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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 some naturally occurring enzymes, which cause blood vessels to dilate. This improves 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 helps with the muscle movements needed to create and sustain an erection by increasing blood flow through the penis, or corpora cavernosa.

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.

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

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 can cause mild side effects such as headache or a runny or blocked nose. You may also 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 be dangerous if your nitrate medication, such as nitroglycerin, is prescribed for chest pain or high pressure. Taking the pill with a fatty meal can affect how well it works, and consuming alcohol can decrease how long the effect lasts. 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 to happen if you combine Viagra with certain drugs that treat high blood pressure, enlarged prostate or alcohol. Talk to your doctor if you have these conditions before taking Viagra.

Avoid drinking alcohol when 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 may damage your penis, resulting in 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.

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 lead to a decrease in the effectiveness of the medication or can cause side effects.