Using Viagra: Side Effects and Alternatives

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When it comes to our sex lives, most men would probably agree that being unable to perform is…well…embarrassing. There are, of course, methods with which to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence) and other performance-related issues. One common method – specifically related to ED – is to take Viagra.

What is Viagra?

Sildenafil, better known as Viagra, is a prescription medication that helps men achieve and maintain an erection strong enough for sex. This occurs when the nervous system releases nitric oxide into the tissue of the penis. The nitric oxide helps in the production of cyclic guanosine monophosphate which dilates the arteries in the penis. The arteries and tissue fill with blood and an erection occurs.

Another form of Viagra, Revatio, is also used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension. As such the dosages will vary and you’ll have to speak to a doctor regarding whether or not you should take it and how much to take. In terms of side-effects, there are a few but some of the common ones are headaches, a blocked nose and, indigestion.

The Efficacy of Viagra

When taken orally, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to take effect but sexual arousal is, naturally, a requirement for this medication to work. It can last up to 5 hours – depending on various external factors (i.e. metabolism).

The efficacy of the drug depends on a few different factors. These factors include your age, dosage, lifestyle, physical and mental health, and any pre-existing medications you’re already taking can all affect how effectively Viagra will work for you. 

Side Effects

Available in doses of 25, 50, and 100mg, an overdose or interaction with whatever medication you’re already on can produce some side effects. Viagra can have a variety of side effects ranging in severity. The less severe side effects include:

  • Back pain
  • Muscular pain
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

More serious side effects include:

  • Sudden loss of vision
  • Loss of hearing
  • Priapism (A painful, long lasting erection)
  • Low blood pressure

Generally-speaking the side effects will go away after a day or so. If, however, the side effects should become more serious; then you should immediately see a doctor. Another side effect is to have an allergic reaction to the medication. Allergic reactions can range from something mild (i.e. a rash) to something more serious (i.e. swelling and difficulty breathing).

What if Viagra doesn’t Work?

If, for some reason, Viagra doesn’t work for you or you have an adverse reaction to the medication; there are other medications and treatments available. Each alternative medication/treatment has a different, for lack of a better term, running time to when it starts and ends.

Alternatives

Alternative medicine. These two words evoke a certain degree of caution and scepticism – with good reason. That said; there are some natural alternative treatments for ED. Now, before we go into the remedies; keep in mind that that it’s best to see a doctor before giving these things a shot.

Red Ginseng

Red ginseng is the purest form of ginseng and increases energy levels while boosting the nervous system (thereby affecting the nerves that control sexual response) and lowering stress levels.

Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranate juice is rich in anti-oxidants and, when drunk, it has numerous health benefits. That said, however, there’s no real evidence that it assists in treating ED – apart from a promising pilot study from 2007.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Testosterone is something that men need in order to have a normal, functioning sex life. Low testosterone can sometimes cause ED. Testosterone replacement therapy involves raising testosterone levels in order to treat someone with ED.

L. Argenine

This is an amino acid that boosts the body’s production of nitric acid and relaxes and widens the blood vessels making for easier blood flow.

Horny Goat Weed

Yes, this is a thing. Apparently this was found by a Chinese goatherd who noticed that his goats got a bit…erm…frisky after ingesting it. This weed contains a nerve stimulant called Lacariin and helps to boost testosterone levels. 

In Conclusion

There you have it, side effects and alternatives to Viagra. Please remember to first always consult your doctor before trying anything drastic. 

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