One of the most popularly used medications to hit pharmacy stores worldwide is undeniably Viagra. The medication that works by eliciting vasodilation and smooth muscle relaxation has helped change lives of millions of users suffering from erectile dysfunction. Know for its effectiveness in facilitating the increased flow of blood into the erectile tissue on the penis, Viagra has helped couples overcome problems that have plagued modern society for years. By virtue of the mechanism of action that delivers these outcomes, the medication also results in certain undesirable outcomes. Here is a look at the side effects of Viagra and the best methods to identify and mitigate the same.

Overview of medication and side effects of Viagra

To understand the side effects of Viagra it is important to learn more about the medication and its mechanism of action. Originally a prescription medication for treating erectile dysfunction, the drug is now also available in certain locations over the counter. The medication is typically prescribed for males above 18 years. Belonging to the class of medications known as PDE5 inhibitors, the medication works by increasing the flow of blood to the penile area, the spongy erectile tissue. Available as oral medication, (25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg) the drug works only for individuals who have been sexually aroused and is typically taken one hour prior to indulging in sexual activity.

Side effects of Viagra : different types of side effects

Like all other medication there are side effects of Viagra that may be experienced by users. The nature and intensity of the side effects may vary from person to person and in some cases, individuals may not actually experience any side effects. The compilation of the side effects of Viagra are for the purpose of reference and to help individuals identify certain conditions that are not favorable for using Viagra. As mentioned earlier, there are mild side effects and rare side effects that may be experienced by users. The mild side effects generally do not require any kind of medical intervention and will typically resolve naturally. The rate side effects do not occur frequently and may sometimes require some kind of medical attention to resolve the symptoms. Certain side effects may require urgent medical attention and emergency care to treat the condition.

Mild side effects of Viagra and mitigation methods

The mild side effects of Viagra generally experienced by users are as compiled. Patients have reported experiencing headaches when on the medication. Additionally, there are chances of indigestion occurring as a result of the mechanism of action of the drug. The possibility of an impact on vision can also not be ruled out, with some reporting a bluish tinge to vision, apart from sensitivity and blurred vision. Other commonly reported side effects of Viagra include outbreak of rashes, pain in the muscles, pain in the back and nausea. These effects are known to resolve naturally and may not require any specific attention or medication.

Serious side effects of Viagra and mitigation methods

In contrast to the above, the serious side effects of Viagra may require some kind of medical attention at times, depending on the intensity and duration. For instance, individuals may end up with an eye condition that is known medically as NAION or Non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy. This condition refers to possible damage to the optic nerve. The symptoms commonly associated with this condition include a rapid decrease in vision, that could impact either one eye or both eyes. This could also result in loss of vision in the eye. Other serious side effects include a possible loss of hearing ability or a decrease in hearing ability. Symptoms that are indicative of this condition include tinnitus and dizziness.

There is also the possibility of individuals experiencing allergic reactions when on the medication. The commonly reported symptoms of allergic reactions include outbreak of rashes on the skin, and pruritus or itching. Individuals may experience itching that is not attributed to other conditions. Flushing is also another possible symptom that may be experienced. This refers to the overall warm feeling on the skin that may be accompanied by a reddish tinge. Individuals who experience certain symptoms, such as sweeling of the tongue, the mouth, the throat or individuals with difficulty in breathing need to seek medical attention as this is indicative of serious side effects of Viagra. Other indications of serious allergies are swelling beneath the skin – typically, under the eyelids, the hands, the feet or the lips. Among the serious side effects of Viagra, priapism is considered as one of the most uncomfortable side effects. This refers to the onset of a condition wherein the individual ends up with a prolonged or extended erection that is also accompanied by pain. In addition, the pain and discomfort caused by the condition it is important to known that the condition requires treatment. Left untreated, it could result in possible damage to the tissue, that may actually result in permanent erectile dysfunction.

Other serious side effects of Viagra include low blood pressure in individuals on the medication. This is typically a temporary condition, and in most cases will resolve quickly. However, it is classified as a serious side effect as this could pose complications and health hazards in certain categories of individuals. For instance, individuals with certain heart conditions are to be on guard and monitor blood pressure levels to prevent medical emergencies. Similarly, individuals on certain medications are advised to avoid taking Viagra. For instance, nitrates are a class of medications used to treat angina/chest pain. When taken together, there is the risk of a dangerous drop in blood pressure levels. Individuals who experience symptoms such as a dizzy head, or a light headed feeling are to seek medical attention. This is especially required in patients on the above medications.

Finally, the serious side effects of Viagra include impact on patients with pre-existing heat disease. There are instances of the medications causing complication that include heart attack, stroke, and possible irregular heartbeat. It is necessary to understand that these conditions may impact only those individuals with pre-existing heart conditions and not all individuals. This also includes patients who have the condition but have not been actually diagnosed. There are simple preventive methods that can help mitigate or prevent medical emergencies. For instance, individuals who experience chest pain when on Viagra are advised to stop all sexual activities immediately and seek intervention. Patients with heart conditions are expected to seek medical advice before taking Viagra. Adequate precautions need to be taken when on the medication, as mentioned above.

Commonly reported side effects of Viagra that are not cause for concern

Apart from the above side effects of Viagra there are other side effects that could possibly manifest. These are not cause for concern and can be resolved easily. For instance, individuals have often reported a throbbing headache when on the medication. This may or may not be accompanied by dizziness and a flushing sensation. This is different from the light headed feeling that is associated with altered blood pressure levels. This is attributed to the mechanism of action of the drug – dilation of blood vessels. Headaches are fairly common and are reported more frequently by individuals who regularly take Viagra. The mechanism of action- the dilation of blood vessels also impacts other blood vessels and this is the reason for the headache, the flushing and the dizziness. Simple pain relievers can help manage the pain associated with the symptoms.

Commonly reported side effects of Viagra among the elderly

There are certain side effects of Viagra that are specific to the elderly. As the medication is meant for use by individuals with erectile dysfunction, this automatically makes the elderly, a category of users, as ED increases with age. Individuals above 65 years are most likely to experience stronger side effects of the medication, as a result of the increase levels of the medication in the blood when compared with users of younger age groups. As a result of higher levels of the drug in the blood, the potency and possibility of side effects are also stronger. It is therefore necessary to take only the appropriate dosage of the medication as determined by the treating specialist.

Precautions and methods to manage side effects of Viagra

As mentioned above, one of the possible side effects of Viagra includes priapism, and if left untreated, this could result in permanent ED. Individuals are typically known to confuse this condition with blue ball syndrome and consequently, treat it lightly. This may result in complications that could be serious in nature with possible permanent side effects. It is essential to seek medical attention at the earliest to prevent these outcomes.

Other conditions do not require special treatment and will go away either naturally or with simple medication. For instance, headaches can be relieved with pain relievers, while other manifestations can be handled by simple measures such as lying down or resting. Patients are advised to avoid taking alcohol when on the medication as this could have an impact on the outcome or may result in possible adverse effects. Other simple methods to manage the side effects of Viagra include turning off bright lights in the event of experiencing sensitivity to light. Patients who experience indigestion can prevent the condition by taking the medication along with a meal or a snack. This will help prevent indigestion but is most likely to delay the onset of the desired outcomes. The onset of desired outcomes also depends on the type of meal that is taken with the medication. For instance, food that has high fat content can delay the onset of desired outcomes.

Many side effects of Viagra are attributed to incorrect dosage. It is therefore necessary to ensure that the right dosage is always taken. By ensuring that the drug is taken in the right manner, in the right dosage and with the right kind of precautions, it is possible to prevent adverse side effects. I tis also necessary to not combine two types of medications for treating ED. For instance, the easy availability of OTC products for treating ED may prompt or encourage individuals to try out combinations of different types of medications for better results. This is dangerous and could result in extremely serious conditions as the dangerous cocktail of medications may result in serious interactions.

Individuals can avoid side effects of Viagra by taking medical advice prior to taking the medication. While it is branded as a treatment for erectile dysfunction and is available as OTC formulations, it is important to understand that it has been developed to treat a medical condition with a specific mechanism of action. This makes it an FDA approved drug and is therefore best taken only with medical advice or recommendations.

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