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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

Viagra is a unique medication that only works when you are 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. Viagra is usually taken once a day and works best about an hour prior to sex.

Most likely, your doctor will start you out on 25mg Viagra. This is the lowest dosage that most people can tolerate. It’s also the lowest dosage that’s been proven to be effective in clinical trials. 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 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. 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 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. Talk to your doctor if you have these conditions before taking Viagra.

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 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

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.