Viagra is a medication used to treat erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension. The name Viagra is a brand name – the drug itself is called Sildenafil.
The drug itself is taken either orally or via an injection. Onset occurs within 20 minutes on average and lasts for 2 hours. The effects of Viagra on sexual dysfunction in women is currently unknown.
Headaches, flushed skin and heartburn are typical side effects of the drug. Individuals with cardiovascular disease should exercise caution. Damage to the penis, vision problems and loss of hearing can occur in rare situations following a prolonged erection. The product should not be taken by people on nitrates.
Viagra works by blocking an enzyme in the body which regulates blood flow in the penis. The drug can not work without sexual arousal, however. The medication was originally discovered in 1989 by Pfizer, while searching for a treatment for chest pain.
Viagra was approved for medical use in the USA and Europe in 1998. It has evolved over time to become an over-the-counter drug in the UK.
The primary use for Viagra is to combat the effects of erectile dysfunction, an issue which prevents a suitable erection for sexual intercourse. The drug can also assist people who suffer from the condition as a result of antidepressants, but further trials are necessary.
Viagra can also assist with pulmonary hypertension. It can improve some of the markers of the disease, but at this time is not capable of altering the risk of death.
Raynaud’s is also something which can be helped via the use of Viagra. Due to the nature of the drug, being an inhibitor, it can help as an off-label method of alleviating vasospasm and help people with secondary Raynaud’s phenomenon.
Harmful Side Effects
Induced headaches, integration, impaired vision, blurred vision, flushing and nasal congestion are all common adverse effects of the drug. There have also been reports of vision which has a blue tint.
In rare cases, the drug can lead to a vision impairment. Serious side-effects have included prolonged elections, heart attacks, arrhythmia, low blood pressure, hearing loss and strokes. These are all classed as rare issues.
It is recommended that people take care with use of the drug if they are undergoing treatment for HIV infections. Protease inhibitors are known to increase the likelihood and overall severity of side-effects.
For this reason, it is recommended that the use of the drug be restricted to 1 25mg dose every 48 hours. This will prevent the buildup and creation of issues, especially the more dangerous ones.
The use of Viagra has been noted to carry potentially harmful effects if taken in conjunction with beta blockers, especially those prescribed for issues like hypertension. The end result can be dangerously low blood pressure. It is therefore recommended that the drugs are taken 4 hours apart at least to avoid this issue.
If a prolonged erection lasting longer than four hours occurs, a medical professional should be contacted immediately.