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Viagra Side Effects

Knowing about Viagra side effects is imperative for someone who is using the medicine, especially on a regular basis. This article discusses all possible side effects of using this medicine.
No drug lacks side effects. The same goes for Viagra, a drug that is prescribed for men suffering from the condition called erectile dysfunction. This condition is characterized by the inability to achieve an erection required to perform sexual intercourse. Some men may not be able to get any erection, while some may manage to but not what is required for sexual intercourse. And there could be some men who may manage to penetrate, but only to lose the erection soon after. The drug works by stimulating blood flow into the penis, and helping the person to achieve and maintain an erection. The term 'Viagra' is the trade name for the drug known as Sildenafil citrate. 1998 was the year when this drug became available, and since then it has been a popular treatment for erectile dysfunction.

Common Side Effects That May Occur After Using Viagra

Vision Problems
Less commonly, side effects of Viagra associated with eyes may include blurred vision and sensitivity to light. Some people have reported about their vision becoming blue after using the drug. Medical experts call it cyanopsia or blue vision. It is said that the drug somehow causes the retinal rod cells to become sensitive, and one manifestation could be seeing everything in blue. Given the nature of cyanopsia, pilots are instructed against using the drug at least 12 hours before a flight.

Continued Erection
A rare but severe side effect of Viagra is a condition known as priapism. It is characterized by an erection that persists for hours beyond. It is seldom accompanied with sexual arousal, and is usually painful. It occurs when the normal blood flow to and from the penis is disrupted. This side effect can also occur due to an overdose of this drug. This symptom, as said by medical experts, warrants immediate medical attention lest it may end up in erectile dysfunction.

Hearing Problems
Reduced hearing or hearing loss in one or both ears, could occur due to Viagra use. This could be accompanied by what is known as tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Research on laboratory mice have revealed that use of the drug damages hearing in these animals. With humans, however, the side effect has rarely been documented.

Other Side Effects
  • Allergic reactions like rash, itching and/or swelling of tongue, throat or face, dizziness, and breathing difficulty
  • Chest pain
  • Flushing
  • Headache
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea
  • Numbness in the limbs
  • Stuffy nose
  • Upset stomach
  • Weakness
Considerations and Precautions
  • Always inform your physician about your medical history, and about any medication you are taking, before you begin using Viagra. People with HIV/AIDS, heart disease, history of stroke, bleeding disorders, kidney or liver problems, to name a few, are not recommended to use this drug
  • It is extremely important that you strictly keep the frequency of taking the drug, and its consumption to what has been prescribed by the doctor. This is more important if you are over 65
It is advisable to take the drug with food, as it helps in reducing the onset of nausea. Alcohol intake may interfere with the working of the medication. It may also aggravate upset stomach and headache.

To conclude, it is important to note that Viagra is not any form of aphrodisiac, and merely taking it won't cause sexual arousal or erection. The medicine requires sexual stimulation to function in a way it is supposed to.
By Rajib Singha
Last Updated: 3/9/2012
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