Viagra Ice Cream Arouses Controversy

Viagra ice cream is not likely to be sold legally in the US.
Lick Me I'm Delicious

The long list of unnatural food combinations just grew a little bigger: Viagra and Champagne ice cream.

The treat — which has the familiar blue hue of the popular erectile dysfunction (ED) drug — is the brainchild of Welsh food inventor Charlie Harry Francis, who created the product for one of his "A-list celebrity clients."

Each scoop of the dessert contains 25 mg of Viagra, according to the website of Francis' company, Lick Me I'm Delicious. But you'll have to wait to buy it; the Viagra/Champagne ice cream isn't likely to appear on store shelves anytime soon — if ever. [7 Surprising Reasons for Erectile Dysfunction]

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Sex, drugs and FDA scrutiny

Since the drug (known as sildenafil citrate) was approved in 1998, Viagra has aroused the scrutiny of health care professionals and Food and Drug Administration officials. In 2004, drug manufacturer Pfizer was ordered to shut down its alluring ad campaign that featured Viagra users as devilish, lusty lotharios.

"The TV ads claim that Viagra will provide a return to a previous level of sexual desire and activity," FDA regulatory officer Christine Hemler Smith wrote in a warning letter to Robert B. Clark, a Pfizer vice president. "FDA is not aware of substantial evidence or substantial clinical experience demonstrating this benefit for patients who take Viagra."

Pfizer has frequently denied that it's promoting the recreational use of Viagra. "We've consistently opposed that," company spokesman Geoff Cook told WebMD. However, urologist Myron Murdock, director of the Impotence Institute of America, added that it's fine for men to use the drug to "optimize" their sexual performance.

In U.S., 'Natural' Food May be Anything But

And many men without erectile dysfunction have taken that advice to heart. According to a 2010 report in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, more than 21 percent of healthy men ages 18 to 30 used ED medication as a recreational drug, "mostly associated with alcohol or other drugs without medical control."

The majority of these drugs users obtained the medication from a friend or an Internet source. "This could have led to misuse and a public health problem," the study authors wrote, referring to the recreational use of ED medication. "Further studies are needed to evaluate … long-term safety, misuse and abuse related to it."

How safe is Viagra?

A number of other reports have called the safety of Viagra and other ED drugs into question. A 2010 study from the Archives of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery found an association between ED drugs and long-term hearing loss.

And this month, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that found men who take Viagra are about 84 percent more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma (a deadly form of skin cancer), compared with men who do not use the drug.

None of these warnings, however, are likely to cool men's ardor for Viagra and other ED drugs. After consuming their Viagra-laced ice cream, Francis' clients were "very happy with the end result," according to Francis' website.

Original article on Live Science.

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