Generic Viagra in the Treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD)

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is one of the most severe muscle dystrophies, a disease that makes a person’s body extremely weak. Recent studies suggest that Viagra and generic Viagra can increase the blood flow in the muscle tissues of patients with DMD. These new findings may discover a way to help people who suffer from this severe condition.

What is Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy?

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

DMD is a genetic disease that disables the body to synthesize the protein called dystrophin. This protein is essential for normal functioning of the muscle tissue. Although both sexes can have this mutation in their genes, the disease affects only males due to the differences in chromosomes.

The symptoms develop in infancy and become evident by the age of 2 or 3 when the muscles of a child appear to be considerably weaker than normal. They continue to weaken and, by the age 12, most patients are not able to walk. The biggest danger comes from changes in the heart and lung muscles, which eventually become unable to perform their vital functions.

Ways of DMD Treatment

The ways of DMD therapy that are approved and practiced include:

  • Protecting the heart. Heart protection is the top priority in DMD therapy. The heart is affected by dystrophin deficiency, and the patient is likely to develop cardiomyopathy. The patients are prescribed to take medications that support the heart function more easily and effectively. Various blood pressure drugs are often used for this purpose.
  • Minimizing the inflammation. In healthy muscles, an inflammation occurs on a normal level and plays a positive role in the tissue repair process. In case of DMD, the inflammation occurs chronically and hinders the repair and growth of the muscles. That is why corticosteroids are commonly used to reduce the inflammation in patients with DMD. These drugs also help improve the heart and lungs functions.

Currently, there is no known cure for DMD, although many types of researches take place in attempt to find new ways of its treatment:

  • Enhancing muscle growth. The scientists investigate the possibility of using drugs that inhibit myostatin, which is a natural protein that limits the muscle growth. Also, the substances that activate androgen receptors binding to testosterone and other steroids to induce muscle growth, can be used for increasing the muscle mass.
  • Minimizing muscle damage. Researchers attempt to reduce production of proteins like biglycan, utrophin, laminin, and others, which are similar to dystrophin and can partly compensate the lack of it. Also, the substances that cause and trigger muscle cell death are investigated.
  • Inserting new dystrophin genes. The person that suffers from DMD has the dystrophin gene broken, therefore, specialists work on the ways of replacing it with a healthy gene.
  • Making cells read the genetic code differently. Scientists are trying to create special drugs that make cells ignore the part of the genetic code that is responsible for dystrophin destruction.
  • Activating muscle growth using stem cells. Stem cells are the cells in the early stages of development that can turn into any needed types of cells to play specific roles in the body, which means that they can also form muscle tissue.
  • Fighting fibrosis. As muscles become weaker, fat replaces them in the process that is called fibrosis. The ways of possible blocking of the muscle fibrosis are investigated.
  • Increasing the muscle blood flow. People who suffer from DMD have insufficient blood circulation in the exercised muscles. This hinders muscle growth, repair, and normal functioning. For restoring blood circulation, the use of tadalafil (Cialis, more information in this articl: www.mycanadianpharmacyrx.com/generic-cialis), sildenafil (Viagra), and nitric oxide drugs is considered.

The Use of Generic Viagra for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Generic Viagra, a full analogue of regular Viagra, with the active substance sildenafil, which was initially investigated for its ability to expand blood vessels, lowers blood pressure and, therefore, can be helpful for the patients with angina. But because of its side effect of improving erectile function in the majority of patients, the aim of the research was changed towards erectile dysfunction treatment.

However, recent studies held in Los Angeles at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center by the cardiologist Ronald Victor, have shown that patients with DMD experience insufficient dilation of blood vessels in exercised muscles. This leads to low oxygen supply and fatigue in these tissues. Victor and his team also found that the reason for this insufficient dilation of blood vessels lies in the lack of nitric oxide, the product of nNOS, an enzyme which is absent in DMD muscle. The research has also shown that a dose of either Cialis (tadalafil) or Viagra (sildenafil) restores blood flow in the exercised muscles of DMD patients to normal. 10 boys suffering from DMD and 10 healthy boys have participated in this study.

Due to the unexpectedly promising results of these experiments, a bigger research was held in 2013 to show the effect of treating people suffering from DMD with tadalafil. The research included 300 patients and was supposed to last for 48 weeks, but was terminated earlier due to the possibility of the negative effect on the cardiac function of the participants.

Additional clinical studies are needed to find out whether Viagra, generic Viagra or Cialis can offer a long-term relief to patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (if you want know more about DMD – watch this info). It is not clear how much correcting the blood flow can help slow down the overall progress of the disease, but it is clear that proper oxygen supply is necessary for any muscle tissue, especially in case of people suffering from DMD. For this reason, the effects from using Viagra and Cialis deserve further investigation.