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 May 12, 2005
Viagra May Help Treat Pregnancy Disorder
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The erectile dysfunction drug Viagra might one day be used to treat a dangerous disorder during pregnancy that spikes a woman's blood pressure, University of Vermont researchers suggest.

Preeclampsia affects up to 8 percent of all pregnancies, according to the Preeclampsia Foundation. Symptoms include swelling, sudden weight gain, headaches and changes in vision, although some women report few, if any, signs of the progressive condition, the foundation says.

According to researchers at the University of Vermont School of Medicine, Viagra didn't actually lower the blood pressure of lab rats, but it did improve blood circulation -- suggesting the drug may have increased blood flow to the uterus and placenta, the researchers said in a statement.

In addition, surviving offspring of Viagra-treated rats were of normal weight, while those of untreated animals were about 20 percent smaller, the researchers said.

Results of the study were to be presented this week at the 35th Congress of the International Union of Physiological Sciences, in San Diego.


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