Viagra®

What is erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction is when a man has difficulty getting an erection or keeping it long enough for sex. It is also known as ED or impotence. It happens when not enough blood flows to the penis, preventing an erection.

Currently, ED effects about 30 million men in the United States. Some guys with ED find it difficult to either get or keep an erection every time they try to have sex. For other guys, ED symptoms can happen just occasionally. Either way, you should know that you are not alone, ED is not all in your head, it’s a real medical condition. About 50% of men over the age of 40 have some degree of ED and it is not just a part of aging that you must accept. As a real medical condition, it should be addressed like one.

When talking to your healthcare provider, inform them of all medications and supplements you are taking, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Viagra® may affect the way other medicines work and in the same way other medicines may affect the way Viagra® works, causing side effects. Have the discussion with your doctor to ensure that you are healthy enough for sex. If you are experiencing chest pain, nausea, or dizziness during sex, seek medical attention immediately.

What can cause erectile dysfunction?
ED is often caused by something physical, such as an injury, disease, or side effects from other drugs. Some medical conditions that can cause ED include:

  • Depression
  • Prostate cancer treatment
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Spinal cord injury

For other men, ED is a side effect of some medications that are used to treat high blood pressure, heart disease, and/or depression.

Some psychological and lifestyle factors can play a role in causing ED. Stress, smoking, and drinking may lead to conditions that affect blood circulation and in turn may cause ED. There are things you can do each day to improve your circulation and avoid come conditions that can lead to ED:

  • Find ways to stay more active
  • Help manage your weight by eating healthy and watching portion sizes
  • Quit smoking
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Look for ways to reduce stress in your daily life

How does Viagra® work?
Viagra works for men with erectile dysfunction by increasing blood flow to the penis so you can get and keep an erection hard enough for sexual intercourse. Viagra® has been proven to help guys with all degrees of ED. Viagra® usually begins working within 30-60 minutes and you take it when you need it.

Viagra® works only when you are sexually stimulated therefore, can be taken up to 4 hours before sexual activity. After sex, your erection should go away.

Who should not take Viagra®?
Certain males should not be taking Viagra® if you are taking street drugs known as “poppers”, also known as amyl nitrate, butyl nitrite, and liquid gold. Or if you are taking medicines called guanylate cyclase stimulators such as Adempas (used to treat two forms of pulmonary hypertension). If you take medicines called “nitrates” you should not take Viagra® and must tell your doctor you are taking such medications. Further, if you are allergic to sildenafil, as contained in Viagra® or any of its ingredients, then you should not take Viagra®

What are the common side effects of Viagra®?
The most common side effects of Viagra® include:

  • Headache
  • Flushing
  • Upset stomach
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Back pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Dizziness
  • Rash
  • Nausea
  • Abnormal vision – changes in color vision (having a blue color tinge) and blurred vision

If you have any of these side effects while taking Viagra®, tell your healthcare provider.

What are the serious side effects of Viagra®?
Viagra® can cause serious side effects and they include:

  • An erection that will not go away – if an erection lasts longer than 4 hours, get medical help right away. If it not treated right away, priapism can permanently damage your penis.
  • Sudden hearing decrease or hearing loss – symptoms of ringing in the ears (tinnitus) or dizziness, call a doctor right away and stop taking Viagra®.
  • Sudden vision loss in one or both eyes – can be a sign of a serious eye problem called NAION (non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy). Stop taking Viagra® and call your doctor immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the ingredients contained in Viagra® and how do they work?
Viagra® is the brand name for sildenafil and belong to a class of medicines known as phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. PDE5 inhibitors only work in the presence of sexual stimulation because they rely on the natural release of nitric oxide (NO). NO is only released during sexual arousal and in turn, activates other substances to relax the smooth muscle inside the penis to allow the inflow of blood and an erection to occur. PDE5 inhibitors enhance the effect of NO.

How quickly does Viagra® work?
Viagra® begins to work around 30 minutes to 60 minutes. It can be taken up to 4 hours before sexual activity.  Viagra® should not be taken more than one time a day.

Does food effect how quickly Viagra® works or last?
Viagra® and its activity can be affected by food. If Viagra® is taken soon after a high fat meal, there may be a delay on how fast Viagra® goes into effect. For this reason, Viagra® is best taken on an empty stomach.

What is the effectiveness of Viagra® vs Cialis®?
Effectiveness of all PDE5 inhibitors is similar; although from reports, Viagra®, at 84% is slightly higher than that of Cialis® at 81%. However, men currently prefer Cialis® because of its longer duration of effect.