Making Soldiers Take Viagra?

Made you look. Turns out Viagra has other benefits, such as enhanced performance at high altitudes such as in Afghanistan. You can’t write about this topic without double entendres, intentional or not, without warping the meaning. It is hard (oops, tuff) to do, so I won’t try, indeed, I will highlight it.

As the commercials continually remind us: Viagra is all about performance.
Now it turns out, that’s not just referring to in the bedroom.
Researchers say the drug, approved for erectile dysfunction, could eventually help some athletes train at high altitudes and soldiers fight in the mountains of Afghanistan.
In a study at Stanford University, some volunteers riding stationary bicycles and breathing through masks to simulate the low oxygen conditions found at 12,700 feet, improved their times for six kilometers by an average of 39 percent after taking Viagra.
The drug, which became an instant blockbuster for Pfizer in 1998, works by causing blood vessels to relax — not only in the penis but in the lungs….
The next step: The U.S. military plans to test Viagra, at high altitude, on about a dozen soldiers later this summer.

Fox Sports out of Australia “Riders go harder on Viagra”

Scientists have since reported, however, that road cyclists may soon have yet another synthetic weapon in their race to ride faster and harder for longer.
Researchers reported on the eve of the 2006 Tour de France, which gets under way in Strasbourg on July 1, that cyclists may be able to increase their athletic performance by taking Viagra, a drug most commonly used to treat male impotence.
Certain cyclists have more trouble than others in sustaining high levels of exertion at mountainous elevations, but the study, to be published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, found that Viagra could boost a rider’s athletic performance by 45 per cent.
A cyclist who did not take Viagra could cover a stretch of road in the high Rocky Mountains in one hour, whereas the same rider could finish the same stretch of road in 39 minutes after taking the drug, the study found.

. “The participants told us that while they were riding the bike they didn’t know whether they were on the drug or not,” Dr Friedlander said.
“However, what they did say was that in the showers afterwards they pretty much knew which pill they had been given.” Viagra was originally launched as a medication for pulmonary hypertension, which occurs when blood vessels in the lungs constrict, decreasing the amount of blood flowing through the oxygen-rich lung tissue.
The result of pulmonary hypertension is lower levels of oxygen in the blood, which causes patients to feel tired, dizzy and short of breath.
Viagra counteracts these effects because it dilates blood vessels, thus relieving constrictions in the vessels and allowing blood to flow more freely through some organs in the body.
Viagra is not listed as a banned drug by the World Anti-Doping Agency, but Sean Petty, chief of staff for USA Cycling, the organisation that oversees competitive bike racing in the US, said “if it’s determined at some point to be a performance-enhancing drug, I’m sure it will be on the banned list”.

Woo-hoo — evil to get an erection?

I think this is really a covert attempt to get rid of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Soldiers running around like mountain goats, sexually aroused.

FILED UNDER: Middle East, , , , , ,
Richard Gardner
About Richard Gardner
Richard Gardner is a “retired” Navy Submarine Officer with military policy, arms control, and budgeting experience. He contributed over 100 pieces to OTB between January 2004 and August 2008, covering special events. He has a BS in Engineering from the University of California, Irvine.


  1. Mark says:

    Poor Rafael Palmeiro. He didn’t even need the steriods. Could have saved himself a ton of grief!

  2. Gordie says:

    Coca allows one to go harder at altitude as well (and feel less hunger)…those are a couple of the reasons the Incans valued the leaves.

  3. Just what goes on in those showers that they “could immediately tell” which drug they were given?