Generic Name: Sildenafil
Trade Names: Viagra®
How is this drug used? Viagra is used to treat erectile dysfunction in men. Erectile dysfunction (ED) involves difficulty getting or keeping an erection.
What is the mechanism of action? When a man is sexually excited, Viagra can help the penis fill with enough blood to cause an erection. Viagra treats—but does not cure—erectile dysfunction. A man must be sexually excited in order to benefit from Viagra; the pill alone does not cause an erection.
How is Viagra given (administered)? Viagra is taken orally (by mouth) about one hour prior to sex.
How are patients monitored? Patients will need to evaluated by their physician before starting treatment with Viagra. A thorough medical examination is necessary in order to diagnose erectile dysfunction. An examination is also necessary in order to determine whether a man is healthy enough for sexual activity and whether he can safely take Viagra. Sexual activity may not be advisable for men with heart problems.
What are the most common side effects of treatment with Viagra?
Less common side effects include temporary changes in color vision, eye sensitivity to light, or blurred vision.
What are some of the potentially serious side effects of treatment with Viagra?
This is not a complete list of side effects. Some patients may experience other side effects that are not listed here. Patients may wish to discuss with their physician the other less common side effects of this drug, some of which may be serious.
Some side effects may require medical attention. Other side effects do not require medical attention and may go away during treatment. Patients should check with their physician about any side effects that continue or are bothersome.
What can patients do to help alleviate or prevent discomfort and side effects?
Are there any special precautions patients should be aware of before starting treatment?
When should patients notify their physician?
Tell your doctor if you experience any side effects that bother you or don’t go away. Also seek immediate medical care if have an erection that lasts for longer than four hours (an erection that lasts for too long can permanently damage the penis); if you have chest pain, dizziness, or nausea during sex; or if you experience a sudden loss or decrease of vision or hearing.
What is a package insert?
A package insert is required by the FDA and contains a summary of the essential scientific information needed for the safe and effective use of the drug for healthcare providers and consumers. A package insert typically includes information regarding specific indications, administration schedules, dosing, side effects, contraindications, results from some clinical trials, chemical structure, pharmacokinetics and metabolism of the specific drug. By carefully reviewing the package insert, you will get the most complete and current information about how to safely use this drug. If you do not have the package insert for the drug you are using, your pharmacist or physician may be able to provide you with a copy.
Copyright © 2013 CancerConnect Last updated 02/13.
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