What Does Viagra do?

The earliest known instance of ED medication is mentioned in the Kamasutra. It suggests a mixture of sparrows’ eggs boiled in milk, clarified butter, and honey, which is supposed to work as a sex stimulant for men. Science has come a long way from sparrows’ eggs ever since an oral medication by the name of ‘Viagra’ was developed at Pfizer Laboratories accidentally in 1989.

What is Viagra?

Viagra is one of the popular trade names of sildenafil citrate (C22H30N6O4S). It is a prescription medication used in treating erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Viagra was discovered by accident in Pfizer laboratories by Andrew Bell, David Brown and Nicholas Terrett who were working with sildenafil to explore its potential in treating multiple cardiovascular diseases. Sildenafil, as a drug, has the ability to lower blood pressure. However, test subjects who had volunteered to take the drug for R&D purposes, later literally refused to give it back because the side-effects enabled them to have better erections. After meticulous research, the drug was patented and then allowed for use by Food and Drug Administration on March 24, 1998.

How does Viagra work?

So, what does Viagra do and how does it work? In order to answer these questions, let’s try to get a better understanding of how human penis functions and how erection occurs.

The physiological mechanism of an erection involves the internal secretion of nitric oxide (NO) into the body. NO initiates the enzyme guanylate cyclase. This correspondingly increases secretion of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). cGMP induces muscular relaxation thereby dilating or expanding the blood vessels to allow increased blood flow.

Viagra or Sildenafil citrate stimulates the catalytic effect of NO by inhibiting phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5); PDE5 is responsible for the degeneration of cGMP in the penis. Thus, by creating more cGMP, more blood can flow into the penis and remain there for longer periods of time thereby aiding and extending erections.

What does Viagra do to the body?

Viagra stimulates and enhances erections. It can thus be used as a remedy for erectile dysfunction (ED) in men. Viagra will only work when there is sexual stimulation involved. Without sexual stimulation, it is useless due to the fact that it is only a secondary inducer.

The effects of Viagra vary among individuals based on multiple factors. Average time to the onset of effect of Viagra in individuals with ED ranges between 20 and 45 minutes.

Brand-name Viagra is available in the form of 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg diamond-shaped blue colored tablets. Studies on test subjects suffering from ED with an age range of 18 to 87 provided exemplary results. Each tablet provided positive results in 63%, 74% and 82% of the cases respectively on an increasing dosage scale characterized by improved erections.

Dosage

The patient can take no more than a single pill maximum within a 24-hour timeframe which is to be ingested 30 minutes to 1 hour before sexual intercourse. The usual starting dose is 50mg, which can, nevertheless, be increased or decreased depending on the patient’s medical history.

Side effects of Viagra

So, what does Viagra do and are all of its effects positive? Even though this medication is considered to be one of the best means of treating erectile dysfunction, some of its effects can be very unpleasant, putting it mildly. Fortunately, the latter effects are experienced only by a tiny fraction of the patients.

Serious side-effects
- Bladder pain
- Priapism
- Burning sensation in chest or stomach
- Itching and numbness
- Cloudy urine, increased urination with pain
- Upset stomach
- Abnormal vision
- Bone pain
- Hearing loss
- Scaling or peeling of skin
- Excessive hunger
- Faintness
- Severe headaches
- Nausea
- Nasal congestion

An occurrence of one or more of these side-effects to any individual requires medical supervision – and more serious side effects from the list above such as priapism, vision and hearing abnormalities, chest pain, once experienced, require immediate medical attention.

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