What Is Viagra?

Viagra is a medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (EED). Erectile dysfunction is when you cannot get an erection or stay hard for a sufficient period of time. This can be a problem for men experiencing it, or those who are concerned about it. Luckily, there is help. Viagra is the gold standard among oral medications used to treat erectile dysfunction. The substance works by increasing blood flow to the penis, which in turn, can lead to an erection. While there are many different causes of erectile dysfunction, heart disease and diabetes are the two most common conditions linked to it.

How Does It Relate To Other Drugs?

The drug Viagra has occasionally been confused with other medications, specifically the much-more-common erectile dysfunction drug Sildenafil (revatio), which is a phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5) inhibitor. As you may have guessed from the previous question, Sildenafil and Viagra are similar in that they both treat erectile dysfunction, albeit using slightly different methods. Sildenafil tends to be a bit more selective in its action, affecting only PDE-5 and leaving others involved in the regulation of erectile function unharmed. Additionally, Sildenafil has a longer history of use than Viagra does, which may account for its established place in the treatment of erectile dysfunction as compared to the relatively new medication.

Is It Safe To Take With Other Drugs?

Viagra is a drug that is used for a specific purpose and therefore has a defined group of patients it is approved for. Most doctors will advise against its use with other medications, especially those used to treat other conditions. Taking medications with Viagra can cause dangerous interactions, especially if you’re not sure what the individual effects of each are. Some medications can even provoke an erection in a patient who is already taking Viagra, putting them at risk for a sudden and potentially life-threatening surge in blood pressure.

For that reason, if you are taking any medication, especially other medications that affect the cardiovascular system, you should not take Viagra or any other pharmaceutical product that contains sildenafil without first discussing the issue with your doctor. Your doctor may be able to prescribe you a different class of medication (i.e., one that does not interact with Viagra) or may suggest a different treatment plan all together. In either case, your safety is the number one priority.

Effective?

The most recent data shows that Viagra is a very effective medication for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, with an overall response rate of 74%. In clinical trials, it was shown to increase the rate of successful sexual intercourse by 55%, improve the rate of complete erections by 45%, and increase the time between erections by 59%. Based on this information, it is safe to say that Viagra is a highly effective treatment for erectile dysfunction.

Frequent Side Effects?

As we mentioned above, taking medications containing sildenafil can interfere with the cardiovascular system. This is especially dangerous for patients with heart disease or those who are already taking medication for heart disease. Aside from this, the most common side effects reported by users of sildenafil are mild to moderate headaches and upset stomachs. Some patients have also had issues with decreased vision and eye pressure, though these side effects are considered to be rare. Finally, there are also case reports of people developing nitrate tolerance, which puts them at risk for a potentially fatal drop in blood pressure if they consume too much nitrate-rich food (e.g., strawberries, blueberries, or spinach). If you experience any of these side effects, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible; he may be able to prescribe you an alternative medication or suggest a different treatment plan altogether.

Overall, despite its benefits and positive track record, Viagra is not for everybody. If you are taking any medication, especially other cardiovascular medications, you should consult your doctor before taking Viagra or any other medication containing sildenafil. Your doctor will be able to advise you of the safest course of action to follow in your specific situation.

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