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What is Viagra?


Viagra is a prescription only medication used for the treatment of impotence and Erectile Dysfunction (ED).  The active ingredient is Sildenafil and comes in 25mg, 50mg and 100mg doses. It works to help sustain an erection when sexually stimulated or aroused by increasing blood flow to the penis.  Viagra ONLY works when you are sexually stimulated or aroused and designed to keep an erection long and hard enough for intercourse.  Viagra is manufactured by Pfizer.


What are the symptoms of erectile dysfunction?


ED is where a man has continuous issues with sustaining or obtaining an erection hard or long enough for intercourse and affects around 1 in 5 men. 


How do I take Viagra?


Viagra is an orally taken pill and works better if you avoid large meals and high fatty foods 2 hours before taken.  Viagra usually starts to work within 30minutes to 1hr before intercourse however; this has been known to be quicker or slightly longer in some cases. You should not take Viagra more than once a day. You may take Viagra with alcohol yet there have been studies that show this can decrease the effectiveness.  Taking Viagra can cause drowsiness, do not drive or operate heavy machinery.  Some males may not be eligible to take Viagra due to underlying health conditions or illnesses so it is important your GP is fully aware of all medical history.


What are the differences in dosage of Viagra?


The most common dosage prescribed for Viagra is 50mg which has been proven sufficient in treating ED in most cases.  Your doctor may also have prescribed you this if this is your first experience taking Viagra.  If you feel the dose is too strong or too weak then your doctor will prescribe you an increased (100mg) or decreased (25mg) dosage.  Do not increase the dose without consulting with your doctor as doing so can cause risks to your health.  If Viagra does not help you to get an erection, or if your erection does not last long enough for you to complete sexual intercourse you should tell your doctor. 


What are the side effects of taking Viagra?


ALWAYS READ THE PATIENT LEAFLET


The most commonly reported side effects from taking Viagra are:



  • Nausea/Upset stomach

  • Dizzines

  • Flushing/Rash

  • Pain in the muscles and back

  • Headache

  • Abnormal vison


If you are experiencing these symptoms and they do not go away or if you experience more severe symptoms contact your healthcare provider immediately.  If Viagra does not help you to get an erection, or if your erection does not last long enough for you to complete sexual intercourse you should tell your doctor.


What precautions should I take before using Viagra?


Do not take Viagra:



  • If you are taking medicines called nitrates, as the combination may cause a potentially dangerous decrease in your blood pressure. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of these medicines which are often given for relief of angina pectoris (or chest pain). If you are not certain, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

  • If you are using any of the drugs known as nitric oxide donors such as amyl nitrite (poppers) as the combination may also lead to a potentially dangerous decrease in your blood pressure.

  • If you are allergic (hypersensitive) to Sildenafil or any of the other ingredients of Viagra.

  • If you have a severe heart or liver problem.

  • If you have recently had a stroke or a heart attack, or if you have low blood pressure.

  • If you have certain rare inherited eye diseases (such as retinitis pigmentosa).

  • If you have ever had loss of vision because of non-arteritic anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy (NAION) Tell your doctor

  • If you have sickle cell anaemia (an abnormality of red blood cells), leukaemia (cancer of blood cells), multiple myeloma (cancer of bone marrow). 

  • If you have a deformity of your penis or Peyronies Disease.

  • If you have problems with your heart. Your doctor should in that case carefully check whether your heart can take the additional strain of having sex. 

  • If you currently have a stomach ulcer, or a bleeding problem (such as haemophilia). 

  • If you experience sudden decrease or loss of vision, stop taking Viagra and contact your doctor immediately. 


You should not use Viagra with any other oral or local treatments for erectile dysfunction. Viagra should not be given to individuals under the age of 18. You should tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver problems. Your doctor may decide on a lower dose for you. Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken other medicines, including medicines obtained without prescription. Viagra tablets may interfere with some medicines, especially those used to treat chest pain. In the event of a medical emergency, you should tell any healthcare professional treating your condition that you have taken Viagra and when you did. Do not take Viagra with other medicines unless your doctor tells you that you can. If you have been told by your doctor that you have intolerance to some sugars, such as lactose, contact your doctor before taking Viagra.


Only take the prescribed amount of Viagra prescribed by your GP.  Do not take new medications your GP is unaware of whilst taking Viagra.  Viagra is only to be used by men.  Read the patient leaflet in full before taking Viagra as there are some restrictions on who can take Viagra and not doing so can result in serious health risks. Keep out of the reach of children. 

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