Viagra is a prescription medication used to treat symptoms of erectile dysfunction or male impotence. The drug is standard treatment for erectile dysfunction in older men, diabetes patients and men taking antidepressants, all of whom report difficulty becoming aroused. Though the drug does not act as an aphrodisiac, it is able to help men attain erections when they're having difficulty achieving one naturally.
- Viagra was created in England when the pharmaceutical company Pfizer was attempting to create a drug to treat hypertension. The drug was patented in 1996 and received FDA approval in 1998 to be used in erectile dysfunction treatment. The drug was the first pill marketed toward the treatment of male impotence in the United States and continues to be a prominent form of treatment, despite the introduction of competitors such as Cialis and Levitra.
- The drug is used to help men attain and maintain an erection by relaxing muscles, opening blood vessels and directing blood flow to certain areas of the body. The increased blood flow to the penis causes an erection. It should be taken as needed and about half an hour to one hour before sexual activity. It should be taken orally and as prescribed by a physician. Other functions of Viagra include the treatment of hypertension and altitude sickness.
- This drug allows for men who have difficulty maintaining an erection to engage in sexual activities. Men of all ages who suffer from male impotence are able to enjoy sexual activity by taking this medication. Also, men who suffer from diabetes are more likely to suffer from impotence. Viagra is safe for men with diabetes and allows for diabetic men to enjoy sexual activity. Sexual dysfunction caused by antidepressants can also be remedied through a Viagra prescription as the drug is safe to take with antidepressants.
- Some believe that Viagra acts as an aphrodisiac or that it stimulates the sex drive. The medication only causes an erection, however, and does not affect a man's sex drive. Libido remains unaffected by the drug. Also, while many think that the drug is mainly for older men, the medication is prescribed to men of all ages who have difficulty getting and maintaining an erection. The clientele for Viagra is not limited to older men; men of all ages who suffer from erectile dysfunction, even as a side effect from other medication, are candidates for this drug.
- Men who take medications that contain nitrates should not take Viagra, as it can lead to a stroke or heart attack. Serious side effects of this drug include sudden vision loss, an irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, a painful erection or one that lasts longer than four hours. The physician should be notified if the patient experiences any of these side effects. Alcohol should also be avoided while taking this drug as it can exacerbate potential side effects.