Italy's "morning before" pill

A new drug being tested could provide erections that last an entire day.

By Jack Boulware

Published June 14, 2000 6:39PM (EDT)

Instructions for Pfizer's Viagra caution that if a patient takes one of the pills and ends up with an erection lasting more than four hours, it's time to visit the doctor. Apparently this isn't long enough for the medical community of Italy -- university faculty members are already in the midst of developing an impotency pill that could work for an entire day.

Let's look at this more closely: A raging erection, proud and insistent, answering to no one, running rampant through the cafes of Rome. Total mayhem for 24 hours. Is this really necessary? What could possibly be at the end of this tale of priapic protuberance besides a handful of weeping women, a short-lived police pursuit and a jail cell full of nervous inmates?

"We've tested it on about 100 people," said Giovanni Spera, a professor at Rome's La Sapienza University. "It works with the same mechanism as Viagra ... but it acts faster, lasts longer and there are fewer side effects."

The drug already has been given a catchy nickname: the "morning before" pill. Although it is to be taken 30 minutes before having sex, the daily Il Messaggero reports that the patient is left with a "predisposition" for the whole day -- which means that if a man doesn't have an athletic sex partner, the above-described cafe scenario is likely.

Italian women (and tourists) do have some time to prepare for this tidal wave of tumescence. The "morning before" pill is not expected to be marketed to the public for at least a year.

Jack Boulware

Jack Boulware is a writer in San Francisco and author of "San Francisco Bizarro" and "Sex American Style."

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