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Viagra - (Sildenafil)

Viagra was the first commercial brand of the active ingredient Sildenafil, which is an effective medicine for the treatment of erectile dysfunction in men. It takes 30-60 minutes to start working and can last for up to four hours on a single dose. It's manufacturer (Pfizer) was the sole patent holder until very recently, making sildenafil now available as a generic. 

Sildenafil belongs to a group of medicines called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE 5) inhibitors. Following sexual stimulation Viagra works by helping the blood vessels in your penis to relax, allowing extra flow of blood into the penis. The result is the ability to achieve and maintain an erection long enough for sexual activity.

Viagra is the most popular treatment for ED, with the most evidence to support it's action although there are now many alternative treatments available. All of these treatments have the same mode of action.

 

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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, Cialis, Spedra and Levitra

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. 

ED Causes

- 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)

 

P.S. 2019

The recommended starting dose is 50 mg. This may be adjusted in response to lack of effect (increase to 100mg) or experience of side-effects (decrease to 25mg).

You should not take VIAGRA more than once a day. You should take VIAGRA about one hour before you plan to have sex. Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water. 

VIAGRA will only help you to get an erection if you are sexually stimulated.

The amount of time VIAGRA takes to work varies from person to person, but it normally takes between half an hour and one hour. You may find that VIAGRA takes longer to work if you take it with a heavy meal.

If VIAGRA does not help you to get an erection, or if your erection does not last long enough for you to complete sexual intercourse you should tell your doctor.

If you take more VIAGRA than you should:

You may experience an increase in side effects and their severity. Doses above 100 mg do not increase the efficacy but you may experience more side effects. Contact your doctor if you take more tablets than you should. If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects although not everybody gets them.

Very common (may affect more than 1 in 10 people):

headache.

Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people):

nausea, facial flushing, hot flush (symptoms include a sudden feeling of heat in your upper body), indigestion, colour tinge to vision, blurred vision, visual disturbance, stuffy nose and dizziness.

For a full list of side effects CLICK HERE

Reporting of side effects

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse

Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment.
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