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What You Should Know About Viagra

Viagra (sildenafil) is an oral medication that treats erectile malfunction in men. It works by blocking certain naturally occurring enzymes in the body, causing blood vessels to dilate and improve blood flow to the penis.

It takes about an hour to take effect — but it only helps with an erection if you’re sexually aroused and stimulated. It also needs to be taken on an empty stomach, as a fatty meal can delay the drug’s absorption.

Dosage

There are many medications used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED), but Viagra is unique among them because it works only when you’re sexually aroused. The medication increases blood flow in the corpora cavernosa, which helps to increase the muscle movements required to create and maintain an erection.

It starts working about an hour after you take the tablet, but it can take less time or longer depending on how much you eat and whether you’re eating fatty foods. You typically only take Viagra once a day, and it works best when taken about an hour before sex.

Your doctor will probably start you on 25mg of Viagra, which is the lowest dosage for most people. It’s the lowest dose that has been proven effective in clinical studies. The lower dose may help reduce the risk of side effects, such as visual disturbances and a blue haze. It’s also a safer option if you have health conditions or take drugs that interact with Viagra.

Side effects

Viagra helps men relax blood vessels in the body. This can help heart conditions such as angina pectoris. Angina pectoris is a type chest pain caused by cardiovascular issues.

In some cases, Viagra may cause mild side effects like headaches or a blocked or runny nose. It can also make you feel dizzy or lightheaded. If this happens, lie down or stay seated until you feel better.

Viagra may not be safe for you if you have certain health problems, such as blood cell disorders (such as sickle cell anemia or multiple myeloma), or a history of Peyronie’s disease. It can also be dangerous if you take nitrate medications such as nitroglycerin for chest pain or high blood pressure. The pill’s effectiveness can be affected by consuming a fatty food, and alcohol can reduce the duration of the effect. Talk to your doctor before you take this medication.

Precautions

Taking Viagra can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure that can make you feel dizzy or faint. This is more likely if you take it with certain drugs used to treat high blood pressure or enlarged prostate, or with alcohol. Speak to your doctor before taking Viagra if you suffer from these conditions.

You should also avoid drinking a lot of alcohol while taking Viagra. It can make some of the side effects worse, including flushing and headache.

You should not take Viagra if you have a heart condition or a history of stroke, or if you are taking nitrate drugs (such as nitroglycerin or isosorbide dinitrate/mononitrate, used to treat chest pain). Nitrates can block the action of Viagra. This medication can also cause a long-lasting and painful erection, called priapism. Priapism can damage your penis and lead to permanent ED.

Other Drugs

If a person takes Viagra for a long period of time, it may affect their ability to induce an erection naturally. This may lead to a psychological dependency on Viagra and a desire to take it even when there is no sexual need. This can also lead to relational problems and distress.

Viagra should not be taken by people who have certain eye conditions such as non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) or hereditary retinitis pigmentosa because it can cause sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes. It should be used with caution by people who have low pressure, as it can cause blood pressure to drop to unsafe levels.

Other medications, including over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen and alpha-blocker medication such as doxazosin and terazosin (used to treat high blood pressure and a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia), can interact with Viagra. These interactions can lead to a decrease in the effectiveness of the medication or can cause side effects.