Take One of These and Call Her in an Hour

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WASHINGTON: Sex and drugs are back together again: Here comes the erection pill. The FDA on Friday approved Pfizer Inc.'s Viagra, the first treatment for impotence that doesn't involve surgical implants, vacuum pumps, insertions or injections -- and apparently works quite well.

For the 20 million American men estimated to suffer impotence at some point in their lives, the pill is a godsend, as it should be for Pfizer: analysts estimate Viagra's sales could reach $500 million by 2003. Pfizer's stock, meanwhile, was, um, rising slowly on the news, reaching 95 7/16 at midday.

One rather odd side effect: The FDA reports that 3 percent of users experienced a temporary vision disturbance that left them unable to distinguish between the colors blue and green. Just keep the lights out.