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Cape Gazette
Lewes, Delaware
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November 6, 1998     Cape Gazette
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November 6, 1998
 

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By Kerry Kester VIAGRA, a newly marketed drug to treat erectile dysfunction, is showing promise for improving the lifestyles of many men. Men who have had impotence as a re- sult of diabetes, prostate proce- dures or from rriedically induced side effects are now able to re- claim their sex lives. Dr. K.T. Mohan, a primary, care physician, said that despite the drug's bad press, when used cor- rectly, it is safe. Impotence is of- . ten caused by poor blood flow, the result of veins not being able to di- late when the penis is stimulated. Mohan said the autonomic ner- vous system, which regulates the body's vital functions, or involun- tary functions, has two parts: the sympathetic nervous system speeds the heart rate, narrows blood vessels and raises blood pressure; the parasympathetic ner- vous system slows the heart rate, increases gland activity and relax- es sphincters. The two systems must work to- gether for erection and ejaculation to occur, but sometimes, condi- tions develop that cause the sym- pathetic and parasympathetic sys- tems to become out of sync. For example, those who have had dia- betes for a long time may suffer "impOtence. Some men who have undergone , treatment for prostate disease may also have problems with erectile dysfunction, said Mohan. Others may have the two parts of the au- CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, November 6 - November 12, 1998. 35 VIAGRA useful medication for ' ' ............... treadng ereedle dysfimetion he said. "There's more blood Continued from page 33 covered under Medicare. Howev- er, application for the Medigap in- surance must be made prior to March 4, 1999,. or the enrollee risks being denied'or paying stan- dard-rate premiums. Because HCFA is a federal agency that contracts with HMOs to provide Medicare benefits, the Delaware Department of Insur- flow in the penis, and that causes erection." The problems that hav arisen from VIAGRA, such as the more than 60 deaths attributed to it, were in most cases caused by improper use, he said. "The main side effect is when it's tak- en with other MOHAN nitrates. Then it can be fatal," said Mohan. The result of men taking the drug when their bodies already had nitrates in their systems, such as those used to treat heart prob- lems, was that VIAGRA caused a severe drop in blood pressure. Blood to the brain decreased; pa- tients suffered heart attacks and strokes. "A lot of people were using it from the black market," he said. Patient histories and proper use are not factors with black market drug use. There are three strengths, for example, that are prescribed in accordance with pa- tient history. Depending on what a patient's problem is, or what other medications the patient may be taking, the dose could vary from 25 mg to 50 mg or 100 mg. Before prescribing a drug, a physician must determine whether the erectile dysfunction is caused from a medical condition or a psy- tonomic nervous system become chological condition. Even if the at odds with each other because problem is psychological, howev- they are taking antipsychotic er, VIAGRA can help, said Mo- drugs, antidepressants or antihy- han. pertensives. According to Mohan, when the When a penis becomes erect, ni- drug was studied, 63 percent, 74 tric oxide is released, said Mohan. percent and 82 percent of the pa- "VIAGRA acts like nitric oxide," tients on 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 M aicare--e-- ance does not have jursidiction over the HMO plans. However,.. the department and Elderinfo pro- gram Are both assisting Delaware- ans who need help understanding the insurances or making good de- cisions about what they need, - The Delaware Department of Insurance will hold a meeting to answer insurance questions at 10 a.m., Friday, Nov. 6, at the Lewes Senior Center. Anyone who would like additional counseling" or information may contact Elder- info at 800-336-9500. mg, resPectively, compared to 24 percent of those who received placebos, reported, improvement in their erections. Adverse side effects that some people may experience include headaches, flushing, a feeling of discomfort under the breastbone, nasal congestion, urinary tract in- fections, abnormal vision, diar- rhea, dizziness or a rash, with headaches and flushing being the most common. "All medications have side effects," said Mohan, but not all patients experience them. Typically, he said, insurance companies that cover the expense of the medication at all, provide for a limited number of doses per month. Personal care critical For treatment of erectile dys- function or any other problem, Mohan believes that establishing a good relationship with a patient is key to successful health care. "I like to treat my patients as family members, spend time with them," said Mohan. "You're not just treating ttieir problems; talk- ing to them makes them feel bet- ter, too." Continued on page 36 Beebe Medical Center to hold town meetings Beebe Medical Center will host four public information meetings in var- ious Sussex County locations. The sessions are for Delaware residents who will be affected by the termination of Delaware's Medicare HMO coverage plans. WHEN WHERE Tuesday, Nov. 10 Lewes Public Library Thursday, Nov. 12 Sea Colony, Edgeweter Building, Bethany Beach Monday, Nov. 16 Delaware Technical & Community College, Georgetown Thursday, Nov. 19 Indian River Senior Center, Millsboro. Each meeting is scheduled to begin st 2 p.m. FINE Y/.EN/.HP [ NL:P%[POINT "Winter At The Beach" Announcmg A limited edition of 900 signed and numbered prints is now available. See your gallery, frame shop or gift shop. "Winter At The Beach" Oil on line n original 16" x 24" For information about this or other Abraxas prints: Contact Jody Hudson - jodyhudson @ce.net Box 277 Nassau, DE 19969 302,226,0102 or statewide 228.4000