17 December 2006

Viagra is a cure for smokers :)

Due to a computer glitch, some smokers in Glasgow have got Viagra, when patients should have got Zyban. About 900 family doctors at 300 surgeries have been sent an e-mail from NHS Greater Glasgow giving warning about a malfunction by its "e-Formulary" IT system, which automatically lists the most popular drugs when doctors fill out prescriptions. When GPs tried to select Zyban, a drug that suppresses the part of the brain that experiences nicotine cravings, the computer instead selected sildenafil, the generic name for Viagra, which is used to treat impotence.

Family doctors, however, said that it was unlikely that all prescription mistakes would have been noticed. One Glasgow doctor said: "In some cases, it’s possible that GPs will have spotted the problem after printing out a prescription. But some will not, and unsuspecting patients will have gone to the chemist's and unknowingly ordered Viagra.

Zyban was developed as an antidepressant and has a curious side-effect in that it reduces many patients’ urge to smoke. Viagra gives the urge to do something quite different.

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