Posted in Health, news, vaping

Viagra Should Not Be Vaped

The FDA is warning e-cigarette companies to stop selling vaping products with claims that they contain erectile dysfunction medications.

Consumers are being urged to avoid vaping products claiming to have ingredients such as sildenafil and tadalafil used in Viagra and Cialis respectively as they can interact with other medications (such as nitrates). Moreover there is no data suggesting one’s respiratory lining to be a safe route of absorption of a phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE-5) inhibitor.

The primary purpose of the lungs is to oxygenate blood and its highly specialized lining is not necessarily designed to absorb nutrients, as does the small intestine.

On the FDA website it states:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today it has issued a warning letter to HelloCig Electronic Technology Co. Ltd for various violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, including selling two e-liquids that contain the prescription drugs tadalafil and/or sildenafil, leading the FDA to determine that the products are unapproved new drugs.
Sildenafil and tadalafil are the active pharmaceutical ingredients in FDA-approved prescription drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction. These FDA-approved prescription drugs are not approved for inclusion in e-liquid products sold over the counter and are therefore being sold illegally. In addition, the company is marketing other e-liquids used in e-cigarettes in ways that convey and mislead consumers into believing that the FDA has approved these tobacco products, when it has not.
Laboratory analysis conducted by the FDA confirmed “E-Cialis HelloCig E-Liquid” contains the undeclared drugs sildenafil and tadalafil, and “E-Rimonabant HelloCig E-Liquid” contains the undeclared drug sildenafil. These undeclared ingredients are phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors. These ingredients can be associated with significant safety issues and the risk of serious adverse events.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb states, “There are no e-liquids that contain prescription drugs that have been proven safe or effective through this route of administration.”

Those Needing Erectile Dysfunction Drugs Should Have Their Heart Checked

 

Companies are looking to expand their market by enticing consumers to vape vitamins, such as B12, and essential oils.  Last week, however, a professor of nutrition from New York University, Dr. Charles Mueller, warned against it.  He states, “Vitamins need to come with [fat and water] and go through the same gastrointestinal tract to be absorbed.”  Moreover respiratory administration of nutrition has not been actively studied.

 

Vaping linked to heart disease and cancer

A study published by the American Heart Association found nine different E-cig flavors  to impair blood vessel function, which can impair heart health.

Endothelial cells, which delicately line blood and lymph vessels, were found to become inflamed at low concentrations of some vapor flavors.  And at high concentrations of others, exibited cell death.  Nitric oxide production, necessary for vessel dilation to improve blood flow, was impaired as well. These are often the same changes seen in early heart disease.

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The 9 flavors (and the chemicals within) cited in the report to cause the endothelial inflammation and/or damage were:

  • Mint (menthol)
  • Vanilla (vanillin)
  • Clove (eugenol)
  • Cinnamon (cinnamaldehyde)
  • Strawberry (dimethylpyrazine)
  • Banana (isoamyl acetate)
  • Butter (diacetyl)
  • Eucalyptus/spicy cooling (eucalyptol)
  • Burnt flavor (acetylpyridine)

Strawberry flavoring appeared to have the most adverse effect on the cells.

Now many other flavors were not included in this study, so its unknown how safe they may be.

Last May, researchers from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville found e-cig smoke to increase one’s risk of bladder cancer.

In 2015, the University of Minnesota identified chemicals commonly found in e-cig vapor to include:

  • Formaldehyde (human carcinogen)
  • Acetaldehyde (carcinogen related to alcohol drinking)
  • Acrolein (highly irritating and toxic)
  • Toluene (toxic) NNN, NNK (tobacco carcinogens related to nicotine)
  • Metals (possible carcinogens and toxins)

Although electronic cigarette “juice” may appear safe, it could produce harmful chemicals once heated to become a vapor.

A lethal dose of nicotine for an adult ranges from 30-60 mg and varied for children (0.5-1.0 mg/kg can be a lethal dosage for adults, and 0.1 mg/kg for children).  E-cigs, depending on their strengths (0 – 5.4%) could contain up to 54 mg of nicotine per cartridge (a 1.8% e -cig would contain 18mg/ml).

The topic of nicotine increasing one’s vulnerability to cancer is nothing new as decades ago researchers found nicotine to affect the cilia (brush border) along the respiratory tree, preventing mucous production and a sweeping out of carcinogens trying to make their way down to the lungs.

More research needs to be performed but this recent report reminds us that exposing our delicate lung tissue and immune system to vaping chemicals may not be as safe as we think.

 

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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

She is also a Board Certified Family Physician and Assistant Professor at Touro University Nevada

Posted in Health, news, sex

Those Needing Viagra Should Have Their Hearts Checked

ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION (ED) HAS AGAIN BEEN LINKED TO HEART DISEASE

For years, men have voiced frustration when their medical providers insisted on a cardiac workup prior to initiating an ED prescription.  Some thought it was because they’d have a heart attack during sex.  But it’s not.  Erectile dysfunction is a vascular issue, and if the vessels of the penis are compromised, how does one know his heart vessels aren’t as well?

Now in a recent study from John Hopkins School of Medicine found an increase risk of stroke, heart attack and cardiac arrests in those men who suffered from erectile dysfunction.  Study author, Michael Blaha, professor of Medicine, states, “Our findings suggest that clinicians should perform further targeted screening in men with erectile dysfunction, regardless of other cardiac risk factors and should consider managing any other risk factors — such as high blood pressure or cholesterol — that much more aggressively.”

 

Last December, a study published in the Journal of Vascular Medicine, found the same risk factors leading to erectile dysfunction are also culprits in heart disease.

Risk factors shared by both erectile dysfunction and heart disease include:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Men over age 45
  • Physical inactivity
  • Stress
  • Obesity
  • Family history of heart disease

 

Last year, researchers from Mount Sinai Medical Center, Florida International University and Baptist Health South Florida reviewed multiple studies and found a link between erectile dysfunction and compromised blood vessels whose endothelium (lining) demonstrated impaired vessel relaxation. This is necessary for both erections as well as blood flow to the heart and rest of the body.

Moreover carotid media-intima thickness, a marker of atherosclerosis, appeared to be correlated to erectile dysfunction as well.

Both studies remind us that if one bodily function is impaired, other organs may be quietly suffering the same impairment.

I like to credit the pharmaceutical companies that created erectile dysfunction drugs with saving millions of men’s lives as:

  1. Men who would refuse to come into any doctor’s office now had an incentive to, resulting in a long-overdue check-up
  2. Those who saw providers who required an EKG or diabetic screening, and unknowingly suffered from a serious cardiac risk factor, could now be diagnosed.
  3. ED drugs allowed those men who couldn’t enjoy sex to now get some much-needed physical activity

Young men aren’t immune to cardiovascular disease and need to be screened as well if they have issues starting or maintaining erections.

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Health, news, sex

Those Needing Viagra Should Have Their Hearts Checked

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Has Again Been Linked to Heart Disease

For years, men have voiced frustration when their medical providers insisted on a cardiac workup prior to initiating an ED prescription.  Some thought it was because they’d have a heart attack during sex.  But it’s not.  Erectile dysfunction is a vascular issue, and if the vessels of the penis are compromised, how does one know his heart vessels aren’t as well?

Now in a recent study published in the Journal of Vascular Medicine, researchers found the same risk factors leading to erectile dysfunction are also culprits in heart disease.

Risk factors shared by both erectile dysfunction and heart disease include:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Men over age 45
  • Physical inactivity
  • Stress
  • Obesity

 

Researchers from Mount Sinai Medical Center, Florida International University and Baptist Health South Florida reviewed multiple studies and found a link between erectile dysfunction and compromised blood vessels whose endothelium (lining) demonstrated impaired vessel relaxation. This is necessary for both erections as well as blood flow to the heart and rest of the body.

Moreover carotid media-intima thickness, a marker of atherosclerosis, appeared to be correlated to erectile dysfunction as well.

This study reminds us that if one bodily function is impaired, other organs may be quietly suffering the same impairment.

I like to credit the pharmaceutical companies that created erectile dysfunction drugs with saving millions of men’s lives as:

  1. Men who would refuse to come into any doctor’s office now had an incentive to, resulting in a long-overdue check-up
  2. Those who saw providers who required an EKG or diabetic screening, and unknowingly suffered from a serious cardiac risk factor, could now be diagnosed.
  3. ED drugs allowed those men who couldn’t enjoy sex to now get some much-needed physical activity

The study authors stated, “Our study supports a more aggressive cardiovascular disease risk assessment and management for persons with erectile dysfunction, including young men who may otherwise be categorized as low risk due to their young ages.”

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Entertainment, Health, news

Viagra and Hearing Loss

Hugh Hefner’s widow, Crystal Harris, claims Viagra caused her late husband’s hearing loss.

In 2011, then 25 year old Harris told Howard Stern on his radio show, that the Playboy founder wanted to avoid the erectile dysfunction medication due to its effect on his hearing.

How does Viagra cause hearing loss?

In 2007, a study published in The Archives of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery reported sudden hearing loss in one or both ears in some individuals who took Viagra and/or other PDE5 inhibitors for erectile dysfunction.  Moreover some patients reported tinnitus, or ringing in the ears.

PDE5 inhibitors work by allowing smooth muscle within the arterial walls of the penis to relax and allow more blood to remain present to maintain an erection.

Although the exact reason for hearing loss was not discovered, experts postulated that an increase in blood flow could have affected the auditory system affecting sounds to be transmitted properly.  Moreover increase blood flow turbulence may lead to ear ringing.

As a result of multiple reports of hearing loss, the FDA was prompted to ask manufacturers of PDE5 inhibitor drugs such as Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis to include warnings of the side effect on the label.

In 2011, Khan et al reported the following:  There is increasing evidence that PDE-5 inhibitors may induce sensorineural hearing loss via plausible physiological mechanisms. There needs to be more awareness of this disabling side effect among healthcare professionals responsible for prescribing this drug.

What’s challenging is many seniors who struggle with hearing loss may think age could be leading to its progression rather than a medication they are taking.  However, sudden hearing loss does NOT occur naturally  with age and could signal something more is occurring.

Any hearing loss or tinnitus should prompt an evaluation by a hearing specialist.

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network and Board Certified Family Physician

 

Posted in Health, news

Today’s Health Headlines

“Smart bandages” will soon tell us if wound is infected

This is so cool.  The bandage has capsules that release a fluorescent dye when bacteria “toxins” make contact and permeate the capsules.  This will help providers recognize wound infection must sooner. I remember the prototype came out last year, but it looks like they are undergoing preliminary trials soon.

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/uk/smart-bandages-could-provide-early-infection-warning-35250806.html

Texas reports first local transmission case of Zika

Texas is now the second state to have local transmission of Zika (first is Florida). Its a women who is not pregnant and lives along the Gulf Coast.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/28/health/zika-case-texas.html?_r=0

HIV vaccine being tested in Africa

The vaccine’s predecessor, back in 2009, was only 31% effective in protecting against HIV infection. This one has been tweaked and researchers hope this will work better.

 

Thunderstorm asthma – the perfect storm for asthmatics

6 people died in Australia from asthma after a recent thunderstorm.  They believe pollen swelled and exploded causing many more particles to be inhaled by vulnerable individuals during the windy storm.

 

Study links aspartame with weight gain and diabetes

For some time now, studies have pointed to diet drinks causing weight gain and diabetes, this study looked at mice, whose gut enzyme, intestinal alkaline phosphatase, was blocked by the artificial sweetener aspartame, and when fed a high fat diet, the aspartame fed mice fared worse with blood sugar and weight.

Chronic gum disease linked to erectile dysfunction
Periodontitis has been linked to heart disease and stroke, so its logical that those suffering from gum disease would have issues with most major vessels, including those instrumental in regulating erections.

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network and Board Certified Family Physician