When a drug has FDA approval to treat one condition, but is then prescribed by a doctor to treat another, it‘s called an "off-label" use. It‘s nothing new. In fact, contrary to what logic would dictate, the FDA is actually all for it.
And, although drug companies are strictly forbidden to market their products for off-label uses, there‘s nothing to stop them from sending the results of their (often-biased) studies to doctors showing that "drug A" may actually be very helpful in treating "condition B."
For example, the cancer drug Avastin is sometimes prescribed to treat macular degeneration, the anti-seizure drug Neurontin is sometimes used to treat hot flashes in menopausal women...
...and doctors at the All Children‘s Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL are treating babies with Viagra.
No, these babies aren‘t being treated for erectile dysfunction (incidentally, the only condition that Viagra has approval for). They‘re being treated for pulmonary hypertension - a condition that affects approximately one in every 500-700 newborns.
Pulmonary hypertension is the constriction or obstruction of the arteries in a newborn baby‘s lungs. This prevents the proper flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body - a potentially serious condition. Especially for a newborn.
Viagra, it seems, works for a baby‘s lungs the same way it works in a man‘s penis - by opening up the constricted arteries and allowing blood to flow where it needs to flow.
However, Viagra also carries many of the same risks for babies that it does for grown men. Including a dangerous drop in blood pressure, which can lead to unconsciousness. Appalling to say the least!, But even more importantly, what kind of long-term effects does this kind of treatment have on the tiny developing body of a newborn? No one knows. So it begs the question...
Did anyone in the medical mainstream think to try a natural alternative?
Especially when a completely natural amino acid like l-arginine can have the same benefits with none of the side-effects.
It works essentially the same way Viagra does, opening blood vessels, allowing them to carry blood to the penis. And studies have even shown that men supplementing with l-arginine have seen dramatic improvement in erectile dysfunction.
It would follow then, that l-arginine might be a far less risky solution for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension in babies.
But did anyone in the medical mainstream think to try a natural alternative? Of course not.