Is Viagra Dangerous Or Safe?

Pfizer’s wonder drug, Viagra® has been given many nicknames since it took the world by storm in 1998. The “little blue pill” and “impotence cure” are among some of the more common descriptions for Viagra®. For those still wondering, Viagra® or sildenafil citrate is a drug indicated for use in treating Erectile Dysfunction (ED). ED, in a nutshell, is basically the difficulty faced by some men in achieving a rigid penis hard enough for sex.

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So what is the big deal with ED? If left untreated, it can have a massive impact on a man’s sexual relationship with his partner and his self-esteem which can later lead to depression. There are several causes of ED but Viagra® only deals with the physical causes of ED. The active ingredient in Viagra®, sildenafil citrate, works by suppressing the action of the phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) enzyme which breaks down cGMP.

Blood-Vessels-WebThe substance cGMP is the resulting outcome of a cascade reaction which is triggered by the presence of chemicals known as nitric oxide (NO). NO is only released into the blood vessels of the penis when a man becomes sexually stimulated. Increased concentrations of cGMP will lead to widening (vasodilation) of the blood vessels in the penis, allowing more blood to fill the spongy tissue in the penis which causes the penis to grow in size and become rigid enough for penetrative sex. Therefore, sildenafil citrate works as an aid together with the presence of sexual stimulation to enable a man to achieve an erection.

All of this sounds great for men who have been suffering in silence after having been forced to live with what is considered to be an embarrassing illness. However, some men have often wondered if Viagra® is safe for consumption or not. As with all the other drugs out there in the market, there are certain circumstances where Viagra® should be used with caution or not used at all. This drug has been legally approved by the FDA and MHRA for treating ED in men age 18 and above. It would generally be unsafe for women to take the drug as the effects on women have not been fully ascertained yet. Viagra® is definitely not suitable for use in children even though there is another form of sildenafil known as Revatio® which may occasionally be used to treat children with certain cardiovascular conditions despite Revatio® not being licensed for use in children.

Erectile dysfunction has always had a reputation as one of the many mid-life crises that men experience as they approach their late-thirties. Obviously, this is not entirely true as ED can occur at any age although middle-aged men are more prone to developing ED than men of other age groups. Men within that age group also tend to be at risk of developing various long-term health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and/or diabetes especially if they live a sedentary lifestyle. Hence, it is not surprising to find men taking medication for hypertension and angina which generally reduces blood pressure. Sildenafil citrate itself has vasodilatory effects which help widen blood vessels in the penis. Taking Viagra® together with these medications is NOT recommended as it can cause a huge fall in blood pressure which is very dangerous. It is best to inform your doctor if you are taking medications which belong to the nitrates group such as glyceryltrinitrate (GTN) and isosorbide dinitrate. These medications should NOT be taken with Viagra® under ANY circumstances.

 

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Viagra & Generic Sildenafil

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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.

51 reviews for Viagra & Generic Sildenafil

  1. robert
    5 out of 5

    robert:

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    • Robbie Toan

      Robbie Toan:

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  2. David
    5 out of 5

    David:

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  3. Philip
    5 out of 5

    Philip:

    Generic tablets work well, highly professional service.

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    MELVIN:

    This is my first order with Assuredpharmacy and I am very pleased with all processes involved with my purchase. I found the web site clear and easy to use, the prices very competitive, the prescription service very convenient and and efficient, and delivery was “super” quick. I will be using Assuredpharmacy again in the future.

  5. Doug
    5 out of 5

    Doug:

    Only used one as yet did the same as viagra, At last value for money

  6. Sherwan
    5 out of 5

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    I will order from here in the future, discreet, friendly service and the cheapest on the internet. Also gave me a discount which I can use in the future when ever I want which I will and I’m happy about.

  7. David
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    David:

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  8. John
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    John:

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  10. frank
    5 out of 5

    frank:

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Blood pressure medication such as Prazosin, Tamsulosin and Doxazosin fall under the alpha-blockers family of drugs which are designed to lower your blood pressure. Sildenafil can further lower your blood pressure in addition to the effect of those medications mentioned above. Other medication interactions worth mentioning are those between Viagra® and ritonavir. Ritonavir is an anti-viral used in the treatment of HIV/AIDS. Ritonavir also happens to inhibit the Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP 3A4) enzyme which metabolises sildenafil before it is removed from the body. By inhibiting CYP3A4, the concentration of sildenafil will accumulate to toxic levels in the blood as it cannot be removed from the body, giving rise to adverse effects of sildenafil.

Apart from that, medications known as Concomitant Guanylate Cyclase (CG) Stimulators such as ricoguat are not to be taken together with sildenafil due to the potential of sildenafil to heighten the ability of CG stimulators to lower blood pressure. More importantly, for obvious reasons, sildenafil should not be taken together with other medications containing sildenafil or drugs belonging to the same family as sildenafil such as tadalafil (Cialis®) and vardenafil (Levitra®).

GPDespite these interactions, Viagra® can still be taken even if you are also taking some of the medicinal drugs mentioned above. Your GP may ask you to take these medications at different times to reduce the risk of a drug interaction. Alternatively, your GP may adjust the dose of sildenafil by reducing it to the lowest dose (i.e. 25mg sildenafil once daily) in the case of alpha-blockers usage if he/she is confident that you are responding well to alpha-blocker therapy. However, you should still refer to your GP before doing so and you should definitely keep your GP informed of any new medications you are taking.

It is certainly not unusual to find ED patients suffering from kidney and/or liver problems. Fortunately, it is still safe for these patients to take Viagra® as long as the dose is adjusted to account for the impaired liver and/or kidney functions. Taking a similar dose to other people may cause adverse reactions as they will not be able to efficiently metabolise and remove the drug from the body. The usual starting dose for those with impaired kidney and liver functions is 25mg once daily. Viagra® can be taken by elderly folks above the age of 65 without the need for dose adjustment unless they have liver and kidney problems.

Grape FruitUltimately, you should stick to your prescribed dose. Viagra® should not be treated like a daily supplement and should only be taken 30 minutes to an hour before sex. The drug can be taken with a glass of water but it cannot be taken with grapefruit juice as it has the potential to inhibit the CYP3A4 enzyme which breaks down the drug before it is excreted out of the body. Never take a dose of sildenafil if you are unable to remember the last time you took the previous dose. Unintentionally or intentionally taking a dose above the prescribed dose can lead to unwanted side effects such as a headache, flushes, dizziness and even more serious side effects such as sudden loss of hearing and vision. Another uncommon but equally serious side effect is priapism which results in sustained erections over a period of 4 hours or longer. Such prolonged erections which last even without sexual stimulation can be very painful and may even cause nerve damage. Therefore, you should immediately seek medical attention if this were to occur.

Is Viagra dangerous? Viagra’s popularity has at times attracted unwanted attention from people seeking to misuse it. Some youths may have previously taken Viagra® together with party drugs known as ‘poppers’ which contain substances such as butyl nitrate and amyl nitrate, while under the impression that Viagra® is an aphrodisiac. This is extremely dangerous as nitrates are known to cause a sharp drop in blood pressure when taken together with sildenafil citrate, potentially resulting in death in some cases.

Assured Pharmacy LogoAt the end of the day, any drug available out there in the market can only be as safe as the user who uses it. Always seek medical assistance immediately by calling emergency services when faced with an unknown adverse effect while taking this drug. Also, it is imperative that people be well-informed about using any prescribed drug which includes Viagra®. One of the ways we can be sure that we are receiving good advice about our medication is by purchasing it from recognised suppliers such as Assured Pharmacy. All customers seeking to buy Viagra® from Assured Pharmacy will be screened by a London-based, UK qualified GP who will determine if Viagra® is suitable for you before issuing a prescription. The doctor and pharmacists also provide counselling advice for patients, to ensure that you derive only the benefits from your therapy. For any queries at all, you can contact the pharmacy team by telephone on 01625 460621 during operational hours (9-5pm Monday to Friday) or by email; [email protected] outside working hours. Further information is found on the website:

 

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References

  1. http://labeling.pfizer.com/ShowLabeling.aspx?id=652#section-10
  2. https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/1474

 

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].