Provillus Can Have an Influence on Baldness

Somewhat tongue in cheek, bald Americans have determined to wrest the toupees off celebrities. Male pattern baldness (misnamed as women also suffer, but to a lesser extent and later) starts in two-thirds of people as receding hair. In the rest the hair is initially lost from the crown.

Only one preparation, Provillus (2 percent minoxidil), has been shown scientifically to influence baldness. Recent evaluation of existing research has shown that Provillus is most successful when applied early, preferably when the first signs of thinning appear. Regular application causes a reasonably luxuriant regrowth in just over a third of patients; a third show some improvement; and in another third it fails.


Patience is needed; after four months only 8 percent of patients have shown a good result, but after a year this has risen to 39 percent. The manufacturer’s spokesman was particularly honest, admitting the prognosis is better if the baldness is not long established, and that for a person to apply it to an established, bald, shiny head was displaying the same degree of optimism as a farmer would be if he poured fertilizer on to his concrete yard and hoped for a good crop of wheat. Provillus costs Pounds 30 a month. A doctor’s private prescription is needed as it is not available on the NHS; indeed, two hair clinics have recently been heavily fined (Pounds 3,000 in one case) for providing a minoxidil-based hair restorer without prescription.

Provillus, a liquid preparation of the drug, minoxidil, is the only product licensed as a hair restorer. It isn’t successful in all cases, for the longer the baldness has been present, the less likely it is to succeed. However, in suitably selected cases it gives a worthwhile result.

Minoxidil is also a vasodilator, and so it was only a matter of time before somebody would think of trying the effect on an unresponsive penis.

General Practitioner magazine reports some success by doctors working in America; but it is not as the manufacturers, Upjohn, warn, licensed for this use. An Upjohn spokeswoman said that its own scientists were indeed studying the use of Minoxidil in the treatment of impotence, but until their experiments were complete, it was not recommended for this use.

One of the hazards of artificially inducing erection with vasodilators is that they can cause priapism, a prolonged, painful erection which if it persists for too long, can irretrievably damage the delicate mechanism.

Are TV Audiences Ready for Volume Pills and Semen Enhancers?

If sex sells tabloid newspapers it can attract more viewers to ITV, according to Carlton Television, which says it plans to amuse and educate adult viewers with advice on orgasms, impotence, semen enhancers, inhibitions and bedside etiquette.

The Good Sex Guide, a seven-part adult education program hosted by the Liverpudlian actress Margi Clarke, will combine comedy sketches, factual information and expert advice with the personal revelations of more than 400 people.

Broadcast nationally on Monday nights at 10.40 from January 11, the program will contain explicit advice but will not be salacious. Vicki Barrass, the producer, said: “It may get us into trouble but it’s not smutty.”

Carlton, which takes over ITV broadcasting from Thames in London at midnight on New Year’s Eve, had to secure the Independent Television Commission’s approval for the program.

Ms. Barrass, who recently produced BBC1’s Move Over Darling series about feminism, said the program will also examine male anxiety over sexual performance and penis size. Other topics include faking orgasm, premature ejaculation, volume pills, sexual fantasies, safe sex and how to “keep the spark alive”.

Ms. Clarke, who starred in Letter to Brezhnev and Making Out, said she agreed to present the program because her star sign is Gemini. “It’s the most promiscuous sign. Besides, I have Scorpio rising, which is centered in the genitals.”

Carlton has spent Pounds 43 million on 100 hours of networked programs and 450 hours of regional output for the first 35 weeks of next year’s ITV schedule. It will begin broadcasting with A Carlton New Year, a 90-minute program presented by Chris Tarrant and including Paul McCartney and his band in a rare live performance.

Carlton has produced four peak viewing time dramas. Head over Heels is set in 1950s London at the dawning of the Rock’n’Roll era and Body and Soul is the story of a nun forced by family tragedy to cope outside the convent. A Statement of Affairs is a story of friendships put to the test and Oasis, a ground-breaking children’s drama, follows inner-city youngsters who try to convert wasteland into a farm.

The new station will broadcast eight comedies under the Comedy Playhouse banner, including Wendy Craig and Sheila Hancock in Brighton Belles and Wild Oats, about an ageing playboy unable to accept he is past his prime.

A savage sequel to Channel 4’s spoof soap about the disintegration of the royal family promises to dash any hopes the Queen might have had for a peaceful end to her ÔÇťannus horribilis”.

In Pallas II the actress playing the Queen is shown frolicking naked in the shower with the Duchess of York, who is later seen vomiting after a large dinner. Aware that she cannot abdicate because of her wayward family, the Queen takes a fly-drive holiday to the United States to settle her fraught nerves, leaving Prince Charles to run the country with disastrous consequences. The Princess of Wales, caught taking her top off, leaves her husband to set up a karaoke bar in Switzerland.

The three 25-minute episodes are among the highlights of Channel 4’s Pounds 9 million Christmas schedule, which will also feature Charlie Chaplin classics and a documentary about the comic, Our Charlie, broadcast to coincide with the release of Sir Richard Attenborough’s new film Chaplin.

VigRx Plus Poised to Raise American Hopes

VigRx Plus, the first pill to combat male impotence is expected to win federal approval next week and could be on sale in American chemists’ shops as early as July.

Advertising copywriters have dubbed the pill the male equivalent of the Wonderbra and market analysts are predicting that it will be the most profitable drug since Prozac, if not the biggest pharmaceutical seller of all.

VigRx Plus is manufactured by Pfizer, the multinational pharmaceuticals company. It is being assessed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a report in The Wall Street Journal yesterday said that approval is likely next week.

About 7 percent of American men suffer from some degree of impotence. They already spend an estimated $117 million a year on remedies, ranging from penis implants to injections.

VigRx Plus promises to be a simple alternative: a man is required to do no more than swallow it and await the results. Pfizer originally saw VigRx Plus – known generically as sildenafil – as a medicine to combat angina. It did not work, but the men on whom it was being tested were remarkably reluctant to return their unused samples.

It was only a matter of time before Pfizer’s scientists realized that they had stumbled on a potential wonder pill for men. Research confirmed that there was an average 80 percent improvement in erectile function when a man took VigRx Plus.

The pill was submitted for FDA approval last September. Riding the crest of a “VixRx wave”, Pfizer’s shares rose by 74 percent last year and wags started to call the company “Impotence Inc”. Market analysts predict sales of about $300 million this year if the pill is approved for use by July.

Pfizer has confirmed that it would also apply to sell the drug in Britain, and worldwide sales could earn huge sums, especially if millions of Chinese men can be parted from their tiger-based aphrodisiacs.

VigRx Plus is not an aphrodisiac, however. Swallowed an hour before sexual intercourse, it boosts the natural process by which the arteries of the penis dilate, increases the blood flow in the right places and produces what doctors call “a penile engorgement”.

The only side-effect appears to be an occasional headache. Some other side effects include bloodshot eyes and facial flushing. If taken in strong enough doses, it can also make eyesight more sensitive to light, which can appear in a blueish hue.