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Viagra and sildenafil: frequently asked questions

Everything you need to know about Viagra

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Viagra is an erectile dysfunction medication and Sildenafil citrate is it’s active ingredient. Sildenafil citrate belongs to the group of erectile dysfunction drugs also known as phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors PDE-5 inhibitors) which also includes tadalafil, avanafil and vardenafil.  

There are many questions asked in relation to this drug and in this article we will look to answer as many of those questions as possible:

When was Viagra invented?

Viagra was first patented in 1996 by the drug company Pfizer. It was approved for use by the FDA in America in 1998 and shortly after was approved for use in the treatment of erectile dysfunction by the MHRA in the UK

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What is viagra used to treat?

Viagra is used to treat erectile dysfunction. This is defined as the inability to achieve or maintain an erection long enough to have satisfactory sexual intercourse.

What are the benefits of using viagra?

Sildenafil which is the active ingredient in Viagra, along with sexual stimulation, will increase blood flow into the penis and so allow a man to achieve and maintain an erection.

How does viagra work?

Viagra works by relaxing muscles in blood vessel walls to help increase blood flow to the penis, making it easier to get and maintain an erection. Viagra is only effective if there is sexual stimulation, such as that occurring during sexual intercourse.

Does Viagra make you last longer?

Viagra is designed to help achieve and maintain an erection but is not designed to make you last longer in bed; if you would normally lose your erection too quickly however then Viagra can help you maintain it for longer.  Viagra will not help if you suffer from premature ejaculation and climax too quickly 

Does viagra have any side effects?

As with most types of medication, Viagra does have some side effects. Some are common and others are not so common.

Common side effects may include:

  • headaches
  • feeling sick
  • hot flushes, including facial flushing
  • indigestion
  • a colour tinge to your vision or blurred vision
  • stuffy nose
  • dizziness

Less common and more serious side effects include:

  • chest pains
  • prolonged and sometimes painful erections 
  • a sudden decrease or loss of vision
  • a serious skin reaction
  • seizures

Does viagra always work?

Viagra and other ED medication, just like any other medication, are not guaranteed to work for everyone. It may be that a number of attempts using the medication are required or maybe just an alteration in the dose or try another type of erectile dysfunction medication.

It is important to remember that Sildenafil will not work if a man is not aroused. It is also important that the timings are right and for this reason, it is worth trying it a few times.

Can you take more Viagra if it doesn’t work?

It is not recommended that you take a second dose if the first one doesn’t work otherwise you risk having unpleasant and potentially serious side effects.

If you feel that you need a higher dose then as for advice from your doctor.

Does viagra work immediately?

Viagra normally starts working 30 to 60 minutes after you take it in oral tablet form. It may take up to 2 hours to work. Viagra doesn't work on its own. You'll still need to feel sexually aroused to get an erection

How long does Viagra last?

On average, Viagra usually lasts between 2 and 3 hours before its effects start to diminish. Viagra can last up to 5 hours or longer depending on your dosage, your body's metabolism, and other external factors.

How long does Viagra stay in the system?

Viagra usually leaves your system after 2 to 3 hours. Depending on your metabolism, Viagra can take 5 to 6 hours to fully leave your system. A higher dosage will take longer to leave your body. A 25-mg dose may wear off after a couple of hours, but a 100-mg dose may take nearly four times as long to leave your system.

Can you climax more than once when you take viagra?

It is possible to orgasm more than once if you have taken Viagra, although the erection may subside after you have ejaculated. However, you can continue to have sex for as long as the Viagra is in your symptom. You may, as you normally would, have to wait for a short time between erections.

How often can you take Viagra?

It is not recommended to take viagra more than once per day.  

What is the recommended dose for Viagra?

The usual recommended dose for Viagra is 50mg although it is possible to reduce the dose to 25mg or raise it to 100mg as needed.

Is Viagra only available on prescription?

It is possible to buy generic Sildenafil over the counter up to 50mg dosage but under the supervision of a pharmacist. There is now a brand of Viagra called Viagra Connect which is 50mg dosage and is available over the counter.

At the moment any higher dose of Viagra is only available on prescription.

Can you take Viagra alongside other medications?

It is not recommended for some medication to be taken alongside Sildenafil:

  • nitrates for chest pain
  • Riociguat for pulmonary hypertension

Can you take Viagra with illegal drugs?

Some people may be tempted to use Sildenafil alongside recreational drugs. There are hazards associated with this:

  • A well-known potentially fatal drug combination is an erectile dysfunction medication together with amyl nitrate
  • The interaction between MDMA (Ecstasy) and the Viagra-type medicines (PDE-5 inhibitors) is less well understood.  It is possible that taking them together could result in a person developing a dangerously high pulse rate.

Is Viagra used to treat any conditions other than erectile dysfunction?

Sildenafil (Revatio) is used to improve the ability to exercise in adults with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH; high blood pressure in the vessels carrying blood to the lungs, causing shortness of breath, dizziness, and tiredness).

Are there alternative medications to treat erectile dysfunction?

Other types of PDE-5 inhibitors are available. They have slightly different properties such as how long they last and how long it is before they become effective. The alternative medications include:

  • Tadalafil - brand Cialis
  • Avanafil - brand Stendra
  • Vardenafil - brand Levitra and Staxyn

Are there any natural alternatives to Viagra?

Panax ginseng otherwise known as red ginseng has some solid research behind it. In 2008, researchers reviewed seven studies that had been carried out looking into the effects of red ginseng and its treatment of erectile dysfunction.

A variety of dosages were given ranging from 600mg - 1000 mg three times per day. The conclusion was drawn that the evidence suggested that the red ginseng had a level of effectiveness in treating ED.

What happens if a woman takes Viagra?

Women taking Viagra reported mild to moderate side effects, including headache, flushing, nausea, and vision symptoms - the same side effects reported by men who take the drug.

Conclusion

Viagra, when taken as prescribed, can help with erectile dysfunction and improve your sex life. The thing is, don’t expect it to do all the work and it is important that you are sufficiently aroused in order for it to work. Any problems, talk to your doctor but don’t give up on the first attempt!

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