Viagra was the first marketed medicine containing the active ingredient Sildenafil. It has been produce and sold by Pfizer since 1998 and is the best known treatment available for erectile dysfunction. Erectile Dysfunction can affect men of all ages at some point, even if they are otherwise healthy. Sildenafil belongs to a class of medicines called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5) inhibitors. PDE5 inhibitors work by relaxing blood vessels in the penis allowing for increased blood flow in. This creates the correct pressure for a main to have and maintain and erection in response to sexual arousal.
How is it taken?
The normal starting dose for Viagra is one 50mg tablet maximum Once Daily. This is also the only dose available as “Viagra Connect”. It is the proven happy medium as most patients will experience the desired effects without any adverse effects.
If the desired effect is not achieved or is not maintained for long enough with 50mg, then you can move up to 100mg. This is the highest daily dose available. The maximum daily dose of Viagra is 100mg Daily.
If you experience unwanted side effects or are taking medicines that interact with Viagra, then it is recommended to reduce the daily dose to 25mg. It usually achieves the same results without the setbacks. If Viagra isn’t suitable then there are alternatives such as Cialis (Tadalafil), Spedra (Avanafil) or Levitra (Vardenafil).
The maximum number of times Viagra should be taken is once per day.
How long does it take to work? How long will it last?
Viagra works better if taken on an empty stomach and starts to get to work within 30 - 60 minutes. It can last for up to four hours.
Viagra vs Sildenafil
Sildenafil is the active ingredient in Viagra. The two treatments are clinically equivalent and equally as effective but sildenafil is available at a much lower cost to both Viagra and Viagra Connect.
Viagra (sildenafil) is the most well-known ED treatment on the market. It has most evidence to back up its action and is also the most proven treatment available. Cialis (tadalafil) is a newer treatment and it’s advantage is that it can last up to 36 hours rather than 4 hours like Viagra. Spedra (Avanafil) is the quickest acting of all treatments available, getting to work within 15 minutes in some cases. Levitra (Vardenafil) is known to cause the least side effects in men taking it. All of these treatments work in the same way, they increase blood flow to the penis.
In men that have a fairly active sex life, Cialis Once Daily may be a more suitable option as it is designed to be taken daily. It is a low dose of Tadalafil that allows you to have unplanned sexual activity and can be used more regularly than normal ED medicines.
There are other forms of treatment available such as penis pumps and penile injections. Depending on what is the root cause of the issue, counselling may also be effective for combating ED.
- Lifestyle – Quite often our lifestyle choices can impact our sexual health. Obesity, alcohol and smoking can affect the ability to achieve and sustain an erection.
- Narrowing Blood Vessels – Health conditions such as Diabetes, High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol can all lead to narrowed vessels, leading to an insufficient blood supply to the penis.
- Medicinal - There are some medications which may be prescribed to you by your doctor that can cause ED as a side effect. These include medications for depression, prostate illness, psychotic illness and some heart medication.
- Nerve Problems – Some conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis which affect the nervous system in the body can also lead to ED.
- Psychological Conditions – Not all causes are physical in nature, sometimes it can be associated with the mental health of the person. Anxiety and stress can affect libido, therefore affecting the ability to sustain an erection. (NHS)