Back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s Pfizer developed a drug called sildenafil citrate, whose intended purpose was to treat angina and high blood pressure. Clinical trials for the new drug were conducted in the early 1990’s to gauge the drug’s effectiveness. The trials provided little positive evidence that the drug was effective for it’s intended use. However, many male test patients reported the occurrence of increased erections several days after taking the drug. This caused Pfizer to switch course and target the drug towards treating erectile dysfunction instead. In March of 1998 the FDA in the US officially approves Viagra for usage in treating erectile dysfunction and a medicinal rock star is born. South Africa followed suit nine months later approving for use there. Within the first few weeks of release, over 40,000 prescriptions have been filled. Viagra currently holds 45% of the sexual dysfunction market share and has accumulated year sales in excess of $2 billion.
The principles behind the effectiveness of Viagra are based on Viagra binding with an enzyme to prevent it from converting one chemical (called cGMP) in the body to another chemical. The failure to convert the original chemical allows for its buildup in the body. The effect of this buildup is the relaxation of artery walls, allowing arteries to become bigger and thus allow for increased blood flow. However, sexual stimulation is still required to get the whole process started in that it signals the body the start producing cGMP.
So what are the side-effect that are associated with this wonder drug. The belief is that one in ten users will experience one of more of the “common side-effects”. These would include the following: headache, dizziness, flushing, indigestion, heartburn, diarrhea, and a few others. There are however, some more serious potential side-effects that should be discussed with your doctor: unusual heart beat, urinary tract infection, blood in the urine, persistent headache or fainting, nosebleeds, and issues with your eyes. And in rare cases patients may experience these life threatening side-effects that should be addressed at a hospital: chest pain, increased heart rate, sudden loss of hearing, seizures, priapism, and vision issues or loss of eyesight.
Unfortunately, because of the wide appeal of Viagra, it has become one of the most widely counterfeited drugs. In theory it should only obtained via a prescription from your doctor and filled at a reputable local pharmacy. If you are decide to opt for trying to obtain it outside the recommended supply chain, then keep in mind that there are some things you can look for to determine the authenticity of the drug and keep yourself safe. The text stamped into the tablet should be crisp and sharp. The depth of the blue color should be consistent through the entire tablet. The tablet itself should feel smooth and not pitted or rough. Legitimate Viagra is distributed only in packs of four. If your medicine fails any of these checks, you should consider them as suspected counterfeits and avoid using them.
Viagra dosages and prices
Viagra is sold in three dosage levels (25, 50, and 100 milligrams), with the 50mg being the recommended dosage. The various online pharmacies seem to be offering Viagra in packages ranging from 10 pills to 360 pills. The price per pill is then reduced as you buy larger packages. But the prices seemed to range from $0.35 to $1.42 for 25 mg, $0.89 to $3.57 for 50mg, and $1.24 to $3.66 for 100mg. When dealing with an online pharmacy, you Viagra purchase can then be discretely shipped directly to your home in a inconspicuous brown envelope.
So if Viagra is a medically safe alternative, it is certainly worth investigating with your family doctor to promote an active healthy sex life for yourself and your partner.
GP from Cape Town. My interests: treatments of erectile dysfunction, urology. Contact me if you have any questions.