Is Viagra safe?

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Everything you need to know before using the little blue pill

 

Erectile dysfunction

Due to various health conditions, e.g., type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, pulmonary arterial hypertension, physical injury, kidney diseases, radiation therapy, atherosclerosis, etc..., the penis muscles lose their stiffness. This is a condition known as erectile dysfunction (ED). It is the primary cause of male impotence. According to King's College London, every man out of five in the UK has this problem.

Viagra (generic name: sildenafil citrate) is an FDA-approved medicine used to treat erectile dysfunction.

Is taking Viagra safe? This question is often discussed. To answer this, you must know how it works, its long-term side effects, and how one can take Viagra safely.

To learn more about erectile dysfunction, see our information page here

How does Viagra work?

Various studies have confirmed the usefulness of Viagra in achieving and maintaining an erection. A 2021 study involving 120 patients found that it effectively treats ED in both tablet and strip form. However, before taking Viagra, you should know the cause of ED. If ED is due to a local infection, it should be treated first. To understand the working of Viagra, you should understand how an erection occurs.

Welzo offers a range of medications including Viagra, click here to see our product page. 

How does erection occur?

Your penis has three cylindrical tissues, the erectile tissues. These tissues are held together by the fibrous tissues. These tissues are spongy, i.e., they have large empty spaces in them. When aroused, the blood fills these spaces, and the penis becomes erect. As the arousal ends, the blood leaves these spaces, and these spaces collapse, leading to non-erection.

The metabolic processes of sexual stimulation result in nitric oxide (NO) production in the penis. The nitric oxide activates the enzyme guanylate cyclase. This enzyme produces cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), which causes erection by influencing the blood vessels of the penis and increasing the blood supply. The destruction of this cGMP by another enzyme, Phosphodiesterase-5, ends the erection. Now, what role does Viagra play?

How does Viagra work?

It inhibits the enzyme phosphodiesterase-5 and rescues the cGMP from destruction—the longer life of cGMP results in a longer duration of an erection.

What are the side effects of Viagra?

Every medicine comes with some side effects. It's the job of a pharmacist or physician to create a balance between desired results and side effects. The side effects of Viagra could be short-term or long-term.

Short-term side effects

The short-term side effects are noticed immediately and are due to the disturbance of blood flow. These are related to the increased blood flow toward the sexual organs and could affect your sexual activity.

Depending upon Viagra dosage, you may experience:

  • Headaches
  • Skin rashes
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dizziness
  • Digestive disturbances
  • Nasal congestion
  • Blurred vision of blue and green
  • Facial flushing

Most of these symptoms disappear within a few days or weeks. These issues are not bigger ones if your erectile dysfunction is treated. However, if they persist, you face more severe and dangerous side effects.

Serious effects requiring emergency treatment

These effects don't go away quickly, and you may need to call your doctor or dial the emergency helpline.

These conditions are:

Impaired vision

Damage to your optic nerve can occur, leading to problems with vision. This condition is called non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION). It is due to the loss of blood supply to the optic nerve. As a result, you may notice a sudden decrease or loss of vision in one or both eyes.

Hearing problems

Your hearing may also be damaged, causing a decrease or total loss of hearing from one or both ears. The symptoms include buzzing or ringing sounds in the ears and dizziness. A 2011 study by Khan and his colleagues found that 66.7% of cases of hearing loss due to Viagra were noted in the first 24 hours.

Priapism

It is a very long-lasting and painful erection. Viagra can provide erection for up to 5 hours. However, typically, its effects should not last 2-3 hours. Any erection longer than 4-5 hours is a potential emergency. This condition, if left untreated, can cause permanent damage to the muscles of the penis, causing permanent and irreversible ED.

Allergic reactions

You may notice itchiness and rashes on the skin. Although rare, a severe allergic reaction can cause breathing problems and swelling of the throat, tongue, and mouth. Swelling of hands, feet, eyelids, and lips may also occur.

Low blood pressure

It can occur if you take medicines to treat high blood pressure. Consult your Pharmacist or Doctor before using Viagra if you are already on medication. If you have heart problems, this drug is not for you. You can experience symptoms worsening, leading to irregular heartbeats, stroke, and heart attack.

How safe is the 50mg blue pill?

Viagra is usually available in the form of a blue pill which provides 50mg of generic sildenafil. A complete understanding of side effects may help you to understand its safety. Viagra is for you if you are healthy young, on a good dieting plan, and using it to enhance the timing of sexual intercourse. However, if you are an old heart patient and taking medicine for allergies, it can backfire. It can't compensate for youth and masculinity; it can just augment it.

If you have any medical issues, consult your healthcare consultant. After reviewing your complete medical history, he will suggest a suitable brand among the prescription drugs. However, you can increase safety by following these guidelines.

  • A light and refreshing meal before taking Viagra could be helpful. Although it could be taken with an empty stomach, a light meal can have a good effect.
  • Stop drinking alcohol before using Viagra
  • Seek the help of a Pharmacist to decide which dose of Viagra (25mg, 50mg, 100mg) works for you.
  • Take care of yourself, eat healthily, don't smoke, exercise regularly, and don't be shy to consult wellness professionals for any queries.

Bottom-line

An understanding of the potential side effects is necessary for the safe use of Viagra. It is your responsibility to act responsibly when taking medication. It would help if you understood the boundary between desired, undesired, and severe side effects for the safe, effective, and prolonged use of Viagra.

If you're concerned about erectile dysfunction, order one of our at-home ED tests today, click here to learn more. 

To see our range of ED medications, click here

For a full range of blood tests and medications, visit our Welzo Online Pharmacy Page. For more details, click here.

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