Cardiovascular protection with sildenafil following chronic inhibition of nitric oxide synthase

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During the past 18 years, sildenafil has evolved from a potential anti-angina drug to an on-demand treatment for erectile dysfunction and more recently to a new orally active treatment for pulmonary hypertension. Recent studies suggest that the drug has powerful cardioprotective effect against ischemia/reperfusion injury, doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy and anti-hypertensive effect induced by chronic inhibition of nitric oxide synthase in animals. Based on several recent basic and clinical studies, it is clear that sildenafil and other clinically approved type-5 phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors including vardenafil and tadalafil will eventually be developed for several cardiovascular indications including essential hypertension, endothelial dysfunction, ischemia/reperfusion injury, myocardial infarction, ventricular remodeling and heart failure.

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