October 28, 2016

UAB researchers receive grant to study effects of Cialis on halogen gas-induced injury in pregnant women

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Pregnant women cialis 1Halogen gases can cause severe harm to pregnant women and unborn children.A five-year U01 grant totaling $3.8 million has been awarded to University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers to study the protective effects of Cialis®, also known as tadalafil, in hopes of finding a treatment option for pregnant women exposed to halogen gases like chlorine and bromine.  

The research is supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health through the CounterACT Network, which aims to develop countermeasures, or therapies, in the event of chemical emergencies, including chemical warfare and environmental accidents.

Principle investigators are Sadis Matalon, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor and Alice McNeal Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, and Tamas Jilling, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics in the UAB Division of Neonatology. Matalon has received numerous grants from the CounterACT network during the last 10 years.

Halogen gases are used extensively in industry. Their accidental release from transportation accidents, including railways, and acts of terrorism have resulted in hospitalizations and deaths.

Preliminary data show oral administration of Cialis in exposed mouse models improves mortality of mothers and offspring, as well as fetal growth. Matalon, who serves as the vice chair for Research and director of the Division of Molecular and Translational Biomedicine in the UAB Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, says in future studies, investigators will attempt to identify the optimum dose and time of administration of Cialis and explore its protection mechanisms.

Their long-term goal is to receive approval from the FDA to establish Cialis as a therapeutic agent for pregnant women exposed to chlorine and bromine during industrial accidents or acts of terrorism.

Tadalafil, originally marketed to treat erectile dysfunction, is being used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension and benign prostatic hyperplasia, and is in trials to determine its effectiveness to treat pre-eclampsia, a condition that contributes to high blood pressure and damage to other organs during pregnancy and may result in impaired fetal growth.  

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