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FDA: Viagra needs warning label – it could make users go blind

That’s not what your mother (or the church) told you that would make you go blind.

The government on Friday ordered warnings onto the labels of Viagra and two other impotence drugs that some users have developed a form of blindness — while cautioning that it’s impossible to know if the pills are to blame. Food and Drug Administration’s move comes as the agency is under intense pressure to investigate more aggressively and warn the public about drug side effects.

At issue is sudden vision loss when blood flow to the optic nerve is blocked, a condition called NAION or non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy.NAION is considered one of the most common causes of sudden vision loss in older people, with anywhere from 1,000 to 6,000 cases a year. Moreover, risk factors include diabetes and heart disease, two of the leading causes of impotence.

The FDA has 43 reports of NAION among the impotence drug users: 38 for Viagra, four for Cialis and one for Levitra. They include varying degrees of vision loss, including blindness.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding