Enter new pill against impotence - The Borneo Post - Thursday, 15 August 2002

KUALA LUMPUR: A few years after the emergence of Viagra that enables men suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence to have normal sex life again, a new pill that promises to be more effective and safe has hit the market and is expected to make its debut in Malaysia soon.

Prof Jeremy Heaton, the founder of "Apomorphine" said here yesterday the drug had been in use in 47 countries and studies in men taking it showed more than 90 per cent success at sexual intercourse. "Apomorphine is a small pill that is placed under the tongue. Once dissolved, it is rapidly absorbed into the blood system and enhances the natural signal of the brain that controls sexual response," he said on the sidelines of the Sixth Asian Congress of Urology being held here.

Prof Heaton of Queen's University and Kingston General Hospital in Canada said Apomorphine also allows a man to achieve an erection in a similar manner to the way it naturally occurs. The drug is manufactured by Abbott Laboratories of the United States. He said Apomorphine's major score point is spontaneity.
Because it is placed under the tongue and allowed to absorb into the bloodstream, erection could result in 10 minutes after sexual stimulation.

Unlike Viagra and other oral ED treatments, the new drug bypasses the stomach and the liver, resulting in lesser chance of drug wastages through liver metabolism. Prof Calude Schulman, Head of the Department of Urology at Belgium's Erasme Hospital in Brussels, told reporters that people suffering from ED were likely to have cardiovascular diseases and others like diabetes as one of the causes of ED was narrowing of the blood vessels. "So, ED not only affects the sexual aspects but have important linkages to other diseases," he said.

But, he said, extensive tests carried on tens of thousands of men who had taken Apomorphine in Europe showed it had no side effects on their cardiovascular conditions. "With the advent of Apomorphine, men with ED now have a treatment option that is viable, effective and safe," he said. The doctors agreed that there was a lack of awareness about ED and its treatment. Some studies showed that 70 per cent of those with ED were embarrassed, 25 per cent believed it was normal part of ageing and five per cent did not think it was important.

They said ED was a very treatable condition and no longer should be a cause of embarrassment and it did not require any "horrendous" medical operations like many other medical conditions. Dr Sahabuddin Raja Mohamed, Head of the Department of Urology at Hospital Kuala Lumpur here, said that in Malaysia, the registration of new drugs would normally take two years before being allowed to be sold in the market.

He said that ED was increasing in Malaysia as it was in many other countries. Dr Sahabuddin, who is also organising chairman of the congress, said Apomorphine was expected to be available locally soon. - Bernama