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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Viagra May Help Recover From Jet Lag

The male impotence drug Viagra may be useful for treating jet lag, say Argentine researchers who gave it to hamsters made to feel like rodent globe-trotters.

The researchers manipulated the schedule of turning lights on and off to induce jet lag in the laboratory animals, they reported Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Adult male hamsters given Viagra, also called sildenafil, recovered from jet lag up to 50 percent faster than hamsters that were not given it, the researchers said.

The scientists stopped giving the hamsters the highest dose they had been using in the experiment due to a certain side effect.

"However, we used the intermediate dose for the rest of the experiments because at that dose animals did not manifest the effects of sildenafil-induced penile erections," they wrote.

Flying across multiple time zones can confuse one's sleep-wake cycle, resulting in the condition called jet lag, marked by insomnia, sleepiness and difficulty concentrating.

Researchers Patricia Agostino, Santiago Plano and Diego Golombek of the Universidad Nacional de Quilmes in Buenos Aires gave doses of Viagra to the hamsters at night, then switched on bright lights six hours early to simulate eastbound flight.

They judged how well the hamsters adjusted to the changes by observing when they began running on exercise wheels.