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What to Know before Using Viagra

viagra-2-pillsAccording to statistics from Cleveland Clinic, 52% of men suffer from some form of erectile dysfunction. The fact that more than half of the adult male population has this problem means that scientists and drug manufacturers are always trying to come up with effective remedies. Viagra is by far the most popular treatment for erectile dysfunction, and it has been so for close to twenty years. However, before you go out to buy this pill, there are a few useful things that you should know about it.

What is Viagra?

Although Viagra is a well-known brand, the actual name of the drug that it represents is Sildenafil Citrate. It is a drug that men use to treat erectile dysfunction. Some scientists in Britain originally invented it, but it was Pfizer Pharmaceuticals that brought it into the market. FDA approved the commercial distribution of the pills in the USA in 1998, but it was already on sale in a few other countries before then.

One of the most interesting things about Viagra is that the initial developers were making it as a medication to treat cardiovascular diseases and hypertension. But, when the drug was still in its trial stage researchers found that it would produce an erection. Subsequently, Sildenafil has also received approval for the treatment of Raynaud's disease, a condition where the toes and fingers become numb and cold. In the past few years, doctors have found that it can also be effective as a treatment for some forms of prostate cancer.

How does it work?

Viagra has been proven to be very effective in dealing with erectile dysfunction, and the fact that it is still on sale almost two decades after its development is enough proof of this. The mechanism of work for this drug is very simple because it only entails increasing blood flow to the penis to help men get and maintain an erection that is hard enough for sexual intercourse. However, it only works when a man is sexually stimulated. You should only take the pill when you are about to have sex and it usually starts to work after 30 to 60 minutes.

The dosage

This drug comes in three different strengths: 100mg, 50mg and 25mg. Each of these doses can be ideal for people with varying degrees of ED. However, in most cases, you will receive the 50mg pill which the doctor can change to either of the other two options depending on how your body reacts to it. The essential thing about using Viagra is that you should only take it when you need it and only have one pill in a span of 24 hours. Also, make sure that you take the pill at least one hour before intercourse to ensure maximum effectiveness. Also, avoid taking grapefruit juice as it hinders the breakdown of Sildenafil.

How long will the effects last?

The time that it takes for the effects of Viagra to wear out will vary from one person to the other. However, for most men, the drug will remain active for up to five hours, but the strength of the medicine will start to diminish after about two hours. However, some other factors will determine how long the pill will be effective. They include things like your age, health, dosage and drug interactions if you are also taking some kind of medication.

Are there any particular precautions you need to follow?
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Viagra is a highly potent type of medication, and so you should take some precautions before using it. The best idea is to talk to your doctor before you start because the health expert can give you recommendation on whether the drug is safe for you. Apart from this, it is also important to take the following precautions:

- Avoid herbal supplements and products such as St John's Wort.

- You should not take any drugs that contain nitrates.

- Make sure that you know whether you have any blood vessels disease or heart condition.

- Do not take Viagra without your doctor’s approval if you have had a heart attack or stroke in the past.

- Consult your doctor before taking Viagra if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any medicine.

- If you have a kidney or liver problem – even if it is minor – you should also talk to your doctor first.