Could Viagra work to fight malaria?

Could Viagra work to fight malaria?

Eddie is a subscription service that delivers Viagra Connect to your door quickly and discreetly.


Viagra has been around for over 20 years, and is the world’s most famous erectile dysfunction treatment. It contains the active ingredient sildenafil, which is also used to treat other illnesses, such as pulmonary hypertension.

Pulmonary hypertension, known more simply as high blood pressure in the lungs, is what sildenafil was originally designed to treat, before the side effects of erections was picked up on. It eases high blood pressure by relaxing the arteries, which allows blood to flow more easily.

However, a few years ago a study came out which implied the little blue pill might have another trick up its sleeve.

What is malaria?

Malaria is a potentially fatal illness which is prominent in certain parts of the world, including areas of Africa, Asia, Central and South America and parts of the Middle East. There is no one cure for the illness, and if you are visiting one of these high risk areas, it’s advised you take a multi pronged approach to protecting yourself. This might mean taking an anti-malarial tablet as well as sleeping under a mosquito net, for example.

And there’s now potentially a new player on the market for preventing the spread of malaria.

How does Viagra control malaria?

If you are suffering from malaria, the treatment you receive will fight the asexual form of the parasite. This is the form which causes the symptoms of the illness to show.

On the other hand, Viagra tackles the sexual form of the illness. Malaria is passed between people by a mosquito biting someone infected with the illness, then infecting someone else by biting them. The sexual form is the part which carries the infection between people via mosquito. By controlling and battling this half of the parasite, it is, in theory, possible to reduce the spread of the disease.

The parasite, known medically as Plasmodium falciparum, deforms the shape of the body’s red blood cells. This allows them to leave the spleen and circulate into the bloodstream, where an uninfected mosquito could pick up the illness from.

Viagra has a stiffening effect on the red blood cells - no, that isn’t a pun. Viagra prevents the blood cells from becoming deformed by stiffening them. This means they can’t get from the spleen to the bloodstream, so the illness can’t be passed on.

What are the next steps?

Although this discovery was made in 2015, it’s still relatively early days. The study was conducted in vitro, which means it was done in a laboratory. For a more compelling argument, the study would need to be conducted in vivo, which means to be tested in a living person.

That doesn’t mean Viagra won’t be sold as a way to manage the spread of malaria one day, but that day is not today. Further studies and evidence is needed to prove the effectiveness of the medicine.

You should only ever take medicine for the illness it was prescribed to treat, which in the case of Viagra and Viagra Connect, is erectile dysfunction. Until then, stay safe from malaria by taking antimalarials and sleeping under a mosquito net.


Eddie is a service that delivers Viagra Connect discreetly to your door. Treatment is available as a monthly subscription or one off purchase, starting from £19.99. Simply answer some questions from our pharmacist and you can purchase Viagra Connect in as little as 60 seconds.

Viagra Connect won’t give you an instant erection. You need to be sexually aroused for it to work and won’t help you if you don’t have ED symptoms.

Content Marketing Officer
Content Marketing Officer
Libby Mayfield

Related Articles

How to tell if an online pharmacy is legitimate

How to tell if an online pharmacy is legitimate

It's now easier than ever to buy medicine online - but how can you tell if you're buying it from a legitimate pharmacy?
Read Article
Five New Year’s resolutions to help manage erectile dysfunction

Five New Year’s resolutions to help manage erectile dysfunction

The New Year is upon us, and it's time for resolutions. Find out more about the lifestyle changes you can make that reduce your risk of erectile dysfunction.
Read Article
What happens if you use Viagra recreationally?

What happens if you use Viagra recreationally?

Viagra is designed for people who experience erectile dysfunction - but what happens if you take it when you don't have ED?
Read Article