Researchers have developed a new gel formulation for the treatment of erectile dysfunction . This gel formulation contains nitrates or nitroglycerin that is being used to treat angina chest pain and also an important ingredient in making explosives. The study was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine .

Erectile dysfunction is the most prevalent of the male sexual dysfunctions (prevalence age 30 to 80 years) at 19.2% as compared to 31% for all types of male sexual dysfunctions. It has a better physical as well as psychological impact and that treatment is noninvasive and effective would be more than welcome.

The oily, colorless liquid that is prepared using nitroglycerine has been found to work 12 times faster than Viagra. It also acts by releasing nitric oxide (NO) gas. NO is responsible for immediate widening or dilatation of the blood vessels of the penis over which it is applied. This leads to the erection . The blood flow to the penis increases remarkably.

The team conducted a study at University College Hospital in London and other centers around the country. They said that in 44% of the men, an erection of the penis was noted after five minutes of use of this new gel formulation. They tested a total of 232 men with erectile dysfunction and found that 70% of the men achieved an erection within 10 minutes of application of the gel.

The 232 men participated in two different studies, each lasting four weeks. In one trial they used a new topical gel called MED2005 that contained 0.2% glyceryl trinitrate or nitroglycerine. Then they switched to the other trial where they were given inert placebo gel to use before intercourse without their knowledge. In each of the trials, they had to rub a pea-sized quantity of the gel onto their penis before they had intercourse.

Researchers explained, a quarter of the users noted a significant improvement in their erection. On the other hand, 14% of the placebo users also reported satisfactory improvement. While Viagra and other medications take almost an hour before they start, this gel worked within 10 minutes in 70% individuals.

According to researchers, the best advantage of this formulation is its ease of use and fast onset of action. The gel however, like other drugs that contain nitroglycerin leads to side effects such headaches, hot flushes, nausea. Alteration of some of the components could address this problem say the scientists.

Researchers said, this gel is in for further studies and human trials until it is considered safe and effective for use among humans. It is being speculated that the gel formulation could cost as little as £ 1. It is found to be most effective among those with mild forms of erectile dysfunction.