Saturday, 9 June 2012

Verapamil Injections

A peyronie's disease treatment option I've neglected to cover so far on the site is verapamil injections (VI).

Verapamil is a calcium channel blocker thought to be able to impede and reverse the scar formation process. Verapamil is injected directly into the plaque over a course of time - often every two weeks for several months - in an attempt to break up scar tissue formation. The penis is numbed and injections are made in 20-30 locations using a very small needle.

Some men have reservations about verapamil, feeling that it has not helped them, while others see noticeable benefit. One reason I put off writing a post about verapamil for so long is that reports on online peyronie's disease communities from men receiving verapamil injections are very mixed. Then again, it could be said that those who respond positively to treatment are less likely to be vocal about their experiences. Several reputable urologists do offer treatment strategies of which verapamil injections are a component, so that's something to factor in.

Of the verapamil studies out there some suggest an improvement in up to 60% of peyronie's patients (reduced pain and curvature), others no improvement. Side effects include bruising and soreness. The treatment itself can be painful for some men. It is thought that the skill of the doctor injecting may have significant bearing on the success of the treatment. A topical version of verapamil also exists, but the general consensus appears to be that it isn't at all effective. Verapamil injections are sometimes used with other effective treatments (oral options and traction) in a combined approach.

The new kid on the block in terms of injectable treatments is Xiaflex, which is due to hit the market in late 2013. It may be that this completely replaces verapamil as the injectable treatment of choice. Time will tell.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Xiaflex moves a step closer

Shares in Auxilium Pharmaceuticals rose today after the company confirmed that it intends to file for marketing approval of Xiaflex by the end of the year. This announcement comes after the treatment met the study goals in two Phase III studies and as such is now viewed to be a viable treatment for peyronie's disease. This is certainly a promising development for peyronie's disease sufferers worldwide. Note that this is not a 'cure', but has been demonstrated in studies to reduce curvature. Dr. Culley Carson, a professor of urology at the University of North Carolina stated that the results “are not overwhelming and dramatic”. Let's not forget though that in men cases men do not need overwhelming results, they need results that allow for normal sexual functioning.

It's worth noting that traction is used in the Xiaflex study to remodel the penis post injections. It is already known that traction can reduce penile curvature and as such, it would likely to useful to compare 'traction vs xiaflex + traction' studies at some point.

I'm told that Xiaflex injections will likely be available towards the end of 2013. This treatment has been covered on the Peyronie's Disease UK site previously, but for the sake of completeness I'll endeavour to put together a new post over the next few days covering injectable treatments such as Xiaflex and Verapamil injections.