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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 begins to work about an hour after taking the tablet. However, it can take longer or less time depending on what you eat. You typically only take Viagra once a day, and it works best when taken about an hour before sex.

Most likely, your doctor will start you out on 25mg Viagra. This is the lowest dosage that most people can tolerate. It’s the lowest dose that has been proven effective in clinical studies. The lower dosage may reduce the risk of side-effects, such as visual disturbances or 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 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.

If you have a history of Peyronie’s disease or blood cell disorders such as sickle cell or multiple myeloma, Viagra may not be right for you. 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. Speak to your doctor about 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. Some side effects, such as flushing and headaches, can be made worse by alcohol.

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

A person’s ability to achieve an erection may be affected if they take Viagra for a prolonged period of time. 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.

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 be used with caution by people who have low pressure, as it can cause blood pressure to drop to unsafe levels.

Other medications such as over-the-counter ibuprofen, alpha-blocker drugs such as Terazosin or doxazosin (used for high blood pressure treatment and benign prostatic hyperplasia), and alpha blocker medication like terazosin and the doxazosin can interact with Viagra. These interactions can decrease the effectiveness of the drug or cause side effects.