During the process of creating drugs to treat various illnesses, sometimes there can be a side-effect that was not intended, and sometimes this can be a good thing. Take for example Viagra, which was originally developed to treat hypertension, but was later discovered to be more effective at treating erectile dysfunction.
Now it looks like another erectile dysfunction drug has found another potential use beyond its original scope, and that is to treat critical COVID-19 cases. Known as Aviptadil (VIP), the drug was meant to treat erectile dysfunction, but it has also been found to help in the treatment of patients who are in the critical stages of COVID-19 where it could help stop acute respiratory distress syndrome.
As it stands, there is no known cure for the COVID-19 virus that is plaguing the world. Doctors can only manage the symptoms and treat them as they appear, although with VIP showing promise, it could help healthcare workers in their fight against the virus while more specific treatments and vaccines are being worked on.
This is important because drugs take time to develop and there also needs to be extensive tests to ensure that they are safe. However, by using already-available drugs, it could help relieve the current situation. Based on the tests, it seems that seven out of eight patients who were on ventilators showed substantial improvements after being given VIP, with six ultimately leaving the hospital alive.
Before you get your hopes up of seeing VIP being used in treatments, it should be noted that the FDA has yet to approve the drug for public use. Instead, the FDA has issued a “study may proceed” letter to the companies that developed the drug, meaning they can now embark on a Phase 2 trial of the drug.