Viagra is one of the most popular erectile dysfunction medications, but there is much more to know about the little blue pill to use properly, how to get the full benefits from it, and how to avoid unwanted side effects. Let’s take a look at how to get the best results from taking Viagra.
How does Viagra Treat Erectile Dysfunction?
When someone has erectile dysfunction, they cannot achieve and maintain an erection to have sexual intercourse. Erectile Dysfunction is usually caused due to a combination of psychological and physical health problems that affect the brain, hormones, muscles, blood vessels, and nerves. Below are some common causes of ED:
- Relationship problems
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Low testosterone levels or Hypogonadism
Viagra helps men achieve and maintain an erection by widening blood vessels and increasing blood flow to the penis. It belongs to a group of medications called phosphodiesterase PDE5 inhibitors, which work as vasodilators and cause blood vessels to dilate. Viagra may not cure erectile dysfunction permanently, but it can help in the short term and is safe to take every day, as this medicine has been widely approved. After taking Viagra, most men can maintain an erection for about two to three hours before the effects begin to wear off. Viagra is not available over the counter and must be prescribed by a doctor. Some of the other effective alternatives of Viagra include Fildena 100, Malegra 200mg, Cenforce 150, Tadarise 20 mg, and Vilitra 60 mg.
How to take Viagra?
ED pills can be a bit encouraging the first few times you take them. AS with any new drug, you probably don’t know what to expect. It’s important to consult a doctor and understand how to take Viagra correctly to get the best results. Taking too much Viagra at one time, taking too little, or taking it under the wrong circumstances may cause side effects or the drug may not work at all.
Even though Viagra is effective for many men, it is not for everyone. You should check with their doctor before taking it. If you have any of the following medical conditions, it’s best to talk with your doctor about whether Viagra is right for you:
- Low blood pressure
- High blood pressure
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart attacks
If your doctor prescribes you Viagra, there are a few things to consider before taking it for the first time.
Timing is Everything
Viagra should be taken orally 30 minutes to 4 hours before sexual intercourse, but it is best to take it an hour before.
Once you have taken Viagra for the first time and know how it works, it will be easier to use it regularly. Some people may need to take it an hour before sexual activity, while others may find that it takes around 2 to 3 hours to start working for them.
Take the Prescribed Amount
The standard dose of Viagra is 50 mg taken with or without food. It is usually recommended to take Viagra on an empty stomach without eating a high-fat meal. However, experts have not found a link between taking Viagra with food and the drug’s decreased effectiveness. If you are taking Viagra regularly, it might be a good idea to know what works best for you.
Sexual Stimulation Is Required
Viagra may not work for everyone. Make sure you are sexually aroused as this will increase the likelihood that it will work. Once it starts working, you can expect your erection to last anywhere from two to three hours.
Viagra is sometimes referred to as the “blue pill” because it is blue in color. It is one of the brand names for generic “sildenafil citrate”, made by Pfizer Inc. It is also available in other brand names such as Cenforce, Kamagra, Vidalista, and Fildena. Viagra pills are labeled with the amount of sildenafil citrate they contain. A doctor may prescribe different dosages of Viagra depending on their daily requirement. Dosage concentrations will vary from person to person, so it is always best to speak to a doctor about the right Viagra for you.
The standard dose of Viagra for erectile dysfunction is 50 mg, taken one hour before sexual activity. According to the manufacturer, patients should only take Viagra once a day or as needed unless otherwise advised by a doctor.
Viagra dosage is based on your age and medical history. For example, men over 65, or those with impaired liver or kidney function, usually start with a dose of 25 mg per day. The maximum recommended dose of Viagra is 100 mg and the maximum recommended frequency for ingestion is once a day. Taking higher doses of Viagra or taking it more frequently than prescribed will not improve the way the medicine works. This can lead to life-threatening side effects.
What to Expect when Taking Viagra?
AS with any medication, taking Viagra has the potential for side effects. Some of the side effects of Viagra are:
- Stuffy nose
- Runny nose
- Blurred vision
- Muscle pain
- Back pain
How long does Viagra Last?
A single dose of Viagra leaves your system in around eight hours, and almost every trace of it will be gone after 24 hours. You will see usual minor side effects go away over that period of time, but some severe side effects can stay longer.
Serious Side Effects of Viagra
Some of the serious side effects include allergic reactions, vision loss, hearing loss, prolonged erections, and low blood pressure levels.
Allergic reactions: If after taking Viagra you start to have difficulty in breathing or swelling of the face or throat, you should see a doctor immediately as these are symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Prolonged erections: One of the most common side effects of Viagra is prolonged erections, which can be painful in some cases. Men with sickle cell anemia, multiple myeloma, and leukemia are more susceptible to this. If you experience painful prolonged erections, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Heart attack and stroke: The rarest side effects of Viagra are heart attacks and strokes. People with underlying heart problems, like irregular heartbeat, are the most at risk for having a heart attack or stroke from taking Viagra. Viagra isn’t offered to patients with low cardiac output states or those who are taking measures to prevent heart failure. Although the risk of heart attack and stroke is low, people with underlying heart problems should take extra care in talking with their doctor about their medical history.
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There are some drug-drug interactions with Viagra. “Individuals taking a class of drugs called nitrates should not take Viagra, as this combination can cause dangerous drops in blood pressure. This can cause a problem in individuals with certain types of heart disease or low blood pressure or in those taking certain types of blood pressure-lowering medications,” says Dr. Emmel. You should not take Viagra with the following medications:
- Heart medications that contain nitrates such as amyl nitrate, nitroglycerin, and isosorbide
- Blood pressure and pulmonary arterial hypertension medications like Revatio (sildenafil)
- Vasodilators for chest pain
- Treatments for HIV/AIDS such as ritonavir and saquinavir
- Antifungals including ketoconazole and itraconazole
- Certain antibiotics like erythromycin
- Other ED medications, including Levitra (vardenafil) and Cialis (tadalafil)
- There might also be food-drug interactions with Viagra. For example, grapefruit can elevate blood levels, making it a natural alternative for treating ED. However, mixing it with Viagra could lead to some side effects like headaches, flushing, or low blood pressure.
Caffeine could have a similar effect. One study concluded that an intake of two to three cups of coffee a day could reduce the odds of ED. There aren’t any known interactions between caffeine and Viagra, but minor side effects may still occur. Ask a doctor if there are any foods or beverages that you should avoid while taking Viagra.