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Viagra for CDH KidsThe off-label uses of Viagra are many and one condition for which the drug has been recently in use if for congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). Viagra, available as the brand name of Sildenafil, is prescribed primarily for erectile dysfunction (ED) but the drug’s effectiveness can be used to manage other conditions as well. CDH is one such condition, which occurs as a birth defect wherein the defect in the diaphragm results in the pushing of intestines into the abdominal area restricting the proper functioning and development of the lungs. Babies with CDH have a high mortality rate and the off-label use of Viagra is helping manage this problem to some extent.

How effective is Viagra in babies with CDH?

Children born with CDH have a difficult time as the pressure on the lungs from the other organs restricts the intake of oxygen. Viagra, a PDE5 inhibitor, helps to relax the muscles in the blood vessels. The drug, when administered in liquid form to babies, helps to improve blood flow by relaxing the smooth muscles in the lungs. The strain on the lungs is reduced and the baby can also better take in oxygen.

Around thousands of babies are affected by CDH every year and PDE5 inhibitors like Viagra can help in improving the survival of these patients. When used right, Viagra can be very effective in managing conditions that restrict blood flow. Of course, the dosage should be mild given that the babies will not be able to process medicines easily.

What are the factors that affect the use of Viagra in babies with CDH?

There are different types of CDH that can occur. The primary type that accounts for about 95% of the cases reported is Bochdalek hernia. Viagra’s use should be limited to the factors that affect the case. Some of these factors include the baby’s chances of survival, how much the lungs have developed, any other birth complications, and presence of additional birth defects. Babies with CDH are more prone to having other birth defects.

Viagra is most effective when it is taken right. The dosage strengths available are 25mg, 50mg, and 100mg. These doses would most likely be too high for administering to the baby with CDH. Never provide Viagra to babies with CDH unless supervised and approved by the healthcare provider. The risk of side effects with using Viagra is also present. Hence the drug should be given in a form and at the strength that is most suitable for the baby’s health. CDH can be managed well with the right treatment, and Viagra is one drug that can really help improve lung function in the newborn.

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