What is Viagra?
Viagra, the brand name of Sildenafil, has the effect of relaxing blood vessel walls, thereby allowing blood to flow more easily to certain parts of the body. Introduced in the 1990s, it started out as a treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension and is now mainly used to treat male impotence. Revatio, another brand of drug which contains the Sildenafil active ingredient, is now used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension in both men and women. Read through the information below to discover more about Viagra.
When is Viagra used?
Erectile Dysfunction is caused by inadequate blood flow into the penis for erectile purposes, so that an erection either does not occur at all, or is not maintained for long enough for effective intercourse to take place. This may lead on to more complex issues such as a decrease in sexual arousal, depression and relationship problems.
The active ingredient (Sildenafil) in Viagra stimulates the penile blood vessels to expand and allow more blood to flow and maintain the erection. The breakdown of the body’s own blood vessel stimulants is also inhibited, so a stronger, firmer and longer-lasting erection is maintained.
How do you use Viagra?
Viagra is taken in pill form as and when required, typically 30 minutes or an hour before sexual activity commences, although you can take it up to four hours in advance. It should not be taken more than once per day. It should be noted that the pill alone will not induce an erection but must be accompanied by normal sexual stimulation. You should always follow the instructions regarding dosage and use of the drug. The blister packs contain four, eight or 12 tablets each.
If you are not affected by any form of Erectile Dysfunction then it is inadvisable to take Viagra. It will not increase the size of your penis, as is popularly assumed, nor will it increase your libido. It is not an aphrodisiac and does not induce spontaneous erections. Viagra only works in conjunction with normal sexual arousal, and as such is not a miracle drug but rather an aid to normal sexual activity for men who find it difficult to achieve and maintain an erection.
Viagra has a distinctive diamond shape which is instantly recognisable, along with its blue colour and imprint on each side. The strength is indicated by a number on one side (either 25mg, 50mg or 100mg), followed by the VGR suffix indicating authenticity. On the other is the PFIZER name of the manufacturer.
Viagra, in common with most other drugs, is not suitable for every man with an ED issue, and if you experience side effects another product will probably be recommended. It is possible that you may experience some side effects such as:
• General pain in the arms, chest, jaw or neck areas.
If you experience any of these then see your doctor at once. It should also be noted that there are effective alternatives to Viagra such as Levitra and Cialis, and your doctor may prescribe one of these should Viagra not be having the desired effect.
Nitrate-based medicines can be especially problematic and result in potentially serious side effects when taken with Viagra. Nitrates are most often prescribed for conditions such as Angina. Viagra should therefore never be combined with recreational drugs such as ‘poppers’, or amyl nitrate, which release nitrogen monoxide into the bloodstream. This can trigger a drop in blood pressure that may in some cases prove fatal.
If you consult your doctor before taking Viagra you shouldn’t experience any problems. There are many online websites advertising the drug, but buying from them, without any consideration of personal medical history, can be dangerous at best, and potentially fatal at worst.
If you are on other medication, consult your doctor before taking Viagra. Other contraindications include low blood pressure, a recent heart attack or stroke and severe liver or heart problems.
If you are taking medicines to treat any of these the side effects and health risks of also taking Viagra can be serious and even life-threatening. This is why Viagra is not sold over the counter but is strictly a prescription-only medicine that requires a prior consultation with a health professional before use.
Always be sure to read the literature accompanying your Viagra packet, and if you have any queries or concerns about using the drug do not hesitate to seek professional advice before taking it. Like any effective and legal drug, used wisely it can enhance your quality of life.
Use during pregnancy, while driving or with alcohol
Viagra is not prescribed for women as it is used mainly to treat male impotency, specifically Erectile Dysfunction.
Taking alcohol with Viagra increases the likelihood of experiencing potentially adverse side effects, and you should also try to avoid drinking grapefruit juice while taking the drug.
Community pharmacists are the health professionals most accessible to the public. They supply medicines in accordance with a prescription or, when legally permitted, sell them without a prescription. In addition to ensuring an accurate supply of appropriate products, their professional activities also cover counselling of patients at the time of dispensing of prescription and non-prescription drugs, drug information to health professionals, patients and the general public, and participation in health-promotion programmes. They maintain links with other health professionals in primary health care.