As easy to use as Viagra, a cream called Topiglan shows promise in treating erectile dysfunction with fewer side effects than the blue pill, reports the urologist leading studies on the drug for MacroChem pharmaceuticals.
Applied to the head of the penis, Topiglan is a new way to deliver a well-established drug called alprostadil, which, like Viagra, increases blood flow to the penis.
“This is truly a novel administration of a well-accepted medicine,” says Dr. Irwin Goldstein, the Boston University urologist leading the current round of studies on Topiglan.
In clinical trials on men with moderate to severe impotence, Topiglan had a 40 percent success rate in producing erections that were likely to have been satisfactory for sexual intercourse, according to the study.
Goldstein’s study involved measuring erections in men who were observed in a partnerless “rather clinical” setting. The next phase of testing, Goldstein said, will include at-home trials.
“No soft lights, no music, not even a partner, and yet, within 45 to 60 minutes of applications, almost 40 percent of the impotent men receiving Topiglan produced erections sufficient for intercourse, versus less than 7 percent receiving a placebo gel,” said Goldstein.
The worst recorded side effect of the cream was skin irritation, reported Goldstein. The side effects of Viagra are well documented, including blurred vision, headaches and potential complications in patients who take other medications.
At present, the options for administering alprostadil are injection at the base of the penis or catheterization in the urethra before intercourse.
Goldstein is cautiously optimistic about the prospects for developing a prescription ointment. MacroChem President Alvin Karloff said the gel could be ready for the American market in two or three years, if continued studies and FDA approval go smoothly.
Meanwhile, another company, NexMex of Robbinsville, N.J., says it is on a fast track to develop a similar alprostadil-based gel, which it hopes to have for sale on international markets early next year, according to vice president Vivian Liu.
That company recently reported favorable results from a study in China among men suffering from mild to moderate impotence.
Karloff did not rule out the possibility of a somewhat accelerated timetable for Topiglan development for the international market. He stressed that an absolute guarantee of Topiglan’s safety and efficacy has to be established.
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There is nothing wrong with a few well-worn habits. But the same old, same old can get stale — even with sex.
A moratorium on sex “creates a little more tension, a little more desire,” says Kaplan.
Think you’re ready to give abstinence a try? Keep the following in mind:
Be careful what you ask for.
You don’t want your request to come out like this, “I’d like to not have sex for a while…” Convey the things you’d like to do instead, not the things you don’t want to do.
Be clear about your goals.
If her aim is to explore Oriental and Swedish massage and his aim is to have sex in every way he can think of but intercourse, these lab partners may be off on wildly different experiments.
Abstaining for one or two weeks is plenty, says Kaplan. This isn’t punishment or penitence; it’s part of your journey of discovery.
Communicate your desires.
Abstinence may make the heart grow fonder, but don’t let the prospect of a little pent-up desire move your decision. A better relationship and improved communication is still the best motivator. A moratorium can be an excellent tool in getting there.
Don’t recognize failure.
What if you violated the moratorium, broke down and had wild sex. So what? Nothing’s lost and everything is gained, says Kaplan. You’ve just found a way to enhance your pleasure, and that was the goal in the first place.
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