Viagra side effects

What Viagra is, its active ingredient and how it works; common and rarely- reported side effects

Viagra is the brand name for a formulation of the medicine, sildenafil citrate developed by Pfizer Inc, for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED).  Sildenafil citrate is also used to treat high blood pressure that affects the arteries in the lungs and right side of the heart, called pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), under Pfizer’s other brand name, Revatio.

 

Viagra is one of the most controversial and widely discussed pharmaceutical drugs to have hit the market in the last 30 years.  It works by relaxing the muscles in the walls of blood vessels in certain areas of the body. This supplies adequate blood flow to the penis in order to maintain erections during sexual stimulation.  When taken properly, Viagra act by allowing dilation to not only occur, but also last for a long period of time.

 

In most cases, Viagra works well and has changed people's lives for the better.  It is generally safe to use in moderation. However, taking it may cause a range of side effects.  The most common of these are:

  • headache
  • flushing
  • upset stomach
  • abnormal vision, such as changes in color vision (such as having a blue color tinge) and blurred vision
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • back pain
  • muscle pain
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • rash

 

In addition, heart attack, stroke, irregular heartbeat and death have happened rarely in men taking Viagra.  According to Pfizer, most, but not all, of these men had heart problems before taking Viagra and therefore, it is not known if Viagra caused these problems.

 

Nevertheless, these are not all the possible Viagra side effects. Viagra can cause serious side effects that are rarely reported.  Rarely reported side effects include:

 

  • an erection that will not go away (priapism). If you have an erection that lasts more than 4 hours, get medical help right away. If it is not treated right away, priapism can permanently damage your penis;  

 

  • sudden vision loss in one or both eyes.  Sudden vision loss in one or both eyes can be a sign of a serious eye problem called non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION). Stop taking Viagra and call your healthcare provider right away, if you have sudden vision loss in one or both eyes;

 

  • sudden hearing decrease or hearing loss. Some people may also have ringing in their ears (tinnitus) or dizziness. If you have these symptoms, stop taking VIAGRA and contact a doctor right away.

 

While Viagra is generally safe to use in moderation, it goes without saying that you should take it with care.  Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.

 

References

  1. VIAGRA, Wondering about possible side effects? [website] 2018, https://www.viagra.com/learning/what-are-possible-side-effects, [accessed September 27, 2019).
  2. WebMD, Viagra, [website] 2019, https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-7417/viagra-oral/details, [accessed September 27, 2019).
  3. MEDICALNEWSTODAY, Uses and risks of Viagra, [website] 2018, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/232912.php, (accessed September 25, 2019).
  4. Consumer Reports, How to Get Generic Viagra, [website] 2017, https://www.consumerreports.org/prescription-drugs/how-to-get-generic-viagra/, (accessed September 19, 2019).
  5. Pulmonary hypertension R.N., Generic Revatio, [website] 2013, http://pulmonaryhypertensionrn.com/blog/generic-revatio/, (accessed September 19, 2019).

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