THE COACH: ARTICLES

VIAGRA 101 – ALL YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

MALE HEALTH

Viagra (sildenafil citrate) for long has been the go-to medication for managing erectile dysfunction (ED). It became popular as the first effective modern oral treatment that helped men with ED get erections.


Here are the answers to all your questions about Viagra…



Is Viagra FDA-Approved?


Yes, since 1998. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Viagra as an oral medication for treatment of erectile dysfunction. It requires a prescription and is not available over the counter.



How Does Viagra Work?


Viagra (as well as other drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction) is known as a PDE5 inhibitor.


Normally, the PDE5 enzyme degrades another compound, called cGMP, which allows more blood to flow into the sponge-like erectile tissue of the penis. So, less cGMP = less penile blood flow.


PDE5 inhibitors help like Viagra improve blood flow by preventing PDE5 from degrading cGMP. More cGMP = more penile blood flow. And you stay harder for longer.



Does Viagra Really Work?


Viagra has been known to improve erection and hardness and is one of the most prescribed drugs for erectile dysfunction. More than 80% of men who use Viagra say that it works.



When Should I Consider Using Viagra?


Viagra is a safe and effective treatment for men of any age with erectile dysfunction. Consider it only if episodes of ED begin to noticeably affect your sex life.



How Long Does It Take to Work?


It takes roughly 39 minutes for you to start feeling the effects of Viagra after you’ve swallowed a pill.


But if you had a high-fat meal within an hour of taking the medication, the effects may begin to kick in after an hour.



Can the Effects of Viagra Be Sped Up?


Your body needs to absorb the sildenafil (Viagra’s active ingredient) before you begin feeling its effects. To get the fastest results, take Viagra on an empty stomach. Also, you avoid eating any food within an hour of taking the medication.


While taking Viagra, refrain from drinking alcohol, especially in large quantities. Alcohol is a depressant that affects every system in the body, including that responsible for erections. Like alcohol, many illicit drugs can drastically reduce the effectiveness of Viagra.



Can I Take Viagra Every Day?


Yes, Viagra can be taken every day if your healthcare provider thinks that’s warranted.


Keep in mind, however, that Viagra should be taken only once in 24 hours. This is because the medication can sit in your system for up to eight hours after taking a dose.



I Don’t Have ED, But Can I Still Use Viagra?


Probably a bad idea, but you can go find out to make sure. If you don’t have ED or other sexual problems, speak with a health care provider. They’ll want to know about your medical history and existing conditions you might have.


After the consult, your healthcare provider should be able to determine whether Viagra is safe for you to use recreationally.



What’s the Typical Dose of Viagra?


According to the FDA, 50 mg of Viagra is the recommended dosage for most people. However, some get better results by taking only 25 mg, while others require 100 mg.


Definitely talk to your doctor. They’ll decide what dosage is right for you based on your medical history, symptoms, and preferences. If you don’t get the expected results, or if you experience unwanted side effects, consult your doctor before changing your dose.



Can I Take Viagra Alongside Other Prescription Meds?


Viagra can interfere with the way some medications work. And some medications can affect the way Viagra works! Tell your doctor about all the meds you take. Your list should include prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements.



Are There Side Effects of Taking Viagra?


Absolutely, so carefully monitor how your body responds so you can tell your doctor.


Common side effects include dizziness, headache, nausea, flushing, upset stomach or indigestion, increased light sensitivity, blurred vision, muscle pain, runny nose, insomnia, and rash.


Rare side effects include priapism, which is a prolonged erection (call your doctor if it lasts for more than four hours!); heart-attack-like symptoms; eye problems, like sudden vision loss; ringing in ears or hearing loss; seizures; and swelling in the extremities.



Can Viagra Be Dangerous?


If you take it the way your doctor says you should, Viagra is generally safe to use. However, overdosing (e.g. by taking it more than once in 24 hours) can be dangerous.


One effect of overdosing is priapism. If that’s untreated within 24 hours, your penis can get permanently damaged.


Chest pains and irregular heartbeats are other symptoms of an overdose.



What Other Health Conditions Is Viagra Used For?


Viagra is marketed as a treatment for erectile dysfunction only. However, sildenafil (again, the active ingredient in Viagra), is also used to treat other conditions, such as pulmonary arterial hypertension — a form of high blood pressure that affects the lungs.


Revatio, which contains a lower dose of sildenafil than most Viagra tablets, is used exclusively as a treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension.



Does Sexual Satisfaction with Viagra Lead to a Better Relationship?


Yes, Viagra promises better erections which, theoretically, will improve sexual performance in a relationship.


But what happens outside the bedroom is out of Viagra’s control. If sexual dissatisfaction is the problem in the relationship, then yes, Viagra will go a long way in solving those problems. If it isn’t, then a therapist might offer a better solution.


Disclaimer: This information isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should never rely upon this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.