Can 4 Common Drugs (Viagra, Estrogen, a Statin, and an OTC Pain Reliever) Help You Live Longer? That’s what the latest research says.

Most people want to live a long and healthy life, and there is a lot of research devoted to achieving this goal. While science has found that doing things like eating a plant-based diet and exercising regularly can help extend life, new research has linked several seemingly random medications to increased longevity.

The study, which has been shared on the MedRxiv preprint server, analyzed mortality and prescription drug data from more than 500,000 patients in the UK Biobank, a large-scale biomedical database and research resource in United Kingdom. The researchers looked at 406 prescription drugs and found that, overall, most of the drugs were linked to a shorter lifespan likely because of the effect of the disease the drug is trying to treat, they said.

But four drugs were linked to a lower risk of death during the 12-year study period, including sildenafil (better known as Viagra), the cholesterol drug atorvastatin, the pain reliever naproxen and the hormone estradiol.

It is important to note that the study is pending peer review, which is when the medical community evaluates and analyzes a study; which is considered the gold standard in research. But the findings are already raising many questions. Here’s what some experts say.

How do these medications work?

Each of these medications is different and designed to treat completely unrelated conditions:

  • Sildenafil. There are a few brands of sildenafil, but the most well-known is Viagra. This drug treats erectile dysfunction in men by increasing blood flow to the penis during sexual stimulation, Medline Plus explains. This increased blood flow can lead to an erection. Some forms of sildenafil can also improve the ability to exercise.

  • Atorvastatin. Sold under the brand name Lipitor, atorvastatin is designed to help lower cholesterol and triglyceride (fat) levels in the blood, Dr. Lewis Nelson, chairman of emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, tells Yahoo Life . It works by blocking an enzyme the body needs to make cholesterol, reducing the amount of cholesterol in the blood in the process, the Mayo Clinic says.

  • Naproxen. It’s a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat pain and fever, Nelson says. Although it is available with a prescription, it is also sold commercially under brand names such as Aleve.

  • estradiol This is the same as estrogen and is used as a medicine to control and treat the symptoms of menopause. Estradiol is the most common form of the hormone estrogen for hormone replacement therapy in menopause.

Why might these drugs be related to longevity?

It’s important to note that this study only found a link between these medications and longevity. That is, it did not show that taking any of these drugs makes someone live longer. However, there are a few theories.

For atorvastatin, it may be working by lowering cholesterol and preventing cardiovascular disease, study co-author Kevin Perez, co-founder and head of research at the antiaging company Epiterna, tells Yahoo Life. Sildenafil may work by improving cardiovascular health, mental well-being or increased physical activity. Estradiol and other hormone replacement therapies (HRT) have been linked to cardiovascular protection, bone health, and neuroprotection.

Naproxen is an anti-inflammatory drug, and there is significant evidence that inflammation contributes to cellular aging, Jamie Alan, an associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Michigan State University, tells Yahoo Life.

However, there is some research to support the findings. A large study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that men who took sildenafil or drugs from the same drug class had a reduced risk of several heart events, including heart failure, angina pectoris, and cardiovascular death. Sildenafil is used for erectile dysfunction, but was originally designed for hypertension, Alan notes.

A mouse study published in the journal Immunity also found a reduced risk of colorectal cancer and heart disease in those taking NSAIDs. Estrogen is also cardioprotective, says Alan. But research on statins like atorvastatin has found only a small decrease in the risk of dying from heart disease with the drug.

Doctors say it’s important to take the results of these studies with a grain of salt. I don’t think you can conclude that these drugs make you live longer based on the results of this study, Dr. David Cutler, a family medicine physician at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, California, tells Yahoo Life. An association is not a cause.

Nelson agrees. If you look at more than 400 things, you’ll find associations that may or may not be true, he says. Many of the findings are likely related to what else is going on in patients’ lives and health beyond medication, Nelson adds.

You are more likely to use a drug like sildenafil because you are healthy [enough to be taking it], says Nelson. It’s also not a medicine you take every day. It’s hard to imagine how a drug you take once in a while will have such an impact on your health.

Cutler adds, “People in poor health are much less likely to take Viagra than people in vigorous health.”

Nelson says it’s very possible that some of the drugs being studied could help extend a person’s life, but it’s hard to say for sure. Alan says there are also likely drugs that were not linked to longer life in this study that may actually increase lifespan. I’m surprised an antidepressant didn’t make this list, he says. However, it would be incredibly difficult to figure out a drug’s effect on lifespan, since lifespan is influenced by many factors, including genetic factors.

Ultimately, doctors say it’s best to take a drug if you need it and avoid it if you don’t. Nelson says the net worth of any drug is individualized and cannot be spread across the population. It would be a bad idea to take these medications without talking to your doctor.

#Common #Drugs #Viagra #Estrogen #Statin #OTC #Pain #Reliever #Live #Longer #latest #research
Image Source : www.yahoo.com

Leave a Comment