Viagra may help people with jetlag

Scientists have performed a study which shows that Viagra (sildenafil) could be used to help people recovering from jetlag.

However, taking the drug only appears to have a benefit when flying eastwards.

Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study investigated the daily time cycles of hamsters by monitoring their activity in an exercise wheel. The hamsters were active when the lights were on and went to sleep when the lights were turned off.

The Argentine scientists altered the light-dark cycle by switching on the lights six hours earlier than normal. The hamsters which had received an injection of sildenafil before the change in light-dark cycle, adapted to the new time cycle quicker than the hamsters which had not received the drug.

The researchers believe that sildenafil is blocking an enzyme which breaks down cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), a molecule known to have a role is setting the 'body-clock.'

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