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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 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

Viagra helps men relax blood vessels in the body. 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. 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. 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 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 may block Viagra’s action. 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.

Viagra should not be taken by people who have certain eye conditions such as non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) or hereditary retinitis pigmentosa because it can cause sudden loss of vision in one or both 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 decrease the effectiveness of the drug or cause side effects.