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Sildenafil, commonly known by the trade name Viagra is an oral medication used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). Pfizer commercially released Viagra in 1996 officially making it the first drug ever approved by the FDA for the treatment of ED. Since its inception many other brands of Sildenafil have come to the market place taking the once held monopoly away from Pfizer as well as several other ED medications composed of different drugs, Cialis (Tadalafil) being the most notable and largest competition for Viagra.
The function of Viagra is relatively simple – it relaxes the muscle and increases the blood flow to the penis. An erection is nothing more than blood flow to the penis. When blood flow is weak so is the erection. If we increase blood flow we increase the strength of the erection and the ability to maintain it.
The specifics of action involve the binding of nitric oxide to the guanylate cyclase receptors, which increases cGMP levels. This produces a smooth muscle relaxation, which in turn opens the pathway for increased blood flow. Viagra belongs to the class of drugs known as cGMP Specific Phosphodiesterase type 5 or PED5.
Important note: Viagra as well as other PED5 medications cannot cause or promote an erection without sexual stimulation. They do not have an effect on libido. The subject must be sexually aroused to obtain an erection. In the case of Viagra the problem for the subject is that the desire is there but the erection is not found. Viagra should reverse this issue if blood flow is the cause.
The effects of Viagra are once again simple: the individual does not have the ability to produce or maintain an erection and Viagra provides the ability. However, it cannot be stressed enough that this only pertains to those with blood flow issues. If the ED issue is based on a hormone deficiency the use of Viagra or any PED5 may not help. In other cases, it may require both the use of hormone therapy and PED5 medication. Some individuals may also find the issue is psychologically related. Mental related ED is not uncommon and is not a blood flow or hormone issue. Others may find their issue surrounds stress to the CNS or worse and at times without remedy due to testicular or penile damage.
The side effects of Viagra, the most commonly reported is abnormal or blurred vision with approximately 2.5% of users experiencing this effect. If vision issues occur users are urged to discontinue and find alternative options. All possible side effects of Viagra include:
The side effects of Viagra do not appear to occur in most men. Another side effect of the PED5 may be an erection lasting longer than 4 hours, which may or may not be considered a good thing depending on your situation, but will more than likely call for professional attention.
Viagra is taken orally and is a blue diamond shape pill with Pfizer imprinted on one side and VGR XX on the other. It is available in numerous dosing strengths from 25mg, 50mg and 100mg per tablet. However, many compounding pharmacies also manufacture Sildenafil with their own dosing ranges.
Recommended use is to take Viagra 30-60 minutes before sexual activity for the best effect with the total effect of the pill lasting for 4 hours, approximately.
Viagra truly is an amazing product, the first of which helped many men with the embarrassing and often depressing ED issue. Because it was the first it will always be synonymous with ED treatment. However, we cannot say Viagra is king any longer. In 2003 Eli Lilly introduced Cialis (Tadalafil), which carries an effectiveness that last 36-48 hours compared to the lasting power of 4 hours for Viagra. With Viagra sexual activity has to be planned. With Cialis the individual can take the medication and let things occur more naturally, which is far more pleasing to most people. But as with any class of drugs what works best for each man may vary. Viagra sales have dropped significantly since Cialis came to the market but they are still high and appear to be nowhere near shutting down any time soon.