Raynaud's Disease and Viagra

Reno resident Dottie Bachelor says she started noticing the problem in her early twenties. Her hands and feet chilled easily; they blanched then turned purple, regaining their heat was even more painful.

"At that time there was no cure and to this day I don't know if there is pr not just treating symptoms. So it’s one of those live with it and expect it to get worse.

Dottie was diagnosed Raynaud's phenomenon which has gotten progressively worse over time. It occurs when small blood vessels in the skin react to cold or stress by shutting down.

This causes numbness, tingling, and pain in fingers and toes. In severe cases, ulcerations can occur in the fingers and toes. Reno Dermatolgist Dr. Cindy Lamerson says, "Sometimes it can go on for days, sometimes it is just an hour and rebounds itself but some people an have the phenomenon where it affects them for days to weeks and this can be quite significant.”

German Researchers say Sildenaphil otherwise known as Viagra may hold a promising treatment for Raynaud's. With a small study of only 15 patients the lead author says Viagra could actually change clinical practice as it applies to Raynaud's.

In the study patients were given a placebo for four weeks and then switched to Viagra for another four week. Attacks were cut by 18 in those treated with Viagra and the duration of those attacks lasted nearly half as long.