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Vol. 51. Issue 189.
Pages 27-35 (January - March 2016)
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Vol. 51. Issue 189.
Pages 27-35 (January - March 2016)
DOI: 10.1016/j.apunts.2015.11.001
Can sildenafil improve physical performance at altitude? Current scientific evidence
¿Afecta sidenafilo a la capacidad física en altitud? Evidencias científicas en la actualidad
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Andrés Toro-Salinasa, Joan Ramon Torrellaa, Teresa Pagèsa, Casimiro Javierreb, Ginés Viscora,
Corresponding author
gviscor@ub.edu

Corresponding author. gviscor@ub.edu
a Departament de Fisiologia i Immunologia, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
b Departament de Ciències Fisiològiques II, Facultat de Medicina, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
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Sildenafil has proven to efficiently reduce the increase in pulmonary artery pressure provoked by hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction. However, its role as a possible factor in increasing exercise performance under hypoxic conditions remains to be demonstrated. The use of sildenafil has increased among mountaineers, not as a high altitude pulmonary edema preventive drug, but as a means that could help to improve performance. Several studies have attempted to address this issue, with conflicting results. Currently, despite the inconclusive data at simulated or real altitude, and with the clear evidence that, in normoxia, sildenafil does not improve performance, this drug is being used (and sometimes overused) by people who climb high peaks. However, such potential performance improvement would depend on the degree of hypoxemia (altitude) and the individual responsiveness to this drug. This paper reviews the current knowledge on this matter.

Keywords:
Sildenafil
High altitude
PDE-5 inhibitor
Exercise
Hypoxia
Normobaric
Hypobaric

Sildenafilo ha demostrado eficacia reduciendo la hipertensión pulmonar provocada por la vasoconstricción pulmonar hipóxica. Su papel como posible factor para aumentar el rendimiento en el ejercicio en condiciones de hipoxia está por demostrar, pero el uso de sildenafilo ha aumentado entre los montañeros, no como un fármaco preventivo del edema pulmonar de gran altitud, sino en la creencia de que podría ayudar a mejorar el rendimiento físico a gran altura geográfica. Varios estudios han tratado de abordar este tema, con resultados contradictorios. Actualmente, a pesar de que no hay datos concluyentes, ni en altitud simulada ni real, y con la clara evidencia de que en normoxia el sildenafilo no mejora el rendimiento físico, se continúa utilizando esta sustancia (a veces en exceso) por personas que suben a altas cumbres. Tal potencial mejora de rendimiento dependería del grado de hipoxemia (altitud) y de la capacidad de respuesta individual a este medicamento. El presente artículo revisa el conocimiento actual sobre este tema.

Palabras clave:
Sildenafilo
Gran altitud
Inhibidor de PDE-5
Ejercicio
Hipoxia
Normobárico
Hipobárico

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