What is Viagra?
Sildenafil citrate, now branded as 'Viagra' (and various other trade names) was originally a drug developed British scientists then brought to market by American pharmaceutical company Pfizer. It was initially intended to treat heart disease, however through clinical trails, it was discovered purely by accident that this little blue pill did quite more than just help the ticker!
Of course, Viagra is now primarily prescribed to help people with penile dysfunction, but it is also used to treat people with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). It was patented and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996, but it was only approved on the basis that it would be prescribed by medical professionals. It became available for prescribe-sale only in 1998.
It was first marketed as a serious cure for 'men that couldn't keep it up', but now this is no longer marketed as a 'serious' drug, it is now marketed as some sort of novelty to enhance sexual performance, hence the reason millions of men AND women are now taking this 'wonder drug'.
It isn't just men that have problems sexually; studies found that people who are taking antidepressants often suffer 'sexual dysfunction', which can be either because of the illness or the medication. Reports from 1999 showed that sildenafil citrate improved sexual function in female patients that were taking antidepressants too.
Sildenafil citrate is effective in the rare heart disease pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). It relaxes the arterial wall, leading to decreased pulmonary arterial resistance and pressure, which means that the workload of the right ventricle of the heart is reduced, thus improving the symptoms of right-sided heart failure. Pfizer added and addition registration for the drug to be used for this purpose. This was approved by the FDA in 2005, and is prescribed under the name Revatio, not to be confused with Viagra:
A Viagra pill is shaped like a diamond and is blue in colour
A Revatio pill is round in shape and is white in colour
The dangers of Viagra
Unfortunately Viagra (and other variations of it) is easily obtained from the man down the street to cowboy pharmaceutical companies on the internet. It should be prescribed by a medical professional for the correct dosage, and should only be used when it is necessary, the same as any other medication. Many 'copies' are sold as a bogus, cheaper alternative to Viagra and people never really know what they are taking. Also, many people exceed the recommended dose by taking two or even three at a time, because they want to be able to sexually perform like T1000 from the film Terminator 2! The truth is that by pandering to the ol' alpha-male ego or promiscuous curiosity, people are increasing potential health risks, including:
- Low blood pressure and heart attacks
- Permanent vision loss
- A prolonged and very painful long-lasting erection (priapism)
- A decrease or complete loss of hearing
(References from here)
Many people have experienced symptoms after taking Viagra, such as sickness, dizziness, feeling faint and blacking out. Viagra should not be used as a novelty and even prescription should be a last resort. Erectile dysfunction could be related to many other problems that should be treated in the first place: