Beware Viagra's Possible Love Side Effects!

And now, an article for the men. Dang!—it turns out Viagra has a sneaky side effect of making you feel love and not just arousal whenever you take it. In lab studies, it increases the amount of oxytocin in rats, which is a hormone associated with “feelings of love,” including nursing and childbirth as well as sexual pleasure. (This should not be confused with the drug OxyContin, which does something else entirely, and which tends to be widely abused by lab rats in the midwest.)

What’s the point of chemically induced party sex if it’s just gonna lead to willful monogamy? And if it turns out to have the same effect in humans, can Pfizer be found legally responsible for failed marriages that were initiated by drug-induced false love? Are these even scientifically literate questions? No, they are not. On a more serious note, however, it may indicate that drugs like Viagra could be used for other purposes—the article suggests “to promote social bonding,” but that sounds eerily like one of those sci-fi movies where the water supply has been laced with tranquilizers to make us all docile. (Aroused, but docile.)

We can’t tell if Professor Meyer Jackson, who led the study, was being sarcastic or not when he gave the following quote: “I hope that this doesn’t cause some wild orgy of inappropriate recreational use.”

“Viagra boosts feel-good ‘love’ hormone: study” [Reuters via Slate]

(Photo: Getty)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.