But the biggest bug in the blue-pill program is its effect on the old ticker. Viagra was already known to clash badly with heart disease drugs such as nitroglycerin; now the researchers have anecdotal evidence to suggest that any cardiovascular complaint might put you in the danger zone. Pfizer's response? You're 2.5 times more likely to have heart trouble in the hours after sex anyway -- with or without the little blue pill. And since that hasn't stopped men so far, these latest warnings are hardly likely to deflate Viagra's sales figures: 3.6 million and rising.
As the saying goes, you don't get something for nothing -- especially not where sex is concerned. Just as the terrors of HIV followed the joys of the sexual revolution, so it seems that Pfizer's anti-impotence wonder drug, Viagra, carries with it more health risks than anyone suspected. According to research published in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine, side effects can include fatal lung complications (for you) and bladder infections (for your partner -- a more poignant trade-off).