Viagra
Last Edited: April 17th, 2012

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Viagra, known by the generic name sildenafil, is a PDE5 inhibitor manufactured by Pfizer and used in the treatment of male impotence. The drug works by inhibiting the production of certain enzymes, allowing more blood to flow into the penis. It would not be inaccurate to say that the drug has positively changed the lives of millions of men by enabling them to fully enjoy sex again.

Causes of Impotence

As men grow older, their bodies naturally produce less testosterone, increasing the risk of erectile dysfunction. It is important to note, however, that this is not the only cause. A number of other conditions, such as heart and kidney problems, can also result in impotence. Left undetected and untreated, these conditions tend to worsen and can even result in death, which is why examination by a doctor is essential before using Viagra. After a physician has ruled out these other problems, treatment with Viagra can be considered.

How Does Viagra Compare?

There are several PDE5 inhibitors prescribed for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, but Viagra has the longest track record of safety and is the most well-researched. Whether patients are unable to maintain an erection because of low hormones, surgery, nerve damage or another cause, Viagra can effectively treat symptoms by working directly on the flow of blood into the penis.

Getting Out of A Rut

Men suffering from impotence frequently experience numerous problems related to worries about a lack of ability to satisfy their partner in bed. Many suffer from low self-confidence that manifests as depression and lack of interest in sex. Lack of confidence contributes to lower production of testosterone, worsening the problem. When this happens, Viagra can turn everything around by helping men out of their sexual rut.

Viagra for Health

Diabetes is another very common cause of erectile dysfunction. Its effects on heart and nerve function frequently disrupt diabetics' ability to engage in sex, a valuable, solitary source of exercise in many cases. Unfortunately, sedentary behavior worsens diabetes and the obesity associated with it. By making sex possible again, Viagra can potentially improve weight and blood sugar in diabetics who had been forced into inactivity by ED.

Side Effects of Viagra

The main side effect associated with Viagra is a temporary bluing of vision. This is not dangerous as long as patients avoid driving for a few hours after taking the drug. Beyond this, the other most common side effects of Viagra are nausea and flushing, both of which are transient and rarely cause problems for patients.

There has been some controversy about cases of heart attack connected to use of Viagra. Patients with healthy hearts generally do not need to worry about suffering problems from Viagra. Those with a history of heart problems, including high or low blood pressure, should avoid taking Viagra unless they are approved to do so by their physician.

There are some serious interactions to keep in mind and avoid when using Viagra. Nitrate drugs, prescribed for chest pain, cause dangerously low blood pressure when they are combined with Viagra. Recreational drugs known as poppers also cause dangerously low blood pressure when used concurrently with Viagra. Finally, grapefruit juice, by inhibiting certain enzymes, can cause Viagra to build up in the system and result in unwanted and possibly dangerous side effects.

The Original Lifestyle Drug

Viagra is the original drug that opened the public's mind about using medicines as tools for optimizing certain aspects of our lives. Since then, other lifestyle drugs have become popular for treating erectile dysfunction, but Viagra has stayed in the public's eye since it was introduced in the late nineties. With its continued standing as popular icon in modern culture, Viagra is likely to remain ubiquitous in the sex lives of many for long into the future.