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Viagra: Uses, Doses, Risks, And More

Fact-Checked

Viagra is one of the most famous medication brands popular among adults for the complications such as Erectile Dysfunction. This drug is devoured, mainly to last longer in bed by men.

But did you know that Viagra is being used for several wrong purposes? In this article, we would discuss everything you need to know about Viagra.

What Is Viagra?

People usually mistake Viagra for the name of a drug that enhances male performance in bed.

But in reality, Viagra is the name of the brand that sells a drug named[1] Sildenafil which is created to treat Erectile Dysfunction (ED), which is a condition[2] where you are incapable of having or maintaining an erection.

This drug is common in men with this condition and has successfully provided results. This drug belongs[3] to the PDE5 (Phosphodiesterase Type 5) category of drugs.

All the drugs in this category perform similarly. This drug just increases the blood flow of your penis which further helps you in getting an erection. Yet, this drug has a catch.

It only seems to work when the consumer is aroused. Viagra comes as a tablet that is taken by mouth.

A single dose of Viagra is advised to be consumed an hour before sexual intercourse for good results.

Viagra And ED

Erectile Dysfunction is a condition where one tends to face problems in getting or maintaining an erection. This condition, though problematic, may still be treated for improvement.

These popular sildenafil tablets, produced[4] by Viagra, are one of the best medicines focused on treating Erectile Dysfunction in men.

The clinical study[5] has proven Viagra to work effectively in treating ED and hence improve sexual activity in men consuming these tablets.

Around 43 to 83 percent of men consuming this drug have seen sexual improvements in their bodies, specifically relating to erections.

Relation Of Viagra With Time

The main query in the mind of people consuming these Sildenafil tablets is the dilemma of the time it lasts. Before coming to that, we need to address the time it takes for Viagra to work.

Usually, Viagra has been reported to start working between 30 to 60 minutes after the consumption[3] of this tablet.

Technically, Viagra does not give you an erection on its own but only works when you are sexually aroused. After Viagra consumption, this tablet keeps its work flowing for the next 5 to 6 hours.

Typically, a consumer of Viagra usually lasts his erection for 4 hours when aroused. Since Viagra has been claimed to work well when taken at least 30 minutes before sexual intercourse.

Luckily, there is a way through which you could gain an erection faster than usual. It is recommended to consume a single tablet of Viagra empty stomach to experience quicker results.

On the other hand, Viagra, if consumed with high-fat food, then it might take longer to show results that are too less effective.

Though research[6] showed that food habits and timing don’t cause a lot of changes in the working or efficiency of the drug.

However, the tablet stays in your body for a longer time than its effective length.  Viagra has been reported to remain in your body for about 24 hours after consumption.

Side Effects Of Viagra

Since Viagra is an artificial method of gaining and maintaining an erection, it tends to have much more risk adjoined to it.

Due to the adjoining risks of Viagra, one risk has been commonly misleading people by prohibiting the consumption of Viagra for better performance in bed.

This risk claims to cause priapism, which is a medical emergency that may damage tissues in your penis and cause irreversible Erectile Dysfunction.

Luckily, Viagra has not been reported to have caused such a problem. In the article further, we would discuss all the side effects this Sildenafil tablet might come with.

That is why it is recommended to consult your doctor before consuming any dosage of Viagra. Mild side effects of Viagra include headache, flushing, indigestion[7], temporary vision changes[8], nasal congestion, back pain[9], muscle pain, dizziness, rash, and nausea.

These side effects usually go away within days or weeks. A longer duration of side effects would need to be addressed by a doctor who would perform an elaborated diagnosis to find the cause and solution to the problem.

Serious Side Effects Of Viagra

Consumption of Viagra is not usually chaotic and fatal, but there are some severe side effects of this sildenafil tablet that may need serious attention.

These serious side effects may turn out to be medical emergencies for which you would immediately need to go to the hospital. 

Such side effects include NAION[10] (Non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy), which is a condition of the eye.

Due to this, you might witness sudden loss or decrease in vision of one or both eye(s) which could be due to the damage to the optic nerve that Viagra might cause; a sudden decrease or loss of hearing including tinnitus or dizziness.

Other serious side effects might include priapism[11], allergic reaction, low blood pressure, and heart problems that might even cause death.

Relieving Of Side Effects

Since Viagra tends to cause more mild side effects than serious ones, you might easily witness relief in a matter of a few hours, days, or weeks. 

Side effects like dizziness, headaches, and flushing could be relieved by lying down and relaxing for a bit.

People consuming Viagra must avoid alcohol to avoid adverse effects the reaction of both might cause. Painkillers, on the other hand, may also help in relieving the pain and getting at ease.

People witnessing indigestion after the consumption of Viagra should prefer taking the dose of Viagra with a snack or a light meal.

Do remember in such cases, Viagra might take a little longer to show results of it.

With this, one thing to keep in mind is that a few mild side effects may be recurring and might come quite often than usual.

So if the side effects are more bothersome[12] in daily life it is recommended to consult a doctor before consuming the sildenafil tablet.

When To Consult A Doctor?

Usually, Viagra might not come as a pain in the neck for the user of it but there are a few situations that might need a close diagnosis by the doctor to avoid any serious health issues this tablet might give.

Therefore, you would need to consult a doctor in cases of an erection that doesn’t go away[11] within the usual time of the effect of this tablet.

Severe chest pain[13] with dizziness or nausea while in sexual activity (this becomes serious when resting and stopping the activity does not help improve the discomfort).

Sudden[14] loss or decrease in vision of the eye or sudden loss or decrease in hearing including tinnitus or dizziness.

Dosage Of Viagra

The dosage of Viagra is the most important factor affecting the performance of this tablet. The milligram consumption of Viagra varies from person to person based on their age.

One needs to be an appropriate age before considering Viagra while also dealing with any liver or kidney problem, or other medications being consumed.

All these factors affect the appropriate dosage of Viagra for a person. Besides this, one must consult a doctor to take the right prescription of the medicine for effective results and minimum side effects.

A typical dosage of Viagra for ED patients[15] is set out to be 50 mg which might vary depending on the requirement of the patient as well.

On the other hand, it is recommended to consume these tablets an hour before sexual activity for good results.

Depending on many factors your doctor might prescribe a different type of dose of Viagra for better results keeping other things constant.

Conclusion

Viagra is a popular medicine for improving your sex drive and Erectile dysfunction condition. Viagra is a brand that manufactures Sildenafil tablets.

These tablets are easily available in the market and are recommended by doctors for a better experience in serious situations like ED.

This tablet comes in three strengths: 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg where all the strengths are prescribed by a doctor depending on the requirements of one’s body and needs.

Even though there are many flaws associated with these tablets, they have been popularly used for the purpose they have been created for.

In the end, Viagra is a very reliable medicine to treat ED and other sex-related problems but still, it should be handled with which means that consultation with a doctor is a must before beginning to use Viagra tablets.

References/Sources

Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.

  1. Konstantinos Hatzimouratidis. Sildenafil in the treatment of erectile dysfunction: an overview of the clinical evidence. Clin Interv Aging. 2006 Dec; 1(4): 403–414. Published online 2006 Dec. doi: 10.2147/ciia.2006.1.4.403
  2. Thushanth Sooriyamoorthy; Stephen W. Leslie. Erectile Dysfunction Last Update: May 27, 2022. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK562253/
  3. JS SAINI and MK GARG VIAGRA : IS IT A WONDER DRUG ? Med J Armed Forces India. 2001 Jan; 57(1): 44–46.Published online 2011 Jul 21. doi: 10.1016/S0377-1237(01)80090-3
  4. Sildenafil. Date of Publication: January 15, 2018. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a699015.html
  5. A Study Of The Safety and Efficacy Of Viagra In Men With Erectile Dysfunction Who Do Not Self Identify. Date of Publication: June 22, 2006. Available from: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00343200
  6. Donald J Nichols, Gary J Muirhead, and Jane A Harness Pharmacokinetics of sildenafil after single oral doses in healthy male subjects: absolute bioavailability, food effects and dose proportionality Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2002 Feb; 53(Suppl 1): 5S–12S.doi: 10.1046/j.0306-5251.2001.00027.x
  7. F Carbone and J Tack. The effect of sildenafil on gastric motility and satiation in healthy controls. United European Gastroenterol J. 2018 Jul; 6(6): 846–854. Published online 2018 Mar 30. doi: 10.1177/2050640618766933
  8. Eva Ausó, Violeta Gómez-Vicente, and Gema Esquiva. Visual Side Effects Linked to Sildenafil Consumption: An Update. Biomedicines. 2021 Mar; 9(3): 291. Published online 2021 Mar 12. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines9030291.
  9. J.E. Walden and M. Castilloa. Sildenafil-Induced Cervical Spinal Cord Infarction. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2012 Mar; 33(3): E32–E33. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A2628
  10. L Gorkin, K Hvidsten, RE Sobel, et. al. Sildenafil citrate use and the incidence of nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy. Int J Clin Pract. 2006 Apr; 60(4): 500–503. doi: 10.1111/j.1368-5031.2006.00904.x
  11. T Aoyagi, K Hayakawa, K Miyaji, et al. Sildenafil induced priapism Bull Tokyo Dent Coll. 1999 Nov;40(4):215-7. doi: 10.2209/tdcpublication.40.215. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11933312/
  12. Guan-Yu Lin, Jiunn-Tay Lee, Giia-Sheun Peng, et al. Sildenafil can induce the onset of a cluster headache bout Can Urol Assoc J. 2014 May-Jun; 8(5-6): E378–E380.Published online 2014 May 21. doi: 10.5489/cuaj.1736
  13. J E Muller, M A Mittleman, M Maclure, et al. Triggering myocardial infarction by sexual activity. Low absolute risk and prevention by regular physical exertion. Determinants of Myocardial Infarction Onset Study Investigators JAMA. 1996 May 8;275(18):1405-9. doi: 10.1001/jama.275.18.1405. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8618365/
  14. Eric Wooltorton Visual loss with erectile dysfunction medications CMAJ. 2006 Aug 15; 175(4): 355.doi: 10.1503/cmaj.060935
  15. James G McMurray, Robert A Feldman, Stephen M Auerbach, et. al. Long-term safety and effectiveness of sildenafil citrate in men with erectile dysfunction. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2007 Dec; 3(6): 975–981. Published online 2007 Dec.

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