Professionals who have taken pharmaceutical courses know that although drugs and pharmaceuticals are created with the intention of treating one ailment, extensive testing can sometimes uncover results that prove it more effective for treating something else. A recent study rendered results showing that memory loss in women living with Alzheimer’s disease remained stable for one year while they were taking a drug that is commonly used to treat advanced prostate cancer. Experts who have had clinical research training know very well that it is extremely rare to find a drug or therapy that is able to stabilize memory loss for as long as an entire year, so this was considered an amazing discovery. Read on to find out more.
Stabilizing Memory Loss Caused By Alzheimer’s
The clinical trial was performed by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and tracked 109 women with Alzheimer’s disease. The results found that women who were treated with Aricept (a mood-improving drug), as well as a high dose of Lupron Depot (a cancer treatment drug), showed almost no change in memory – while those who were given an acetylcholineesterase inhibitor and low-dose Lupron showed a substantial decline in memory. The link between Alzheimer’s disease and Lupron was established during several earlier studies that focused on men with prostate cancer. The results found that the men who were treated with Lupron had a 34 to 55 per cent decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, compared to the men who were not treated with this drug.
This is not the first time in pharmaceutical history that a drug is developed for a specific reason, but works more effectively for another.
When Proscar Became Propecia
Many people know Propecia as the drug that is commonly used to treat male-pattern baldness. However, what most do not know is that it was once called Proscar, and it was used to treat the benign enlargement of the prostate. Once pharmaceutical companies determined that one of the side-effects of Proscar was hair growth, they realized its other potential use and market.
That Time a Treatment for Heart Disease Became Viagra
Professionals who have taken clinical research courses are no doubt aware of the story behind one of Pfizer’s most popular drugs – Viagra. Experts will know that Viagra was actually developed and produced as a treatment for hypertension, angina, and other symptoms of heart disease. However, during the first phase of the clinical trials, researchers found that the drug was not actually doing the job that it was created to do – and heart disease symptoms persisted. One side-effect of the drug – which was visible only in men – was that it caused erections. In 1998, the drug was remarketed as a treatment for penile dysfunction instead of heart disease.
Do you know of any drugs that were once developed for a different purpose?