What is Viagra?

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More than just a medication to resolve erectile dysfunction and pulmonary hypertension, Viagra has become a well-known cultural phenomenon in popular culture. In fact, its cultural aspect seems to have masked its medical aspect, leading to various myths and misunderstandings. This is what Viagra really is.

Viagra: how does it work?

Viagra, the brand name of the drug sildenafil, is a product with a surprising history. Originally developed by Pfizer scientists in the late 1980s, sildenafil was intended to treat cardiovascular problems. However, during clinical trials, an unexpected side effect gained attention: participants reported improved erections. Recognizing its potential, Pfizer shifted its focus, leading to the birth of Viagra in 1998.

Since then, Viagra has been presented in the form of tablets to be taken orally. In most cases, it should be taken about an hour before sexual activity, but it can be taken 30 minutes to 4 hours before. For the treatment of erectile dysfunction, the active ingredient in Viagra is sildenafil citrate, a powerful vasodilator that improves blood flow to specific regions of the body. The drug works primarily by inhibiting an enzyme called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5), leading to increased levels of cyclic guanosine monophosphate.

This biochemical cascade relaxes the smooth muscles and dilates the blood vessels of the penis, facilitating the flow of blood needed to achieve and maintain an erection. On the other hand, it is important to understand that Viagra does not permanently cure erectile dysfunction. Instead, it is a temporary, on-demand help that allows those suffering from these disorders to have an improved ability to get and maintain erections, enabling successful sexual relations.

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A multifaceted medicine

It is also interesting to know that while the primary indication and use of Viagra revolves around erectile dysfunction, ongoing research has explored its potential applications beyond the realm of sexual health. Studies have particularly looked at its effectiveness in treating conditions such as pulmonary arterial hypertension, but also for its potential role in improving exercise capacity at high altitudes.

Beyond the help it provides as a medication, the arrival of Viagra has sparked more open conversations about sexual health and aging, allowing men to seek help for a problem up to then taboo. Simply put, this drug challenged societal norms and paved the way for a more frank and inclusive dialogue about intimacy and sexual well-being. However, its popularity has also led to abuse. Concerns have notably been raised about its use as a recreational drug, its potential health risks, and its impact on unrealistic expectations in intimate relationships.

Besides, here are 5 ways to have better sex.

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