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HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014

Spider venom 'could be the new Viagra'
ANI
London, March 08, 2011
First Published: 13:50 IST(8/3/2011)
Last Updated: 18:50 IST(8/3/2011)

Facing a little trouble in the bedroom and Viagra doesn't work for you? Well, spiders may help you. New research shows that one arachnid might actually be best kept by your bedside.

A single bite from the Brazilian wandering spider has been shown to have side-effects including four-hour long erections.

The eight-legged creature - also known as the armed spider, banana spider or Phoneutria nigriventer - is native to South and Central America.

ViagraScientists at the Medical College of Georgia believe the species contains a possible breakthrough for erectile dysfunction.

“The venom of the Phoneutria nigriventer spider is a very rich mixture of several molecules,” the Daily Mail quoted Dr Kenia Nunes, a physiologist at the college, as saying.

“These molecules are called toxins, and then we have various toxins in this venom with different activity.

“Because of this, when a human is bitten by this spider, we can observe many different symptoms including priapism, a condition in which the penis is continually erect,” Nunes added.

Other side-effects on top of the long-painful erections include loss of muscle control, severe pain, difficulty breathing and if its victim is not treated with anti-venom, could lead to death due to oxygen deprivation.

But its unusual effects could be used to treat sexual dysfunction in both men and women, according to Nunes.

In her study Nunes’ experiment managed to give erection-challenged rats with high blood pressure a bit of a boost. A peptide called PnTx2-6 was given to the flaccid rats, who achieved side-effect free erections.

Nunes said: “We found the toxin responsible [for the erections] and performed experiments using hypertensive rats which have severe erectile dysfunction. The toxin was able to normalise the erectile dysfunction in these animals.”

The spider’s toxin worked in a different way to drugs such as Viagra though and Nunes told MSNBC: “This is good because we know that some patients don’t respond to the conventional therapy.

“This could be an optional treatment for them.”

The study has been published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.


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