Viagra Melanoma Risk

Possible Melanoma Risks Associated with Viagra

Viagra, the erectile dysfunction (ED) drug, has been prescribed to an estimated 35 million men since it came onto the market in 1998. Concerns have arisen over the potential link between the use of Viagra and an increased risk of melanoma skin cancer. A recent study published in the medical journal, JAMA Internal Medicine, presents a compelling argument that Viagra (the generic name is sildenafil citrate) may promote the growth and the spread of melanoma, a potentially deadly form of skin cancer.

The History of the Development of Viagra

Nearly half of the population of men in the 40 to 70 year old age group have some experience with erectile dysfunction. Thus it is not surprising that Viagra, a drug to treat impotence and erectile dysfunction (ED), generates nearly $2 billion annually for Pfizer, the manufacturer of Viagra. Interestingly, sildenafil was initially developed in the late 1980s, early 1990s, to treat blood pressure and angina by enhancing the smooth muscle relaxing effects of Nitric Oxide (NO). While sildenafil (now known as Viagra) did not noticeably positively impact blood pressure, it did have the side effect of enhanced penile erections. The Pfizer researchers immediately recognized the vast potential for such a drug. Viagra was patented and approved by the FDA for ED in less than two years – a relatively speedy approval process.

Studies Emerge Linking Viagra to Melanoma

Studies have begun to appear that warn that the “little blue pill” may also promote melanoma development in its users. The article published in JAMA in 2014 was the most compelling. In the study of 26,000 men, with an average age of 65, over the course of ten years, researchers found that men who had taken Viagra had twice the incidence of melanoma as men who had not taken the drug.

This study also showed that men who had ED and did NOT take Viagra had no increase in the incidence of melanoma. The study also controlled for tobacco use, physical activity, major illnesses, family history and ultra violet light exposure. Sildenafil/Viagra use was not shown to increase the chances of basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma cancers, which are far less dangerous than malignant melanoma. Melanoma makes up only 2% of skin cancer diseases; however melanoma is the most deadly. While the JAMA study did not go so far as to recommend warnings, it did raise some red flags that necessitate further studies and exploration as to the link between Viagra and melanoma.

Find Out if You Might Have a Viagra Melanoma Case in Kentucky

Clearly these findings warrant further investigation into the possibility that many Viagra patients may have unknowingly been put at risk of developing or accelerating melanoma skin cancer growth. Please contact Brett H. Oppenheimer, PLLC, a Louisville attorney, who is exploring potential legal recourse for those Kentucky patients who have developed melanoma cancer after using Viagra. Brett can help you to understand if you may be able to seek legal action for your losses. There are absolutely no out-of-pocket expenses associated with working with Brett’s law firm.

The initial consultation is free and there are no lawyer fees or expenses unless your case results in a recovery. Call Brett at (502) 242-8877 for a consultation on your potential Pfizer/Viagra case.

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