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What You Should Know About Viagra

Viagra (sildenafil citrate) is an oral medication used to treat erectile dysfunction 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

Viagra is a unique medication that only works when you are sexually aroused. The medication helps with the muscle movements needed to create and sustain an erection by increasing blood flow through the penis, or corpora cavernosa.

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. Viagra is usually taken once a day and works best about an hour prior to sex.

Your doctor will probably start you on 25mg of Viagra, which is the lowest dosage for most people. It’s also the lowest dosage that’s been proven to be effective in clinical trials. 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

Besides helping men get and keep an erection, Viagra also helps blood vessels around the body to relax. This can help with heart conditions like angina pectoris, a type of chest pain caused by cardiovascular problems.

In some cases, Viagra can cause mild side effects such as headache or a runny or blocked nose. It can also make you feel dizzy or lightheaded. If this happens, you can either lie down or remain seated until your symptoms improve.

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

Viagra can cause a sudden fall in blood pressure, which can make you feel nauseous or dizzy. 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.

Avoid drinking alcohol when 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 may block Viagra’s action. 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 cause relationship problems and distress.

People with certain eye conditions, such as non-arteritic posterior ischemic optic Neuropathy (NAION) and hereditary retinitis Pigmentosa, should not take Viagra because it can cause a sudden loss of sight in one or both of their eyes. It should also be used with caution in people who have low blood pressure because it can decrease blood pressure to an unsafe level.

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.