Viagra: A Cure for Jet Lag?

Florence Cardinal Health Guide
  • If you have traveled by jet over several time zones, you are perhaps familiar with the malaise that's known as jet lag. Suddenly night and day are reversed, and your body's rhythm just isn't ready to cope with it. For several days, you may feel tired, disoriented and generally unwell. Your stomach is upset, your muscles may ache, and you find it impossible to sleep.


    Until now, I've relied on these tried-and-true tips to battle my own jet lag:

    • Before you leave, adjust your sleep and meal times to the destination time. 
    • Get lots of sleep before you leave. 
    • Avoid alcohol before and during the trip. 
    • Cut down on caffeine.
    • Eat lightly.
    • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration in dry airplane air. 
    • During the flight, move around, walk the aisle, stretch. 
    • Wear comfortable clothes during the flight. 
    • If you want to sleep on the plane, cut out noise and light with earplugs and eye mask. 
    • Use a neck rest or, at the very least, a comfortable pillow. 
    • Cut down on your salt intake. 
    • Ask your doctor about using supplements like melatonin or No-Jet-Lag. 
    • Once you arrive, get as much light as possible. 
    • As soon as you arrive, set your watch to the correct time and start living by that time. 
    • Upon arrival, freshen up with a shower or bath. 
    • Try to arrive in the evening and attempt sleep as soon as you can. 
    • If you have business meetings or other important events to attend, try to arrive a day or two early.
    • If all else fails, nap away the blahs before getting on with the festivities. Then enjoy your visit.


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    Now, according to HealthDay News, there may be another remedy in the works - Viagra! You've no doubt heard all the claims for the use of viagra in erectile dysfunction. But as a remedy for jet lag?


    Well, according to the article:
    "While it's too early to know if it will work in humans, Argentinean researchers are reporting that the drug sildenafil -- better known by the brand name Viagra -- appears to reduce symptoms of jet lag in hamsters"


    When viagra was administered to the hamsters before adjusting their light/dark sequence to mimic that experienced in jet lag, the hamsters that received the viagra recovered 25% to 50% faster than those that didn't.


    Viagra was original developed to treat high blood pressure and angina before it's benefits in the treatment of erectile dysfunction were discovered.


    Side Effects

    The benefits of using viagra in the treatment of jetlag in humans is yet to be tested. There are risks to taking this medicine that involve the heart, blood pressure and kidneys, not to mention the risk of embarrassment when viagra works in its capacity as a cure for erectile dysfunction at 30,000 feet.


    As for the next step, Dr. Diego Golombek, a researcher with the Universidad Nacional de Quilmes in Buenos Aires, said:
    "A full-scale clinical trial has to be performed in humans, which is indeed quite expensive and time-consuming. Jet-lag trials might involve laboratory simulations, but we also need 'the real thing,' which means testing pharmacological treatments on long-haul air travel."



Published On: May 23, 2007