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Viagra For Dummies: What does Viagra Do and How Does It Work?

‘Why am I soft in the middle… the rest of my life is so hard’ These are the lyrics of the song “you can call me Al’ by Paul Simon, a great hit of the mid-1980s that still rocks the airwaves. Depending on how far your mind can wander, these words certainly have a deeper meaning. And without too much thought, I concluded that the singer narrates of a who man cannot get a hard-on yet life is so cruel and hard on him. Sad. And then I try to check online and voila, am vindicated. My analysis is spot on. I find some details of an interview that was done by the singer and we’re on the same page.

This is just one sad story depicting a man whose list of problems is topped off with erectile dysfunction – though one laid out in poetry, which is quite rare, as such stories hardly ever make it beyond men’s forums and blog platforms. Anyway, man has a way of dealing with virtually every problem and it is always just a matter of time. It is this knack to solve problems that led to the discovery of Viagra, a drug whose value is practically immeasurable. This is perhaps one of the discoveries that made the final years of the 20th century worth remembering. The introduction of Viagra to the market made erectile dysfunction a much less bothersome issue. And even decades after its discovery, the interest in Viagra does not wane. Here are the details of Viagra laid out in the simplest of ways.

What is Viagra and How Does it Work?

Simply put, Viagra is one of the most popular erectile dysfunction medications. Its story dates back to the last years of the 20th century when Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company was in search of a drug that would treat angina pectoris and hypertension. But science was to unveil itself to humans in a different way because when the clinical trials for this new medication were done, it was found to have effects on the sexual organs too. So the makers of this drug decided to change the plan and market it largely as an erectile dysfunction medication.

Viagra is the brand name under which the drug is sold but what Pfizer actually discovered was sildenafil, the active ingredient of the world-famous blue pills. Sildenafil is a compound that gives Viagra all its capabilities. This is the compound that acts on the cells and receptors in the body to ignite reactions that eventually cause healthy erections. Sildenafil makes the blood vessels of the penis relax and accommodate more blood when there is sexual stimulation. This makes the erection hard and lasting.

Viagra: What Does It Do (Explained the Difficult Way)?

A quick disclaimer here: the information below is pretty complicated, so if you’re not in the mood to go into too much detail, just feel free to omit it. It doesn’t quite fit into the whole ‘Viagra for Dummies’ concept but we still decided to include it just in case…

The exact mode of action of sildenafil is based on its ability to inhibit an enzyme called phosphodiesterase-5, shortened as PDE-5. When the action of this enzyme is blocked, a compound that keeps the blood vessel muscles relaxed (called cGMP) works without any obstacles. The action of cGMP maintains the increased blood flow to the penis, and this translates to a lasting erection that gives sexual satisfaction.

It is this same principle that made sildenafil an option for treating hypertension. When the blood vessel walls relax, there is reduced resistance to the flow of blood, and this consequently leads to a drop in the blood pressure. Angina pectoris can also be relieved this way because sildenafil increases the blood flow to the heart. However, the scientists working on sildenafil discovered that the effects of sildenafil were more pronounced in the sexual organs. Therefore, even in medical practice, sildenafil is not listed as one of the top options of treating angina pectoris.

The Facts About Viagra That You Need to Know

What does Viagra do? Viagra gives you the sexual satisfaction that comes with getting a quality erection. This is achieved by manipulating the difficult biochemical processes in your body we’ve talked about above. But you need more information about the drug. You ought to know better if you are going to use it because you need to get the best out of the drug and also stay safe.

Viagra Is Not the Only Option You Have, But It’s a Good One

Viagra is not the only erectile dysfunction medication you can use. The name Viagra is frequently (and very wrongly) used to refer to all of the erectile dysfunction meds, but this is just because it was among the first on the market and it is also widely used. The use of the name Viagra can be misleading because some people will use it just to refer to any ED drug, even those in which sildenafil isn’t the active ingredient. Besides sildenafil, there are other related compounds such as tadalafil and vardenafil that work similarly to relieve erectile dysfunction.

You Won’t Be Walking Around with a Hard-on

What most people think is that the moment you take Viagra, you will get a wild erection and an irresistible urge to have sex. That’s not the case. Viagra is such a gentle medication. After ingesting it, you need sexual stimulation before you actually get an erection – don’t worry, you won’t develop a boner out of the blue. Therefore, you can take the pill and run some errands for half an hour before you get down to business. The onset of action of Viagra is between 30 minutes to one hour.

The Safe Dose

Viagra pills come in various concentrations which include the 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg strengths. These are suited for different people and a dosing decision is best made by a physician. You shouldn’t take more a single dose in 24 hours under any circumstances. Taking more than that can lead to adverse effects. Furthermore, you should take the medication only when you are expecting to have sex. Viagra is not taken on daily doses like other kinds of erectile dysfunction meds.

It Doesn’t Always Work from the First Attempt

Viagra might not give you the outcome you seek on the first try. As you take Viagra, it is good to know that it will not always produce the results once you take it. On day one, there might be no response, but this doesn’t mean that you need to drop it and switch to another drug. Wait for 24 hours to elapse and give it a second try. Sometimes, it takes some time before it eventually works and therefore patience might be useful.

It Is Better to Have a Doctor’s Prescription

Buying Viagra over the counter is what most people would prefer. Still, we believe it’s best to at least have your doctor’s approval (or a prescription, which is even better) prior to making any purchases. This will ensure your safety as you take the medication because you will be taking the right dosage and for the right reasons. Although there are areas that are not so strict regarding ED medication sales, taking a drug of this caliber without a prescription can be perilous.

Viagra Will Not Make You Infertile

There has been some talk of Viagra affecting fertility, but that hasn’t been confirmed by any studies yet – and believe us, there were hundreds, if not thousands of them already. None of these studies have enough evidence of this. And because one of the aspects of infertility is the inability to deliver sperm to the female reproductive tract, it is, in some respect, correct to say that Viagra boosts fertility because a good erection means good sperm delivery.

What Does Viagra Pill Do When Used With Other Drugs

The drug interactions of Viagra are also of much importance because we may be treating several ailments at the same time. The drug interactions that are well known include that of Viagra pills with nitrates and nitrites. The nitrate compounds such as nitroglycerin and isosorbide dinitrate, which are used in treating angina pectoris interact with the sildenafil in Viagra and may cause a major drop in blood pressure.

Atazanavir, an antiviral, is another drug that interacts with Sildenafil. Atazanavir increases the levels of sildenafil in the blood because it affects the activity of the enzymes that degrade sildenafil.

When alcohol is taken in large amounts, it reduces the effect of Viagra and also lowers the blood pressure thus causing an impaired erection.

Cimetidine and clarithromycin increase the level of sildenafil in the blood whereas carbamazepine decreases the sildenafil by affecting the enzymes that metabolize it.

Atorvastatin, a drug used in the control of lipid levels produces more toxic effects when used together with sildenafil.

People with kidney and liver problems should not use the medication unless it is under the doctor’s instructions. People with allergies to sildenafil and any other products that are used to make Viagra should not take the medication.

Note that the list of possible drug interactions provided above is not exhaustive – talk to your doctor or go to the official website of Viagra to learn more about the medications and substances sildenafil may interact with.

Why Viagra Is Here to Stay

The effect, the fame and even the mere appearance of Viagra make it such a special medication. I’d want to imagine the joy of someone who had erectile dysfunction spoiling their life and then the newspapers are suddenly awash with the news that a remedy for his condition is now available. This was far much more exciting than it is for the later generations that have found Viagra already on the market.

Having been among the first erectile dysfunction medications ever made, Viagra deserves its worldwide reputation. This is the drug that revealed to the world what sildenafil could do. And it opened the doors for the generic manufacturers who were to come some years later and avail sildenafil-based ED meds to all and sundry.

Viagra was for a long time the best-selling erectile dysfunction drug all over the world. Its manufacturers reported record breaking profits, but currently, competition appears to grow stiffer by the day. However, Viagra sales still remain high.

The safety of Viagra is another attribute that makes it worth trying. There are of course side effects that come with the use of every medication, but when used correctly, Viagra usually does not produce adverse reactions that would be bad enough to surpass the great feeling of good sex.

The Demerits of Viagra

On one side, there are all these good things to say about Viagra, but when we take a turn, there are some downsides to the use of Viagra, albeit not too many.

One of the things that can make one reconsider their choice is the cost of Viagra. The brand name pills are very expensive. One pill in the US can go for as much as $60, and this is not sustainable for an average budget. Although in some regions the price is much lower, the meds are still expensive. Thanks to the generics, consumers can get sildenafil at affordable prices.

Compared to Cialis, a tadalafil-based medication for erectile dysfunction, Viagra has a shorter duration of action. Whereas sildenafil acts for about 6 hours, the effects of Cialis can last for as long as three days.

And finally, every drug has its side effects, and sildenafil is not an exception. Correct usage and being on the lookout for undesirable symptoms is key to avoiding adversities.

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