A Brief History Of Viagra

March 27, 1998- the day that Viagra was introduced to the world. Up until this date, men around the world suffering from erectile dysfunction had very few feasible options to help treat their condition. To understand just how the introduction of the Viagra changed the face of erectile dysfunction treatment, it is first worth taking a look at treatments that were used up until the introduction of the ‘wonder pill’.

It is believed that around 50% of men suffer from erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives, but it has only been in the last two decades that effective, accessible treatment has been on the market. Put it this way, it was just 100 years ago that putting electric shocks through the penis was seen as a viable way of treating the condition.

 

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Until the 1980s, it was postulated that difficulty achieving and maintaining erections was caused by anxiety. This led to psychotherapy becoming a primary source of treatment, with counselling sessions and therapy used as ways of trying to address the anxiety. A major drawback with the introduction of psychotherapy is that it led to men becoming embarrassed and afraid to seek help for their condition. Some men saw it as a kind of weakness that took away from their masculinity and instead tried to address the situation on their own, often unsuccessfully.

A Brief History Of Viagra
Therapy

The 1980s saw a move away from psychotherapy and more of a focus on treating the physical causes behind erectile dysfunction. Self-injection was introduced and is still used to this day. Phentolamine and alprostadil can both be injected into the penis to stimulate erections.

However, using injections comes with some major side effects. The physical trauma caused by the needle often causes a dull ache and can even result in scarring. Furthermore, administering drugs straight into the penis gives a potent effect, and can stimulate erections that last far too long (sometimes over 4 hours).

It, therefore, came as little surprise that Viagra, the first tablet that was able to safely and effectively address the physical causes of erectile dysfunction, became the fastest selling drug of all time. Remarkably, this little blue pill that is still so popular today was actually discovered by accident. Viagra began its life as a plain, relatively unspectacular tablet known by its trial code of ‘UK92480’. It was designed by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer to treat a completely different condition involving chest pain, known as angina. UK92480 was found to have little effect in relieving chest pain, and Pfizer was on the verge of completely abandoning production of the drug.

However, reports began to show a distinctive pattern; a very large proportion of the male trial subjects were experiencing an unusual side effect. You’ve probably guessed what this mysterious side effect was by now, but I’ll tell you anyway- the men were experiencing erections.

So, just how does Viagra work? First of all, it helps to look at what the drug was initially designed to treat in order to understand its mechanism of action. As aforementioned, angina is caused by restricted blood flow to the heart muscles. Similarly, erections are prevented when there is restricted blood flow to the penis. From here, it becomes easier to see why a drug designed to alleviate chest pain by dilating blood vessels ended up giving men erections; the blood vessels of the penis became dilated instead.

 

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Product Description

How does Viagra and Sildenafil work?

Viagra (Sildenafil) helps men to get and maintain an erection when sexually stimulated and/or excited. The medicine relaxes the blood vessels in the penis which results in more blood flowing to the penis when you are sexually excited.

How do I take it?

You should take Viagra (Sildenafil) approximately 1 hour before planning to have intercourse. Within a window of between 30 minutes and 4 hours after you take the medicine, it will be easier to keep and maintain an erection when you are sexually excited. If you take this medicine after a meal with a high fat content it may take a little longer to start working. This medicine will only work when you are sexually excited. You won’t get an erection just by taking Viagra (Sildenafil).

Dosage

The standard recommended dose for Viagra (Sildenafil) is 50mg and this will be suitable for most people.  If this dose is not effective, you can try 100mg and if 50mg gives you side effects you can also reduce the dose to 25mg tablets.

You must not take more than 100mg daily of Sildenafil/ Viagra. Clinical trials have been conducted in patients taking up to 200mg sildenafil and it was found that ‘doses of 200mg did not result in increased efficacy but did increase the incidence of adverse reactions (headache, flushing, dizziness, dyspepsia, nasal congestion, and altered vision).’

In addition, in patients taking more than 100mg daily, there have been reports of rhabdomyolysis (a breakdown in skeletal muscle tissue the byproducts of which can lead to kidney failure), visual perception changes, vertebral artery dissection (a tear in the artery supplying blood to the brain), heart attacks and aggressive behaviour.

If the 100mg strength doesn’t work for you, there may be alternatives you can try and we recommend that you call us for a free consultation with our pharmacist or doctor to discuss any underlying conditions you may have. We recommend that all men taking medicine for erectile dysfunction have regular tests for blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and hormone imbalances. For instance, it may be that by fixing a hormone imbalance such as testosterone, your Viagra medication will be even more effective.

In addition, drug manufacturers do not advise patients to split tablets in half to get the correct dosage as they cannot guarantee that the active ingredient will be distributed evenly throughout the tablet.  For instance, if you cut a 100mg tablet in two, you may find that you get 80mg in one half of the tablet and 20mg in the other half leading to either an overdose (increased risk of side effects) or a suboptimal dose (the medication may not work).

It is important that you choose the correct dose for you. If you wish to talk to our pharmacist or doctor about this, please contact us in the pharmacy on 01625 460621 or email [email protected]

Side Effects

Viagra (Sildenafil) is normally well tolerated, however, side effects can include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Side effects normally subside after a few hours, however, if you experience a prolonged or painful erection (longer than 4 hours), then you must contact your doctor immediately.

Drug interactions

There are a number of medicines which interact with Sildenafil/ Viagra. For an exhaustive list please see the patient information leaflet (see section below) or call us in the pharmacy to discuss your specific situation. The main drug interactions are listed here:

Recreational drugs such as ‘poppers’ or amyl nitrate
Alpha blockers used for urinary retention or blood pressure problems (eg Flomax or Cardura)
Anti- arrhythmic drugs such as disopyramide
Antibiotics such as erythromycin
Antifungals such as itraconazole
Antivirals such as drugs used to treat HIV
Bosentan
Cobicistat
Calcium channel blockers to treat blood pressure and angina such as amlodipine
Dapoxetine (Priligy – used to treat premature ejaculation)
Grapefruit juice**
Nicorandil
Nitrates
Riociguat
Cimetidine (to treat stomach ulcers)

Please do not take Sildenafil/Viagra if you have taken any of the above drugs within the last 60 days without first consulting with either us in the Pharmacy ([email protected] / 01625 460621) or via email with our doctor [email protected]

**We advise not to take Sildenafil/Viagra with grapefruit juice as the blood concentration of Sildenafil will possibly be increased resulting in side effects.

Patient Information Leaflets

Please click here for the patient information leaflet for Viagra.

For Actavis Sildenafil please see the following leaflets: 100mg, 50mg, 25mg.

Storing Medicines Safely

Please keep your medicine out of the reach of children and store at room temperature.  Unwanted medicine can be disposed of by returning it to any local pharmacy or indeed to us here for us to dispose of it for you.

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Viagra produces this effect by inhibiting the production of an enzyme in the body called phosphodiesterase type 5. It all sounds very complex but this basically causes muscles in the blood vessel walls of the penis to relax, allowing more blood to flow through. The increased blood flow allows the penis to become rigid for a prolonged period of time, which helps explain why Viagra is able to stimulate erections. The chemical messengers in the body that Viagra enhance only exert their effect upon sexual stimulation. Viagra therefore only causes an erection once an individual has already been sexually stimulated.

A Brief History Of Viagra
Safe Sex

Viagra is an easy drug to use; one tablet simply needs to be taken 1 hour before intercourse. Furthermore, the tablet is small, making it easy to swallow. Within a window of between 30 minutes and 4 hours after taking the medicine, it becomes easier to maintain an erection. The standard recommended dosage for Viagra is 50mg, although this can be increased up to 100mg or reduced to 25mg depending on efficacy/side-effects. Some side-effects associated with Viagra include a headache, dizziness and flushing. However, such effects are fairly uncommon and usually pass within a short space of time.

Viagra is a very safe drug, and this safety combined with its ease of use both help contribute to its popularity. Despite this, it can interact with a range of other medicines, so it is important that a doctor prescribes the drug.

If you suffer from erectile dysfunction, you can buy Viagra or its unbranded form sildenafil here at Assured Pharmacy. Upon completion of an online questionnaire, a GMC regulated doctor will issue a prescription that allows you to acquire Viagra in an efficient, safe and regulated manner. This prescription is sent directly to our pharmacy where it is checked by a qualified pharmacist to ensure the treatment is suitable. Customers who have purchased Viagra from Assured Pharmacy have rated their experience as ‘excellent’.

We strive to provide a safe, high-quality service at a good price. Whatever you choose to do, please don’t suffer in silence. Erectile dysfunction is an extremely common issue, and nothing to feel embarrassed or ashamed about. If you would like to speak to someone in confidence or find out more information about the products we offer, please call 01625460621 or e-mail [email protected].

 

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References

  1. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/how-doctors-treat-impotence-before-7530711
  2. https://www.sharecare.com/health/male-reproductive-medications/erectile-dysfunction-before-viagra
  3. https://www.urologicalcare.com/erectile-dysfunction/penile-injection-therapy/
  4. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8466118.stm
  5. https://www.drugs.com/slideshow/viagra-little-blue-pill-1043
  6. http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/medicines/sexual-health/a7733/viagra-sildenafil/

 

Assured Pharmacy is not liable for the currency or accuracy of the information contained in this blog post. For specific information about your personal medical condition, please contact our doctors or pharmacists for advice on [email protected].