COLUMBIA, S.C. — A South Carolina lawmaker has claimed Viagra poses a serious risk to men’s health and should be more tightly regulated.

State Rep. Mia McLeod, of Columbia, introduced legislation in mid-December that would place restrictions on access to Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs in an effort to make a point about abortion.

McLeod has said she knows her bill doesn’t have a chance to pass the Republican and male-dominated Legislature, but she wants to use hearings like the one Wednesday before the House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee to make a point, according to the Associated Press.

McLeod told NBCNews.com earlier this month that there is a double standard when it comes to reproductive health for women and men.

“I really just want to broaden the discussion and get people thinking about and talking about some of the issues that women face who are seeking legal abortion services in this state,” McLeod said.

Before they can obtain Viagra, McLeod said she wants men to wait 24 hours, undergo pre-prescription cardiac tests and counseling on celibacy as a valid life choice, and obtain a statement from a sexual partner stating a medical need for the drug. Other lawmakers also expressed support for the proposal, and the proposed regulations passed a subcommittee vote in early April.

“It’s already done what I wanted it to and that is to broaden the discussion (and eventually) get government out of these very important and very private decisions,” McLoed said.

Viagra Side Effects, Complications

Pfizer, Inc. originally developed sildenafil citrate as a treatment for high blood pressure. Clinical trials in this area were a failure, but many men stated that the drug helped them get and keep an erection.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Viagra as an erectile dysfunction (ED) treatment in 1998.

Because it affects blood flow and volume, Viagra’s link to possible heart problems have been fairly well documented. No less troubling, however, is the drug’s connection with melanoma, a serious skin cancer that is often fatal. Men over age 50 are greatly at risk for the disease, and that is also the group of people most likely to take Viagra.

Researchers theorize that Viagra causes melanocyte skin cells to increase melanin, and as a result, the cells become too large and potentially malignant.

Our Viagra Melanoma Skin Cancer Case Lawyers Can Help

Our dangerous drug attorneys can help if you or someone you care about was injured during or after ingesting Viagra. Lawsuits have been filed against the drug makers by both patients and their families seeking compensation for injuries caused by the dangerous drug. You may be entitled to a settlement.

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