Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, commonly affects sexually mature males. It is a condition marked by the inability to achieve and/or maintain an erection suitable for sexual intercourse. Impotence can be caused by a number of issues such as smoking, alcohol abuse, pelvic trauma, hormonal deficiency, psychological problems, stress, or conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. When the cause is determined, the proper course of treatment will then be prescribed. These can range from oral prescriptions, direct injections to the penis, psychological counseling, mechanical sex aids or surgery.
One of the most popular oral treatments for erectile dysfunction is sildenafil citrate, which is selling under the brand name Viagra. Approved for use by the United States Food ans Drug Administration (USFDA), Viagra is a prescription oral phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor that has become incredibly popular with men who suffer from impotence or erectile dysfunction. It blocks the enzyme known as PDE5, which breaks down the chemicals that cause the erectile response. It also helps the penile muscles to relax, thus allowing it to engorge and stay firm for a longer period of time. But contrary to popular opinion, Viagra does not directly create an erection in the penis. It will only work on impotent patients who are sexually stimulated. However, it does increase the sensitivity of the male sexual organ. In fact, although there are other PDE5 inhibitors available on the market such as Cialis (tadalafil) and Levitra (vardenafil), surveys suggest that more men prefer Viagra because of the “hardness” that it produces.
Although these little blue pills have been hailed as a wonder drug by impotent men worldwide, Viagra is not without its complications. Side effects such as headache, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, muscle pains, flushing of the face and body, runny nose, palpitations, and vision disturbances have been observed in some patients. However, there has been some evidence that these side effects diminish with prolonged use. Viagra has also been reported to cause permanently impaired vision or even blindness in some patients. It is also not recommended for patients taking nitrate-based drugs or alpha-blockers, because interaction between those prescriptions with PDE5 inhibitors can be fatal in some cases.
The drug itself is easily absorbed by the body, especially on an empty stomach. It is recommended that men who suffer from impotence take the drug at least an hour before commencing sexual intercourse, but never more than once a day. Before taking the drug, impotent men are advised to consult with their doctors and get a complete physical check-up. They should also discuss the potential impact that Viagra may have on their health.
After any television ad for Viagra comes a little warning: “If you have an erection lasting longer than 4 hours, see your doctor.” More often than not, we laugh at the thought. But men who do not suffer from impotence who wish to take the drug for enhancement of sexual pleasure must also consult with a doctor. Some studies suggest that the drug can actually cause priapism, a prolonged erection that is usually painful. Funny as it might sound, it is a very serious problem. If left untreated for more than 24 hours, it can cause substantial damage to your appendage.
As with any drug, Viagra has both its pros and cons. But with proper care and medical advice, drugs such as this can be a liberating experience for those who are suffering from impotence.