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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 must be taken on an unfilled stomach as a fatty food can slow down the drug’s absorbtion.

Dosage

Viagra is a unique medication that only works when you are 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 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. 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 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 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.

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. 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 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 cause relationship 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 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.