SINGAPORE: Couples looking for ways to ignite the spark in the bedroom may find it in a gel that literally contains tiny doses of dynamite, according to British researchers.
The anti-impotence gel is formulated with nitroglycerine, an oily, colourless liquid that is prone to exploding in large quantities.
In a trial on 220 men with erectile dysfunction, a pea-sized blob of the gel was found to work more than 12 times faster than Viagra. The study by the University College Hospital in London revealed that 44 per cent of the men achieved an erection five minutes after applying the gel on their penis.
Viagra and other impotence pills typically take from 30 to 60 minutes to take effect.
As the gel passes through skin, it releases nitric oxide gas that dilates the blood vessels and increases blood flow in the penis to keep it erect. However, there were some mild side effects, including headaches. The researchers are altering the ingredients for better results.
“Potential advantages include potential for a fast action and ease of use. Their use could be incorporated into sexual foreplay, increasing the level of intimacy between couples,” said Dr David Ralph, a consultant urologist at the Institute of Urology in London.
This is not the first time that nitroglycerine is used medically. After Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel found a way to stabilise the chemical, it has been used to treat medical conditions caused by constricted blood flow, such as chest pain created when the heart does not get sufficient oxygen-rich blood.
While drugs such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra have helped with erectile dysfunction, about 30 per cent of men who use them do not find them effective. Furthermore, some men suffer headaches, nausea and hot flushes.
More tests need to be done before the gel can hit the shelves next year.