Scientists from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University are working on a cream to rub on and treat erectile dysfunction (ED). The cream could prove to be safer than oral medications used to deliver nitric oxide to the cells that improves blood flow to treat impotency. Using encapsulated nanoparticles, the scientists have found a way to deliver nitric oxide and prescription drugs that penetrate the tissues to treat erectile dysfunction that affects tens of millions of men.
The study, published online in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, was performed on eighteen rats with age related erectile dysfunction. The cream, when applied topically, delivers drugs to treat erectile dysfunction in a controlled release fashion that eliminates the potential side effects when erectile dysfunction drugs are delivered systemically.
The researchers treated three groups of rats – one group received the topical nanoparticles erectile treatment with encapsulated nitric oxide. A second group received nanoparticles encapsulated with nitric oxide, plus an experimental erectile dysfunction drug called sialorphin. Sialorphin acts differently than PDE5 inhibitors currently on the market such as Viagra and Cialis. The third group was given the topical erectile dysfunction cream plus tadalafil (Cialis).
The nanoparticle, nitric oxide system, applied topically, combined with either sialorphin or tadalafil, significantly improved erectile dysfunction in five out of seven rats treated. Developer of the topical erectile dysfunction treatment and study co-author Joel M. Friedman, M.D., PhDs says, "Most of the animals, nearly 90 percent, showed a response to treatment with the nanoparticles.”
It only took thirty minutes for the rats to respond to the treatment says senior author Kelvin P. Davies, Ph.D., associate professor of urology at Einstein. “In both rats and humans, it can take 30 minutes to one hour for oral ED medications to take effect."
Using a topical treatment for erectile dysfunction could prove safer for men with existing heart disease, and could also provide a more effective treatment for diabetics who have high rates of erectile dysfunction. So far, the erectile dysfunction cream looks safe. The scientists found no signs of systemic toxicity, local inflammation, or other undesirable side effects.