Doctors warn Viagra cheats

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 March, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 March, 1999, 12:00am

Viagra users who chop their pills in half to save money risk missing out on the controversial anti-impotency drug's performance-enhancing capabilities, doctors have warned.


And they cautioned that cutting up the drug could also leave users out of pocket in the long term.


The warning came after black-marketeers were found advising men to buy Viagra in bulk then cut it up to make a saving.


But urologist Dr Andrew Yip Wai-chun, a member of the Hospital Authority's taskforce on the use of Viagra, has urged patients not to cut corners.


Once the tablet was broken, it absorbed water from humidity in the air, Dr Yip said.


This could affect the active ingredient in the half being 'saved' for later use.


'The amount of drug being taken in the second half will not be guaranteed,' he said.


'You might only find it operating at 15 per cent effectiveness.' Dr Yip's warning came as a British medical journal published warnings against splitting the pills.


Viagra comes in three forms - 25mg, 50mg and 100mg tablets.


The 50mg dose is recommended for most Asian patients, while about 15 per cent will require 100mg and a similar percentage will need 25mg.


At present only 50mg pills are on sale in the SAR but a shipment of 25mg tablets is due to go on shelves shortly.


Experts agree the 100mg tablet is suitable for European or American men, who tend to have a higher body weight.


Side effects can include facial flushing, an upset stomach and, in extreme cases, blurred or blue-tinged vision.