How Viagra works and side effects

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Mature men are discovering a new sexual youth thanks to a little blue pill called Viagra, which is used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence, as it is often called.

Let's find out more about Viagra, how it is dosed, and what to look for when a person is prescribed this drug.

How does it work

Viagra (sildenafil) belongs to a group of drugs that inhibit an enzyme called phosphodiesterase from acting too quickly. By controlling phosphodiesterase, sildenafil helps maintain the erection that occurs when the penis is physically stimulated.

Prescribing tips

Viagra is available in tablet form in doses of 25, 50 and 100 mg. The general form is 20 mg.

  • Men under 65 years of age: They usually prescribe Viagra 50 mg by mouth. It is recommended to take it once a day 30 minutes to 4 hours before intercourse. In situations where 50 mg is ineffective, your healthcare provider may prescribe 100 mg once a day 30 minutes to 4 hours before intercourse.
  • For men over 65: A lower dose, such as 25 mg, is often prescribed . Before intercourse, you need 30 minutes to 4 hours. In some cases, for men over 65, the dose can be increased. Taking Viagra on an empty stomach can increase the effectiveness of the drug.

Important warning: Men should not, under any circumstances, increase the dose of Viagra without first consulting with their doctor.

It's also important to be aware of interactions with your heart or high blood pressure medications that can be dangerous. Viagra and other phosphodiesterase drugs such as Levitra (vardenafil), Cialis (tadalafil) and Stendra (avanafil) should not be taken with any form of organic nitrate or nitrite (for example, nitroglycerin and amyl nitrite used for angina pectoris), nor should should If taken with guanylate cyclase stimulants (such as riociguat, which is used to treat high blood pressure in the lungs).

Men should also not take Viagra if they are also taking other medications for high blood pressure, such as Revatio (a form of sildenafil) or other medications. Because phosphodiesterase medications such as Viagra can lower blood pressure, they should be used with caution in men with heart conditions (eg, Angina, a history of heart attack, stroke, or narrowing of the aorta).

When in doubt, talk to your doctor about whether it is safe for you to take Viagra.

Possible side effects.

  • Headache
  • Acidity
  • Diarrhea
  • Warmth sensation
  • Nosebleeds
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning in the extremities.
  • Muscle pain
  • Changes in color vision.
  • Sensitivity to light

Serious side effects that require a person to see a doctor immediately include blurred vision, vision loss, fainting, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, hearing difficulties, ringing in the ears, skin rash, pain when urinating, painful erection, or erection lasting more than 4 hours.

Safety measures

If you think you need Viagra, see your doctor and ask for an exam and prescription to treat your erectile dysfunction. Do not order Viagra over the Internet: The FDA warns of the potential harm of obtaining Viagra-like products over the Internet, as its safety has not been studied and its ingredients may be harmful to the consumer.

Additionally, according to the 2002 AIDS study, Viagra use may be associated with higher rates of unprotected anal sex with an HIV -positive partner. Practicing safe sex, whether you are taking Viagra or not, is critical to your own sexual health and that of your partner.

Guide to Talking to a Doctor About Erectile Dysfunction

Get our printable guide to your next doctor's appointment to help you ask the right questions.

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