Side Effects & Precautions

Viagra (sildenafil) is often taken by males diagnosed with ED. ED, or erectile dysfunction, is a condition that can be described as an inability of a man to achieve and maintain an erection that would be hard enough to have sex. Viagra works in most cases in spite of the fact what erectile dysfunction in this or that patient has been caused by. Viagra has the same mechanism of action as other PDE5 inhibitors: it stimulates blood flow to the tissue of the penis, and by interfering with the activity of an enzyme called PDE5 prevents the blood from escaping back into the body.

This medicine is safe and there are just a few mild effects possible, such as

  • stuffy or runny nose,
  • flu-like symptoms,
  • heartburn,
  • flushing,
  • headache,
  • and an upset stomach.

However, all the side effects mentioned happen quite rarely and only in a small percentage of patients taking Viagra – about 20% of all the patients. In most cases these side effects go away without any need for your doctor’s interference. In case they persist or change in intensity, you may want to talk to your doctor about them. A dose adjustment may do the trick or your health care provider will come up with another way of dealing with your problem.

Viagra can be dangerous if misused. Sudden loss of vision is one of the few serious side effects that rarely happen in patients taking Viagra. This side effect is most often reported by people with certain pre-existing medical conditions (eye problems, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes etc), those older than 50 and regular smokers, although Viagra is believed to contribute to the risk. Talk to your doctor about your individual risks when taking this medication.

Other serious side effects of Viagra that you need to be aware of may include

  • lightheadedness,
  • dizziness,
  • ringing in ears,
  • priapism,
  • blurred vision,
  • itching or burning during urination,
  • fainting,
  • chest pain,
  • shortness of breath,
  • rash,
  • and loss of hearing.

Since this drug has been reported to cause interference with quite a few medications, make sure you do not combine Viagra with any of the following drugs before discussing it with your health care provider:

  • antifungals,
  • cimetidine,
  • HIV protease inhibitors,
  • beta blockers,
  • medications for seizures,
  • rifampin,
  • erythromycin,
  • other erectile dysfunction medications,
  • barbiturates,
  • anticoagulants,
  • efavirenz,
  • alpha blockers,
  • rifabutin,
  • and medications for high blood pressure.

Any other products of the kind you are taking are also supposed to be reported. Those with a history of an allergic reaction to this medicine are never supposed to start taking Viagra, as the same reaction is likely to happen again. If you have taken this medicine anyway and experience difficulty breathing, hives, rash and swelling of your face, tongue, throat, feet and hands, seek emergency medical help. Always talk to your doctor before making any decisions concerning the dose of Viagra you are currently taking. Make sure you store this drug in some dark place at room temperature and other people do not have access to it.