Viagra for Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction in Men: What You Need to Know

by Alex Shteynshlyuger MD


If you have any questions, to schedule a consultation or if you need a second opinion, please contact us or call 1-(646) 663-5211.

Dr. Alex Shteynshlyuger is a board-certified urologist, who specializes in all aspects of care for sexual problems in men including ED, premature ejaculation and other sexual concerns. He helps men of all ages who experience impotence to regain confidence and erections.


What is Viagra?

ED Treatment with ViagraViagra (generic name: sildenafil) is the first oral pill that became available for the treatment of impotence in men.    Viagra increases the size of blood vessels (dilates blood vessels) and allows more blood to get to the penis.  Increased blood flow to the penis results in better erections.

What does Viagra Treat?

Viagra is used to treat erectile dysfunction or ED for short.  ED is also called impotence.  Viagra can effectively treat most erection problems in men including erections that are not hard enough, difficulty with obtaining erections and problems with maintaining erections.

Effectiveness

Viagra is effective in 60-70% of men. Some studies have shown up to 95% user satisfaction with an improved ability to engage in sexual activity.  Viagra is easy to use and convenient.  It can be used without the partner knowing about your erection problems, which is important to some men.

How to Use Viagra:

Taking Viagra at least one hour before sexual intercourse is most effective but it may work as soon as 30 minutes after taking it. Typically, men are advised to take Viagra by mouth at least 1  hour to 4 hours prior to sexual activity.

It is advisable not to eat or drink anything 1-2 hours before and after taking Viagra. If Viagra is taken with food, it may not work as well especially if taken shortly before attempting intercourse. Taking Viagra with an oily or fatty meal can delay its effect – it may work when you no longer it.

Viagra should be stored at room temperature, away from light and moisture (avoid storing it in the bathroom). Like all medications, keep Viagra out of reach of children and pets.

Viagra is not a “magic” pill and does not cause an erection to ‘pop’ up.  It helps you get an erection. You still need to be stimulated to get an erection.

Side Effects of Sildenafil (Viagra)

Common side effects of Viagra include flushing, headache, dizziness, and stomach upset. Some men experience vision changes with blurring, color blindness, or sensitivity to light.

Priapism (an erection lasting more than 4 hours) is an unwanted painful and prolonged erection.  Priapism is an extremely rare side effect of Viagra.   You should seek medical attention if your erection will not go down for more than 4 hours in the absence of sexual stimulation.

Priapism is a very rare side effect of Viagra. In fact, it is not clear if Viagra or similar medications are the cause of priapism as many men with priapism have used multiple other drugs. In the year 2007, for instance, the FDA received notification of only 93 cases of priapism from Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis combined – tens of millions of men were treated with these medications during that time period.

There are some rare reports of blindness with a rapid reduction in vision after taking medications such as Viagra in men with underlying eye problems. However, after the medication had been on the market for 10 years and had been taken by more than 27 million men, the FDA concluded there was no evidence linking Viagra to blindness or other serious eye conditions. You should consult a Urologist before beginning Viagra and always follow prescribing instructions.

Safety of Viagra:  Is Viagra Safe to Use?

It should be noted that Viagra has a good record of safely with millions of men successfully treated with it.  Men with medical problems such as lung problems, COPD, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, liver and heart problems as well as men with cancer can be treated safely with Viagra.

It’s important to inform your doctor of all the other medications and supplements you take because they may affect the efficacy of Viagra. Interactions with other medications can put you at risk for serious complications. Viagra can cause your blood pressure to become low if used in combination with nitroglycerine (for angina or chest pain) or medications such as Flomax (tamsulosin for an enlarged prostate).

You should not take sildenafil (Viagra) with nitroglycerin containing medications.  You should space medications for enlarged prostate by at least 6 hours from Viagra or other medications for enlarged prostate.  You should take Viagra a few times and see how your body reacts to it before participating in activities such as driving or operating heavy machinery after taking Viagra. Alcohol intake should be limited when you use Viagra.


Dr. Alex Shteynshlyuger is a board-certified urologist, who specializes in all aspects of care for sexual problems in men including ED, premature ejaculation and other sexual concerns.  He has successfully treated hundreds of men with sexual problems including ED and poor libido.

We see patients from all parts of New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island), Long Island, Westchester and New Jersey as well as other parts in the USA, Canada, South America and the Caribbean and other international patients. We also offer emergency care for men with urological problems.

If you have any questions, to schedule a consultation or if you need a second opinion, please contact us or call 1-(646) 663-5211.


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