The #1 drug in the world, Viagra, was first launched in the 90s and since then it has changed the face of medicine. Today, we’ll be looking into the history and how the drug works, as well as when it’s best used and who it’s best suited for.

The History Of Viagra

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how Viagra works, it’s important to remember where it came from and how it all started. The original compound, sildenafil, was first synthesized in 1981 and patented three years later. It was originally developed as a treatment for angina pectoris, a condition where there is a lack of oxygen caused by coronary artery disease.

Doctors would give patients an injection of sildenafil to help improve their angina. It was also used as a treatment for pulmonary hypertension and used to help improve the blood flow in the lungs. In 1998, the drug was approved for use in the urogenital system, specifically for erectile dysfunction and pulmonary hypertension. Sildenafil still remains the active ingredient in Viagra and it’s still around today mainly because it works. More than 100 million prescriptions have been written since it was first approved in the US in 1998, with roughly half of those prescriptions being for Viagra┬ábranded products.

How Does Viagra Work?

The active ingredient in Viagra, sildenafil, works by inhibiting an enzyme called PDE5, which is responsible for breaking down cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) in the corpus cavernosum of the penis. When cGMP breaks down, it leads to the relaxation of smooth muscle fibers and blood vessels in the penis, allowing more blood to fill the organ and producing an erection. Interestingly, sildenafil also inhibits other enzymes in the body, including PDE6, which is responsible for breaking down cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). The net result is increased metabolism in the body, which may lead to an increased heart rate and blood pressure.

When Is Viagra Best Used?

The consensus among physicians is that Viagra should be used as early as possible in the course of treatment. The sooner it is used, the better the chances of the patient experiencing an improvement in erectile function. If you’re looking for an ED drug that can be used effectively anytime within the day, then Viagra would be a worthwhile choice due to its early effective time frame. It’s also advisable to use it in combination with a nitric oxide donor, such as nitroglycerin or a calcium channel blocker, such as verapamil.

Who Is Viagra Best Suited For?

Based on its chemical makeup, sildenafil is classified as a PDE5 inhibitor and its mechanism of action makes it ideal for treating erectile dysfunction in men. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s only useful for men. In fact, recent research has shown that sildenafil can also be used to treat pulmonary hypertension in women as well as in children. It has also been shown to improve blood flow and exercise capacity in heart failure patients. The safety and efficacy of sildenafil has been well-established throughout the world in well over 100,000 patients, making it a safe and commonly prescribed drug today.

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