erectile dysfunction (Cialis, Levitra, Viagra) might be beneficial.

These drugs are very expensive, though, and more research is needed before they should be used to treat this painful circulatory condition that makes fingers turn blue or white with cold. The FDA has not approved such medications for Raynaud’s.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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