Along Came a Spider

September 28, 2009 by Terri  
Filed under General Interest

… who sat down beside her,
and gave her boyfriend a boost??

A couple of years ago, it was reported that nature’s answer to an alternative for Viagra was a Brazilian spider. This spider delivered more than a painful bite that sent most victims to the hospital. Its venom stimulates an hours-long erection. It was relatively easy for emergency room staff to immediately spot the victims of a bite from the Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria nigriventer). Patients’ not only experienced overall pain and an increase in blood pressure, they also arrive in the ER with an uncomfortable erection.

Now that scientists have figured out the chemical in the venom that seems to be responsible for the penis boost, researchers presented their findings this week at the American Heart Association’s conference on high blood pressure research in Chicago.

I could be wrong, but it seems to me that these research dollars would be much better spent on something other than the use of deadly venom for erectile dysfunction. In the late 1990s, Viagra became the Sexual Holy Grail. Competition in the pharmaceutical industry leads to, of course, additional pharmaceuticals for the treatment of impotence; Levitra and Cialis. That meant more marketing, more ads, more commercials on TV, and now a quest for deadly spider venom. Does the world really need yet another Viagra?

Interesting note about the Brazilian wandering spider: It’s extremely fast, extremely venomous, and extremely aggressive.