Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Viagra, East of Java

I read today of a study in hamsters showing that a low-dose of Viagra (sildenafil) helps to reduce the effects of jet lag -- but only when traveling eastward! That is called a phase advance, when the new time is earlier than your body's clock.

No, they didn't put the hamsters on Hooters Airlines... they just woke them up early:

The team observed how easily the hamsters adjusted by noting how soon the nocturnal animals began running on their exercise wheels when the lights went out.

They found that sildenafil boosted the ability of hamsters to recover 25 to 50 per cent quicker than untreated animals. Sunlight is thought to be a key influence on the body clock by its involvement in a neurochemical pathway in which cGMP is involved, and in this way the drug is thought to make the brain more sensitive to the effects of light, Dr Golombek said.

However, the drug only worked when applied before an advance in the light/dark cycle, equivalent to an eastbound flight.
Encouragingly, Viagra worked at doses low enough not to trigger erections, though Dr Golombek stressed that human tests would be needed to confirm that this was also true for people.
How did they measure hamster hard-ons, I wonder.
The scientists believe that frequent fliers and shift workers may well benefit from moderate doses of sildenafil, with passengers probably taking it during flights.

"Shift work and chronic jet lag reduce mental acuity and increase the risk of a number of medical problems," Dr Golombek said.

"A potential jet-lag treatment for advancing cycles could also be important for the safety of counter-clockwise rotating shift work and the potential long-term health consequences for airline crews regularly crossing time zones."

So now there may be a whole 'nother mile-high club... just for jet-lagged shift-workers traveling eastward. (Maybe one would use depo-provera for westward jet lag, huh?)

Makes me think of the B-52's song, Lava:
My body's burnin' like a lava from a Mauna Loa
My heart's crackin' like a Krakatoa
Krakatoa, east of Java, molten bodies, fiery lava

Fire, fire, burnin' bright
Turn on your love lava
Turn on your lava light
Fire, oh volcano, over you
Don't let your lava love turn to stone
Keep it burnin'
Keep it burnin' here at home

10 comments:

Gerbil said...

A friend of a friend worked in a lab where his job consisted of placing opaque contact lenses in the eyes of male hamsters--and also measuring their (ahem) hamsterly members. This was a few years ago, so I'm not sure whether it's the same lab as put out this article.

So, yes, Roy, there is an answer to your methodological question. I just don't know what it is.

NeoNurseChic said...

Interestingly enough, I have given viagra to a baby before! It can be used for PPHN - persistent pulmonary hypertension. At least, that's one indication! Everybody thought it was funny - including the baby's parents!

Eastbound jet lag is by far the worst!! At least if you go west, you actually get time back! But going east, you lose it far too fast. Even though I tried to sleep at least 5 hours a night in England (this is about as much as I get at home when working...and how it used to be during school for me), every morning when Helen and I would be driving somewhere, I would feel extremely nauseous and just so dizzy/lightheaded that I'd have to take a nap in the car. I hated to do that because as I've mentioned, we traveled over 2000 miles in 8 days, and Helen did all of the driving. I felt bad falling asleep while she was driving these long distances, and even moreso because I'd be missing the view! However, we'd be in the car every morning and I'd just feel that sick and dizzy feeling, and I'd have to take a nap. I finally realized that even though I was sleeping at night, my body literally thought that it was 4am when it was 9am in England. I adjusted psychologically, but my body did not adjust physically! I found that concept to be fascinating, as I thought the worst part would be getting my mind in the right timezone - but my body was completely independent of my rational thought on that one! The night before my last day there, I actually took a serax to help sleep - which I have prescribed for insomnia, but I never take. I slept a solid 8 hours, slept like a rock, and the next day finally did not feel jet lag. Too bad I went home the day after that! Just when I got adjusted, I had to come home! haha....

If only I'd had a viagra prescription with me, then maybe I would have adjusted more quickly! LOL.....

Take care,
Carrie :)

ClinkShrink said...

Roy, Roy, Roy...you forgot the mandatory MNP label. I fixed it. So to speak. The label I mean, not the hamster.

Gerbil said...

I was wondering where the MNP label was. Good catch, Clink!

Roy said...

Good catch, with the MNP, Clink.

I figured a Gerbil would be able to answer my Hamster question. (If they had to measure duck dingles, they'd need a yardstick.)

Carrie, I've heard of Viagra for PPH, which is also a condition that some folks developed after taking Phen-fen (phentermine-fenfluramine) for weight loss, which is why fenfluramine (Pondimin, I think) was removed from the market.

ClinkShrink said...

Duck dingles?

I would much rather have a duck dongle. I really really want one of these for Christmas. It's for the Shrink Rap geek who has everything.

If ducks aren't your thing (besides the fact that you're on the wrong blog), you can try one of these:

Top 10 Weirdest USB Drives

It's very disturbing to see Barbie sticking out of a laptop.

DrivingMissMolly said...

"Fire, fire, burnin' bright
Turn on your love lava
Turn on your lava light
Fire, oh volcano, over you
Don't let your lava love turn to stone
Keep it burnin'
Keep it burnin' here at home"

HaHa. Keep your "love lava" to yourself man; it sounds like you have an STD!!!!

L

Alison said...

Comment unrelated to post / Post request

Last week, MWWAK posted about using her doctorly pull to get an urgent scan when the person who was supposed to arrange it for her didn't. She was a little worried about the ethics of it and wondered what the rest of the world did. http://mwwak.blogspot.com/2007/05/professional-dis-courtesy.html#links

A twin post from Kevin MD is about a woman who died because she was labelled a complainer and was refused timely treatment. http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2007/05/death-of-complainer.html#comments

Could you guys do a post on how to be aggressive/assertive on one's own behalf, or on behalf of someone else? As a psychiatric patient I am terrified of making it easy for someone to label me borderline and "treat" me (or the person I am attempting to advocate for) by telling me to go away and solve my own problems. So instead I put on my absolute most compliant self and am very, very Good. This of course makes it easy for someone to decide that I don't need help, or not urgently, and tell me to go away and solve my own problems.

If medical personnel don't think there's anything they can help with, I am in no position to argue even if I feel they're wrong or missing something. I feel helpless.

This applies for both physical and psychiatric problems I might need help with. I don't ask for help often - maybe every three or four years or so - but when I do I need it. It's not just me, as my brother and mother ran into the same issue recently and my brother ended up with an emergency admission to a thoracic surgery ward after months of fruitless attempts to get help. (Which is why the question is back in my mind right now.)

Any advice or insight? This isn't like asserting a right to service from a restaurant (where you are a paying customer), or asserting a need for respectful distance with an upsetting relative (who doesn't have a gatekeeper function).

Sarebear said...

You guys can work a penis into anything!!

Er, any post. Are you trying for the maximum number of penises per post ratio (that's p cubed), or something?

Just joshing, I guess I've got the silly willies.

hamsterly members? I could've gone a lifetime without reading such a delightfully funny phrase. hee hee. Brings new meaning to the phrase, "Wee one".

Ha!

Ooo, you guys WERE after the MNP!

Barbie sticking out of a laptop . . . my mind thought something rather different than what was shown (hee hee). Someone haul me out of the gutter (not the three shrinks, they started it!)

That is SO cool! But it would send my daughter into tears, not because she loves barbie (she does), but w/her autism anything that is different than the way things should be (and that barbie is WAY different than the way things should be!) would not go down well (ah, dang it, there goes my mind again . . . . !)

very funny lily!

Depo-Provera Prescription Information said...

My name is Janice Still and i would like to show you my personal experience with Depo-Provera.

I am 24 years old. I have been on Depo for 9 years and did not realize that the symptoms I experienced might be related to the shot. I am now facing thousands of dollars in dental work due to bone density loss, and will probably end up with osteoporosis. I am getting off Depo and will never touch it again!

I have experienced some of these side effects-
Low libido, joint pain, bone density loss, dental problems, headaches, fatigue, out of control eating, gained 40 lbs., depression

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Janice Still