Millions of men take Viagra, a little blue pill to help with erectile dysfunction, a condition that makes it difficult to maintain or get an erection. While the drug is considered safe and effective, there can be side effects and risks involved. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with Dr. Jagdish Khubchandani, MBBS, Ph.D., a professor of public health at New Mexico State University who explained what to know about viagra before taking it and side effects that could happen. As always, please consult with your physician for medical advice. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
What to Know About Viagra
Dr. Khubchandani tells us, "Before thinking of side effects, one should keep in mind a variety of facts. First, Viagra should be taken only if prescribed by a qualified healthcare provider after a thorough medical assessment. This would include a detailed evaluation for erectile dysfunction and a medical history (e.g., heart disease, recent surgeries, liver and kidney function abnormalities, etc.). Second, share all information about your current medications and other prescriptions you are taking with your healthcare provider if a Viagra prescription is being considered (e.g., to avoid serious potential medicine interactions)."
Do Your Research About Viagra in Advance
Dr. Khubchandani reminds people to, "Do your research and know how Viagra acts on your body. Essentially, this medication helps relaxation of smooth muscles which helps dilate blood vessels which in turn helps with erectile dysfunction by increasing blood flow to the penis."
Know How to Take Viagra Accordingly
Dr. Khubchandani says," Know how to take it as per provider's guidance (e.g., timing, dosage, frequency, etc.) and how to report side effects and keep in touch with your provider. Do not share the pills with others as they cannot take it without prescription."
Common Side Effects
Dr. Khubchandani explains, "Broadly speaking, side effects can be common, minor, transient, or infrequent and major. Given that the medication has been approved by the US FDA and if the provider prescribes it, the benefits may clearly outweigh the risks. According to an FDA document, most common adverse reactions (> 2%) include headache, flushing, stomach upset, abnormal vision, nasal congestion, back pain, muscle pain, nausea, dizziness and rash. The most serious, but rare side effects may include heart attacks, stroke, irregular heartbeats (but, these have happened in people with prior history of heart disease). Also, it is to be noted that sexual activity may put strain on the heart function, especially in high-risk individuals (e.g., past history of heart disease). Notify your provider immediately or seek help if you get any serious side effects (e.g., severe dizziness, fainting, chest pain that may radiate to the left arm or jaw)."
Less Common Side Effects
According to Dr. Khubchandani, "The less common and rare side effects are of a wide variety (e.g., vision or hearing problems, etc.) and a person on this prescription has to be mindful of any feeling of distress. Very rarely, a prolonged erection greater than 4 hours and priapism (painful erections greater than 6 hours in duration) have been reported. In the event of an erection that persists longer than 4 hours, the patient should seek immediate medical assistance (for avoiding the risk of penile tissue damage)."