The “little blue pill” given to treat impotence might also help people overcome jet lag faster, a new study in rodents suggests.
Hamsters that received small doses of sildenafil, sold under the name Viagra, adjusted more quickly to laboratory simulations of a six-hour time-zone change than animals in the control group.
The researchers found that a single dose of sildenafil helped the animals adapt up to 50% faster than usual. They believe that because a one-off dose had this large an effect in hamsters, the drug might offer a simple way to combat jet lag in people.
Diego Golombek, at Quilmes National University in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and his colleagues conducted their experiments on hamsters accustomed to a regular cycle of 14 hours of light, followed by 10 hours of dark. Because hamsters are nocturnal animals, they use the running wheels inside their cages during the dark periods