Viagra – the little blue pill recognised across the world – has changed the face of erectile dysfunction treatment since its market release by Pfizer in 1998. With its relatively few side effects, ease of use and its effectiveness, it is little wonder the drug has become so popular.
Viagra was under patent protection in the UK until June 2013, after which legal cheaper versions of generic Viagra (sildenafil) have been made available.
The active ingredient in Viagra/sildenafil is sildenafil citrate, which is known medically as a PDE5 inhibitor. Viagra/sildenafil inhibits an enzyme which regulates blood flow in the penis. PDE5 inhibitors multiply the natural process of arousal and increase blood flow to the penis in situations of sexual stimulation. Viagra/sildenafil helps to achieve an erection but relies on natural arousal as a trigger. It, and other PDE5 inhibitors, support sexual relations when erections are failing.
Many factors can contribute to impotence (erectile dysfunction). Lifestyle choices, such as excess drinking, smoking, illegal drug use, and even obesity and stress, can have an impact on erections. Erectile dysfunction can also be a symptom of underlying health problems such as atherosclerosis, heart disease, and diabetes, amongst others.
Men suffering from erectile dysfunction should inform their GPs who will undertake an assessment, possibly perform tests, and provide advice.
Viagra is a well known and widely used drug. Side effects are normally not troublesome. Onset of action tends to be reliable and predictable. Viagra/sildenafil normally starts to work 30 to 60 minutes after it is taken and usually remains active for in the region of 4 hours.
As with any treatment, there are times when Viagra/sildenafil might not work and may not improve or overcome the underlying cause of erectile dysfunction. Satisfactory erections require the following:
If erectile dysfunction is the result of spinal injury or operation, nerves might be damaged. In this case Viagra/sildenafil may help a little but other measures, such as injections or stiffening aids, may be required.
Other causes of erectile dysfunction may require specialist treatment apart from tablets. Some men, whose erectile dysfunction has psychological causes, may benefit from counselling.
A GP should always be informed.
Sildenafil (generic Viagra), Cialis, Levitra and Spedra are alternative oral tablet treatments for erectile dysfunction and are also available to buy online in various strengths and pack sizes after completing the same medical consultation.
Dr Fox also supplies Vitaros cream, a non-tablet treatment for ED