- shortness of breath or chest pain
- vision change or complete vision loss
- ringing in the ears or complete hearing loss
- sudden aches, pains and swelling
- nose bleeds
- painful or prolonged erections
Viagra is a powerful drug that increases blood flow to the penis so that you can get and maintain an erection. It is effective, but it can also cause side effects.
Viagra is a branded version of the generic drug sildenafil. It is a phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor. PDE5 is an enzyme that regulates certain chemicals in your blood, but as a result, it can make it harder to get and maintain an erection.
Viagra is used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). Although it helps you temporarily maintain an erection so that you can have sex, it does not cure erectile dysfunction. It also does not affect sexual desire. You still need mental or physical stimulation to get an erection.
This medicine is only available with a doctor’s prescription.
Viagra is usually taken orally, with or without food, 1 hour before sexual activity, at a dose of 50 mg. Depending on the circumstances, Viagra can also be prescribed in doses as low as 25 mg and as high as 100 mg. Viagra can also be taken anywhere from 4 hours before sexual activity and up to 30 minutes before sexual activity.
It takes a series of finely choreographed events to produce an erection. It starts with arousal signals from your brain, and it all depends on good blood flow to the penis.
In the penis are two chambers called the corpora cavernosa. Nitric oxide (NO) is released into the chambers during sexual stimulation. NO activates an enzyme called guanylate cyclase. This increases the levels of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), which causes the muscles to relax.
The chambers also contain a network of blood vessels. When these blood vessels relax and widen, blood rushes. The resulting pressure is what causes an erection.
PDE5 may attenuate the effect of cGMP. Viagra works by inhibiting PDE5.
Viagra is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. Maximum concentrations are reached in about an hour.
One of the most common side effects is flushing or redness.
This medicine can also cause a drop in blood pressure, especially 1 to 2 hours after taking it. If you already have low blood pressure, discuss the pros and cons of Viagra with your doctor.
For most people, sexual activity is good for cardiovascular health. However, if you have cardiovascular disease, ask your doctor if it is safe for you to take Viagra. You should also avoid Viagra if your doctor has advised you not to have sex.
You should not take Viagra if you have had a stroke or heart attack or if you have unstable angina.
Some drug interactions can harm your heart. Avoid taking PDE5 inhibitors if you are also using long-acting alpha-blockers or if you are taking medications that contain nitrates.
Viagra can be very effective, but it is not a magic pill. It does nothing for the libido. You still need some kind of stimulation to get an erection.
The effects of Viagra usually last about 4 hours, although for some men they may last longer. A rare, but serious side effect is priapism. This is when you get an erection that lasts for a long period of time. It can get quite painful.
If you have an erection that lasts longer than 4 hours, see a doctor immediately.
You should also be wary of PDE5 inhibitors if you have an anatomical abnormality of the penis. If you have Peyronie’s disease, your doctor may advise against taking Viagra.
Viagra is a temporary solution and does not cure erectile dysfunction. It offers no protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Viagra helps improve blood flow to the penis, but your brain is still your most valuable sex organ. Viagra will not work if you are not in the mood.
Some potential side effects of Viagra are headaches and a runny or stuffy nose, or a nosebleed. Some men feel dizzy or lightheaded. In rare cases, Viagra can cause fainting. Some men taking PDE5 inhibitors report back pain or muscle pain.
This is not common, but some men experience ringing in the ears, hearing loss, or vision loss after taking PDE5 inhibitors.
Avoid PDE5 inhibitors if you have a history of an eye condition called non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION). NAION is characterized by the interruption of blood flow to the optic nerve.
If you have hearing or visual loss while taking Viagra, seek medical advice immediately.
Viagra comes in the form of a film-coated tablet. You can take Viagra with or without food, and it is best to take it about an hour before you have sex.
Do not take Viagra more than once a day.
About 80 percent of Viagra leaves your body in your stool. The rest is washed away with your urine.
A fairly common side effect of Viagra is indigestion or upset stomach. Sometimes PDE5 inhibitors can cause nausea or vomiting.
How long do the effects of Viagra last?
Viagra usually lasts between 2 and 5 hours before the effects start to wear off. It is important to make sure you are taking this medicine correctly and that you take the tablet 30 to 60 minutes before planning sexual activity. It is also important to keep in mind that you need to be sexually aroused for the tablet to work properly.
What are the side effects of too much Viagra?
There are some common side effects that can result from Viagra. These include:
- vision change
If these symptoms worsen, contact your doctor immediately.
More serious side effects of Viagra can include:
- prolonged erections
- vision loss
- hearing loss
Seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms.
What to do if you experience side effects from Viagra
For serious side effects of Viagra, stop using the drug immediately and consult a doctor.
For more common side effects, you should discuss with your doctor the possibility of changing the dosage of the drug.