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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 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. 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 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. You can also choose this option if you suffer from health conditions or are taking drugs that interact negatively 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. 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. Taking the pill with a fatty meal can affect how well it works, and consuming alcohol can decrease how long the effect lasts. 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 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.

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 may block Viagra’s action. This medication can cause a painful and long-lasting 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 can lead to a psychological dependence on Viagra, and a desire for it to be taken even when there isn’t a 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, 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.