The coronavirus pandemic has put a halt to many things – including sex. With more people working from home and health concerns rising, it’s no surprise that people are turning to internet forums and social media to find answers and hopefully some entertainment. One of the topics that’s been popularized online is whether or not it’s safe to buy Viagra online.

Viagra is one of the most popularly sold pharmaceutical products globally, with 14.7 million prescriptions written last year alone. And with the current climate of precaution and safety, more and more people are seeking to buy their medication online. However, due to the nature of the internet, any information that can be found there is typically taken with a grain of salt. That being said, one of the most widely circulated stories regarding Viagra and its safety concerns was first published in the British Medical Journal in 2016. The article suggested that while it was generally safe to buy Viagra online, the drug did have the potential to be contaminated by pesticides used on the crops that were harvested to produce it. This, in turn, could potentially lead to dangerous side effects. In response, the pharmaceutical company behind Viagra, Pfizer, stated that there was no evidence to support this theory and reiterated that the medication was safe to buy online.

Now, more than three years later, we are still left wondering whether or not it’s safe to buy Viagra online. In fact, in August of this year, the Food and Drug Administration warned that some online pharmacies were illegally selling counterfeit meds – including some that were potentially contaminated with COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that causes the disease commonly referred to as the “pandemic”. 

According to FDA statistics, between January and September of this year alone, there were 33,721 reports of counterfeit and questionable medication sold online, resulting in 46,675 adverse events and 18 deaths. 

The problem continues to exist and remains a serious one. According to Retropharma, an organization that provides independent advice to doctors and patients regarding healthcare products, illegal online pharmacies have been a major source of confusion for patients who are seeking medical advice around the world, especially regarding safety issues. “During this pandemic, patients are seeing headlines about whether or not different medications are safe, and which ones they should avoid, which can be completely confusing,” Dr. Mathew Grey, CEO and co-founder of Retropharma, told Medical Daily. “With so much uncertainty and confusion, it’s no surprise that people are turning to the internet for answers. However, while some [health care providers and websites] offer advice and insights, we always recommend that people consult a real, credentialed doctor about their medical questions.”

The Facts About Viagra

The key facts about Viagra that you need to know. First off, although it’s a medication that’s commonly prescribed for men with erectile dysfunction, it’s not specifically designed for that use and could potentially cause more harm than good. Second, it’s a sulfa drug and can cause severe rashes or allergic reactions in some people. And third, as we’ve established, it’s still unclear whether or not it’s safe to buy Viagra online. So, while we await further details from the FDA, here’s what we know for sure.

Viagra’s Current Status

As we’ve established, it’s still unclear whether or not it’s safe to buy Viagra online. However, what we do know for sure is that while it was once considered dangerous to buy from an unlicensed pharmacy, due to the fact that they often compound counterfeit or substandard medications, this is no longer the case. It is now acceptable, and in some cases, even advisable, to buy medication online from untrusted sources, particularly during the current pandemic. This is mainly because of safety and medical concerns. As a result of the FDA’s investigation into these concerns, as well as the increasing number of reported deaths and side effects, many pharmaceutical companies now recommend that their patients consult a pharmacist before taking any new medication. This includes, but is not limited to, Viagra.

Viagra Has Had a Tangled History

In the interest of full disclosure, it should be noted that though it has a history of being generally safe and effective, Viagra – like many other medications – has had its ups and downs. In particular, the medication was first approved for sale in the United States in 1992, but was only recently (November 2019) approved for sale in the European Union. This is due, in large part, to the fact that it was initially considered unsafe for use in some people – specifically, those with weak hearts or those who were already taking nitrates (a class of medication that treats angina). However, following successful tests and trials in those individuals, it’s now considered safe for use across the entirety of the EU.

A Possible Contamination Route

Though Viagra was generally considered safe for use when first approved for sale in the United States, it wasn’t specifically tested for safety in people with weakened immune systems or those who had taken other medications – such as statins or chemotherapy drugs – prior to its introduction to the market. This, coupled with the fact that it was initially intended for use in men with erectile dysfunction, potentially makes it a source of contamination for numerous medications and products. As a result of this, one of the leading causes of medication contamination is thought to be Viagra. According to the FDA, between January and September of this year, there were 13,056 adverse events and 467 deaths associated with medications that were contaminated with Viagra.

Watch Out For Fake Viagra

Though it’s preferable to buy Viagra from a reputable pharmacy, you should still be wary of buying medications and supplements from unknown sources. This is because there are many counterfeit and substandard medications and supplements that can be found online with little to no effort. In the case of Viagra, you can tell if the medication is genuine by checking the packaging. If the label doesn’t have the manufacturer’s name on it and the ingredients aren’t listed, it’s probably a counterfeit or substandard version. Though there is no way of telling for sure without testing it, this is generally the case with medication and supplements bought online from untrusted sources.

How to Spot a Fake Viagra

To avoid getting scammed, one option is to look for a reputable manufacturer’s name on the packaging. Another way of telling if a drug or supplement is fake is to check the ingredients. If you see too many artificial or strange items, it could be a sign that it’s a scam. For example, don’t be fooled by pseudo-scientifically sound health claims or lavish testimonials from supposed customers – this could simply be a way to trick you into purchasing a product that you think is safe but is, in fact, filled with dangerous fillers.

Protect Yourself From Fraud

Counterfeit and substandard medications and supplements are a common occurrence that you’ll face if you choose to buy medication online from untrusted sources. This is largely because it’s very easy for someone to copy the packaging and labeling of a popular drug, add a little bit of their own medicine, and sell it as the real thing. Though this may sound like a great way to make a profit, the fact is that you’re likely to suffer from the contaminated product if you buy it. To avoid getting scammed, one option is to buy medications and supplements from a reputable manufacturer – like CVS Health – that ensures quality and safety by requiring a prescription and performing drug tests before they will fill it. If you suspect that a product might be fake, contact the manufacturer or the pharmacy that you purchased it from and seek their assistance before taking any medication. With the amount of trouble and uncertainty that meds and supplements can cause if they’re either contaminated or of poor quality, it’s understandable why so many people would want to avoid them if they can.

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