What is Viagra?

Viagra relaxes muscles and increases blood flow to particular areas of the body.

Sildenafil under the name Viagra is used to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence) in men. Another brand of sildenafil is Revatio, which is used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension and improve exercise capacity in men and women.

Sildenafil may also be used for purposes other than those listed here.

 

What is the most important information I should know about Viagra?

Do not take Viagra if you are also using a nitrate drug for chest pain or heart problems. This includes nitroglycerin (Nitrostat, Nitrolingual, Nitro-Dur, Nitro-Bid, and others), isosorbide dinitrate (Dilatrate-SR, Isordil, Sorbitrate), and isosorbide mononitrate (Imdur, ISMO, Monoket). Nitrates are also found in some recreational drugs such as amyl nitrate or nitrite ("poppers). Taking Viagra with a nitrate medicine can cause a serious decrease in blood pressure, leading to fainting, stroke, or heart attack. If you become dizzy or nauseated, or have pain, numbness, or tingling in your chest, arms, neck, or jaw during sexual activity, stop and call your doctor right away. You could be having a serious side effect of Viagra. Do not take Viagra more than once a day. Allow 24 hours to pass between doses. Contact your doctor or seek emergency medical attention if your erection is painful or lasts longer than 4 hours. A prolonged erection (priapism) can damage the penis.

A small number of patients have had a sudden loss of eyesight after taking Viagra. This type of vision loss is caused by decreased blood flow to the optic nerve of the eye. It is not clear whether Viagra is the actual cause of such vision loss. Sudden vision loss with Viagra use has occurred most often in people with heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or certain pre-existing eye problems, and in those who smoke or are over 50 years old.

Stop using Viagra and get emergency medical help if you have sudden vision loss.

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How should I take Viagra?

Take Viagra exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take it in larger doses or for longer than recommended by your doctor.

Revatio is usually taken three times each day, about 4 to 6 hours apart.

Viagra is usually taken only when needed, 30 minutes to 1 hour before sexual activity. You may take it up to 4 hours before sexual activity. Do not take Viagra more than once per day.

Viagra can help you have an erection when sexual stimulation occurs. An erection will not occur just by taking a pill. Follow your doctors instructions.

If you become dizzy or nauseated, or have pain, numbness, or tingling in your chest, arms, neck, or jaw during sexual activity, stop and call your doctor right away. You could be having a serious side effect of Viagra.

 

Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
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What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Symptoms of a Viagra overdose may include chest pain, nausea, irregular heartbeat, and feeling light-headed or fainting.

What should I avoid while taking Viagra?

Avoid drinking alcohol, which can increase some of the side effects of Viagra. Avoid using other medicines to treat impotence, such as alprostadil (Caverject, Muse, Edex) or yohimbine (Yocon, Yodoxin, others), without first talking to your doctor.

What are the possible side effects of Viagra?

If you become dizzy or nauseated, or have pain, numbness, or tingling in your chest, arms, neck, or jaw during sexual activity, stop and call your doctor right away. You could be having a serious side effect of Viagra. Stop using Viagra and get emergency medical help if you have sudden vision loss. Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using Viagra and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
  • irregular heartbeat;
  • swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;
  • shortness of breath;
  • vision changes;
  • feeling light-headed, fainting; or
  • penis erection that is painful or lasts 4 hours or longer.

Continue taking Viagra and talk with your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects:

  • warmth or redness in your face, neck, or chest;
  • stuffy nose;
  • headache;
  • upset stomach; or
  • back pain.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

 

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What other drugs will affect Viagra?

Do not take Viagra if you are also using a nitrate drug for chest pain or heart problems, including nitroglycerin (Nitrostat, Nitrolingual, Nitro-Dur, Nitro-Bid, Minitran, Deponit, Transderm-Nitro), isosorbide dinitrate (Dilatrate-SR, Isordil, Sorbitrate), and isosorbide mononitrate (Imdur, ISMO, Monoket), or recreational drugs such as amyl nitrate or nitrite ("poppers).

Before taking Viagra, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following medications:

  • bosentan (Tracleer);
  • cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB);
  • an antibiotic such as erythromycin (E-Mycin, Eryc, Ery-Tab) or clarithromycin (Biaxin);
  • doxazosin (Cardura), prazosin (Minipress), Terazosin (Hytrin);
  • HIV medicines such as amprenavir (Agenerase), tipranavir (Aptivus), darunavir (Prezista), efavirenz (Sustiva), nevirapine (Viramune), indinavir (Crixivan), saquinavir (Invirase, Fortovase), lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), ritonavir (Norvir), atazanavir (Reyataz), or nelfinavir (Viracept);
  • an antifungal medication such as itraconazole (Sporanox) or ketoconazole (Nizoral);
  • carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenobarbital (Luminal), or phenytoin (Dilantin); or
  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane) or rifabutin (Mycobutin).

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to take Viagra, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect Viagra. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

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