Seeing red: Man who OD'd on erectile dysfunction med has vision problems

A man's vision changed dramatically after he took a gulp of a drug he bought online that is commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction

More specifically, the guy took sildenafil citrate in its liquid form, which is also the active compound in the popular Viagra potency drug.

As expected, Pfizer, owner of Viagra brand and producer of sildenafil citrate, kept itself out of this event but they offered a short statement to clear up some news reports blaming Viagra for the incident.

Side effects of the drug include sensitivity to light and changes in color vision.

The patient was diagnosed with "irreversible erythropsia", which characterised by red-tinted vision, at Mount Sinai Hospital in NY.

According to the October issue of Retinal Cases and Brief Reports, the NY resident purchased the drug online and drank more than the recommended 50-milligram dose.

According to the researchers, the man suffered damage to the cone receptors in his retina, which are responsible for colour vision. The flashes eventually ended, but the red tint to his vision stayed.

Even if your medication comes from the pharmacy, the doctors say the case should be a warning against taking more than the recommended dose.

The patient's condition didn't improve after doctors tried several treatments, the study said. The researchers detail the case of a 31-year-old man who arrived at an urgent care clinic complaining of red-tinted vision in both of his eyes lasting for two days.

"While we know colored-vision disturbance is a well-described side effect of this medication, we have never been able to visualize the structural effect of the drug on the retina until now", said Dr. Richard Rose. In the report, doctors noted that unknown contaminants could have caused toxicity, too, since the drug was purchased online. "This study shows how unsafe a large dose of a commonly used medication can be", lead investigator Richard Rosen, MD, Director of Retina Services at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, said in a statement.

The popular erectile dysfunction drug has seen its fair share of headlines, but this weird case is certainly one for the books.

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