Viagra / Sildenafil Citrate

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Modified on 2009/10/14 21:43 by admin
In March 1998 the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved Viagra, manufactured by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, for the treatment of erectile dysfunction or "impotence." Viagra is the first pill approved for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Over 23 million men have used Viagra worldwide.

Viagra, whose chemical name is sildenafil citrate, does several things to improve male potency. First, the drug prevents a substance called PDE 5 from interfering with the process of achieving an erection. In a healthy male with no potency problems, PDE 5 is sent into the penis after ejaculation, causing the erection to subside. In men who suffer from erectile dysfunction, PDE 5 may be too active and the substance may inhibit an erection from the start. Viagra acts to reduce overaggressive PDE 5.

Viagra also improves blood flow to the penis. In order to achieve an erection, blood must engorge the penis. In order to coax blood into the penis, Viagra acts to open up the blood vessels, allowing more blood to flow.

While wildly popular, the drug has not been without its critics. People with heart problems who are taking nitrates including, but not limited to, Deponit, Dilatrate-SR, Imdur, Ismo, Isorol, Monoket, Nitro-Bid IV, Nitro-Bid Ointment, Nitro-Dur, Nitrolingual Spray, Nitrostat, Sorbitrate Chewable, Sorbitrate Oral, Sorbitrate Sublingual, or Transderm-Nitro should not take Viagra; doing so may cause heart failure. Nitrates tend to open the blood vessels, and when taken in combination with Viagra, which also opens the vessels, blood pressure can drop dangerously low. Additionally, it is important to tell your doctor (especially in an emergency situation) if you have taken Viagra recently. Often emergency room physicians will administer nitrates to heart attack victims. Furthermore, even when not taking nitrates, increased sexual activity in men with poor cardiovascular conditioning can lead to overexertion and possible cardiac arrest. Also, people who have low blood pressure (hypotension) may be in danger from Viagra.

A recent study indicated that people suffering from chronic heart failure (CHF) could be adversely affected by Viagra. Italian researchers found that men with heart failure who take Viagra may experience irregular heart rhythms known as arrhythmias and complications associated with the heart's QT interval.

In addition to heart complications, Viagra may increase the risk of a rare but serious condition known as Priapism. This condition results in a prolonged erection, sometimes lasting over six hours. While obviously irritating, inconvenient, and embarrassing, a prolonged erection can also cause significant damage to penile tissue.

An April 2004 study published in the journal New Scientist suggests taking Viagra may reduce men's fertility. According to the report, Viagra speeds up an important reaction by which digestive enzymes break down the outer shell of a female's egg, allowing the sperm to enter and fertilize the egg. The reaction subsequently occurs prematurely.

In May 2005, CBS News reported that federal health officials were investigating cases of blindness in men who used Viagra. The FDA is reviewing 50 cases of vision loss, although a direct link to the drug has not been determined. According to physicians, Viagra may be affecting blood circulation to the optic nerve, causing a condition known as Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy (AION). Consumer groups are asking the FDA to add a black box warning to Viagra's label because of the reports of blindness.

See your doctor if you have experienced serious side effects associated with Viagra. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.



See Also

  1. Erectile Dysfunction Drugs: Overview
  2. Arrhythmia: Overview
  3. Blindness
  4. Headaches
  5. Heart Attack Lawsuits
  6. Low Blood Pressure (hypotension): Overview
  7. Male Infertility: Overview
  8. Priapism: Overview
  9. QT Interval: Overview
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