Side Effects of Viagra

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Before taking any medicine, it is important to consider its side effects. Though every medicine has a few side effects usually the benefits of the drug outshines its side effects. Like every other drug Viagra also has a few side effects. Before considering the side effects of Viagra first have a look at what Viagra is and what its used for

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What is Viagra?

Viagra belongs to the class of PDE5 inhibitors and is used mostly in the treatment of erectile dysfunction or impotence. It was marketed by Pfizer company and contains the active ingredient Sildenafil. It works by increasing the blood flow in the penile arteries and works to increase the sexual ability of a person by maintaining a prolonged erection during a sexual act. Viagra works in reaction to the brain signals after a man is sexually aroused. Erection is produced when the blood flow is increased in the penile area after the brain sends signals to the blood vessels in the penile area. If the process is disrupted then it leads to erectile dysfunction. Viagra can be used to resolve the problem but it is not an aphrodisiac. It still needs a sexual signal for proper functioning.

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What are the side effects of Viagra?

As mentioned above while taking any medication a person is at risk of having some side effects. The situation is the same in the case of Viagra but it will be the decision of a doctor that a specific person should be prescribed the drug or not. Most of the side effects in many cases are timely and are not very critical while a few can last for a longer duration.

What are the most common side effects of Viagra?

Listed below are the most common side effects of Viagra. The frequency of occurring these side effects is 1 person among 10 users or sometimes only 1 person in 100 users is affected. These include headaches, dizziness, stomach problems, nasal congestion, nausea, a visual disturbance like blurred vision and colour distortion, skin problems like a hot flush.
These side effects usually occur for a short time after use of the drug as initial reaction of the body to the drug. But it is necessary to consult a doctor if the situation remains distressed full for a long duration of time.

Uncommon side effects of Viagra:

The uncommon side effects of Viagra have a frequency of just 1 person in 100 or even 1 person in 1000 people who are using Viagra. These include:

  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Pain in the abdominal area
  • Irritation in the eyes
  • Tinnitus
  • Vertigo
  • A rapid decrease in blood pressure
  • Bleeding in the nose
  • Haematuria
  • Numbness

Few Uncommon but Dangerous Side Effects of Viagra:

A few side effects of Viagra are very uncommon but are of serious nature and should be taken into account by keeping the patient under critical medical advice. Although their frequency is very low they can be life-threatening in some cases by aggravating the already present medical disorder.
Discussed below are some of these side effects of Viagra in detail.

 

SIDE EFFECTS

 

Cardiovascular risk factors:

The use of Viagra should be under strict supervision of the doctor. The cardiovascular status of the patient is very important due to the vasodilating effect of the active ingredient sildenafil of Viagra. The vasodilating property of Viagra may result in the sudden decrease in blood pressure which can be dangerous. Therefore, prior to prescribing Viagra, it is a must for the prescriber to consider the underlying cardiac problems of the person to reduce the adverse effect of the drug.
Patients with left ventricular outflow obstruction, impaired autonomic blood pressure control, obstructive cardiomyopathy and various others cardiac related tissues are more prone to the side effects of Viagra.

Effects of Viagra when taken with Nitrates:

Various serious cardiac problems like myocardial infarction, cardiac death, unstable angina, cerebral haemorrhage, arrhythmia, ischemic heart diseases, and blood pressure have been associated with the use of Viagra. But these problems are mostly reported in patients having pre-existing cardiovascular problems. Sometimes these problems occur shortly after the intake of Viagra without having sexual activity or sometimes after sexual intercourse. But the exact cause of relativity of these problems with the intake of Viagra.

Prolonged effects of Viagra or Priapism:

All the drugs belonging to the class of PDE5 inhibitors along with Viagra should be used properly according to the prescribed dose by a doctor. Overuse or unwanted prolonged use of Viagra can result in unwanted and prolonged erection even after the sexual intercourse. The problem can become aggravated in patients having cavernosal fibrosis, sickle cell anaemia, multiple myeloma and leukaemia. Viagra should be used with caution in these patients.

Effects of Viagra on Bleeding:

Various studies on human platelets have shown that sildenafil, the active ingredient of Viagra increases the antiaggregatory effects of Sodium Nitroprusside. Sildenafil is not considered safe for administration in patients having bleeding disorders or ulcer problems. If patients with these underlying disorders wish to take Viagra than it should be administered after risk assessment.

Effects on Vision:

Various vision-related problems are associated with the intake of Viagra and other PDE5 inhibitors. Non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy is though a rare condition but it is associated with the intake of Viagra. In case of any side effect, the person should immediately stop taking the medicine and consult the physician immediately.

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Interactions of Viagra with other medications:

Some side or adverse effects of a medicine are associated with its concurrent use with few other medicines. This is usually called drug-drug interaction. In such a situation the concurrent use of these medications is inhibited. Viagra is also contraindicated for simultaneous use with few other drugs or at least should be taken other supervision. Few such combinations are given below.

  • Alpha- blockers:
    Viagra should be administered under supervision in patients taking drugs belonging to the class of alpha-blockers. Symptomatic hypotension can result in patients if Viagra is co-administrated with alpha-blockers just after 4 hours of intake. To avoid the problem, it is necessary that patients taking alpha drugs should be observed for hemodynamically stability before the intake of Viagra or Sildenafil. the initial dose of Viagra should only be 25 mg in these patients and patients should be advised properly what to do in the case of occurring of hypotensive symptoms.
  • Lactose intolerance:
    Many tablets are film coated to avoid the dissolution of the stomach and reach the target site in the intestine. Usually, the film used for coating is of lactose. The people who are lactose intolerant should not take Viagra because of lactose coating.
  • CYP3A4 Inhibitors:
    Pharmacokinetic analysis of a clinical trial has shown that clearance of Viagra from the body is reduced when co-administered with CYP3A4 inhibitors drugs. Few examples of this class of drug are ketoconazole, erythromycin, rifampicin and cimetidine. However, there is no evidence of an increase in adverse effects, even than the dose is advised to be adjusted at 25mg.
  • Antihypertensive Medications:
    Antihypertensive drugs like diuretics, beta-blockers, angiotensin II antagonists, vasodilators, ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, adrenoreceptor blockers etc. do not show a change in the rate of side effects when taken with Viagra. However, when Viagra is taken with amlodipine then an additional decrease in blood pressure occurs which can be dangerous at some level.
  • Nitrates:
    Viagra is strictly contraindicated with drugs having nitric oxide or nitrates. The mechanism of action of Viagra itself increases the nitric oxide levels in the body so completely contraindicated.
  • Viagra in women:
    Viagra is not prescribed for use in women.

If a person is in any such situation, he should immediately seek medical help to alleviate the problem.

What is the duration of the side effects of Viagra?

The duration of side effects varies from person to person and usually, the side effects are not for a long duration of time after the intake of the pill. The side effects usually disappear once the person stops taking the pill. If the side effects remain for a longer duration than it is better to seek the medical help.

Is there any way to reduce the risk of side effects of Viagra?

Dizziness, a common side effect of Viagra can be reduced by getting up slowly when lying down to avoid a head rush.
Avoiding excessive intake of alcohol with Viagra is beneficial to have a quick and better erection. Excess of Viagra produces difficulty in gaining an erection.
If the side effects are of a critical nature then they can be avoided by taking a lower dose of Viagra. Proper treatment is necessary but still, the low dose can be helpful in the alleviation of symptoms.
Viagra should be taken on an empty stomach but taking it with the meal can reduce the unpleasant side effects.
It is already mentioned above that Viagra also has certain side effects like every other medicine. But these side effects can be reduced by proper dose and ways of intake of medicine. However, in case of any side effect prevailing for a longer duration, it is a must to consult the medical practitioner.

 

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