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Not tonight, dear, I'll have a headache.

Sometimes scientific discoveries are made not by white-coated scientists but by backyard tinkerers. Such was the case of a Georgia man with heart disease.

According to Emory University researchers, the man had noticed that the nitrate skin patches he was wearing on his chest to control heart pain gave him a headache, a known side effect of the drug; the headache didn't occur if he wore the patch on his leg. His curiosity aroused, the man rubbed a used patch on his penis. Within five minutes he became sexually aroused, and had sexual intercourse with his wife. "Several minutes later," the Decatur, Ga.-based researchers report in the November ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE, "she wondered why she had the worst headache she ever had in her life."

The man explained, but his wife was not impressed and strongly discouraged any more investigation in this area.

The case, the researchers say, "illustrates two previously undescribed points concerning topical nitrates: their ability to induce vasodilation and resulting erection, and their absorption through the mucous membranes of the vaginal walls." The authors expressed doubt that further research in this area will be done.
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Title Annotation:nitrate skin patches to control heart pain can cause headache
Publication:Science News
Date:Dec 14, 1985
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