What is Viagra?
Sildenafil is the original medication used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) in men and was released by Pfizer in 1996. It was the first ever treatment for ED approved by the FDA. Viagra has continued to be one of the most popular ED medications, with its major competitor being Cialis. Erectile dysfunction is extremely common in men, and it is estimated that over 3 million men in Canada over the age of 40 suffer from it. Viagra works to treat ED quickly by relaxing the smooth muscle which in turn increases blood flow to the penis in order to keep an erection. Weak blood flow equals weak erection, therefore, increasing the blood flow will result in a stronger erection and increase in ability to maintain it.
Viagra belongs to a class of drugs known as PED5 inhibitors, which means it will not produce an erection on its own; Sexual stimulation must still be obtained in order to produce an erection. PED5 inhibitors do not have an effect on libido. Sexual arousal must still be achieved in order to obtain an erection. Viagra has the ability to maintain erections where blood flow is the issue in producing the erection; however, if the issue lies in a hormone imbalance, Viagra will not remedy the ED issue and an alternate treatment should be considered.
Viagra differs from Cialis mainly by the drug’s active life. Viagra has a half life of approximately 4-6 hours and is much quicker acting than Cialis. The effects of Viagra will wear off after about 6 hours, therefore, additional doses may be required depending on each individuals needs. Viagra should be taken approximately 30 minutes prior to sexual activity.
PLEASE NOTE: this drug does NOT protect against sexually transmitted diseases (such as HIV, hepatitis B, gonorrhea, syphilis, etc.). It is recommended that an alternate form of protection, such as latex condoms, is also used to prevent pregnancy and transmission of STD’s.
What is the recommended dosage?
This medication is taken by mouth, with or without food. Viagra is commonly prescribed to treat ED by taking the medication as needed, at least 30 mins prior to sexual activity. The dosage is based on each individual’s medical condition, and any questions or concerns should be directed to a physician. In our opinion, a beneficial dosage for most men would be to take 1 tablet 30 mins prior to sexual activity. This medication should not be taken more than once daily.