What is Viagra?
It is unlikely that you never heard about magic drug Viagra. Most of your filtered spam in the email is attributed to promotion of this substance. You may not need it or you may be skeptical on the effectiveness, but both scientific research and consumers’ feedback prove undoubtfully that it works and allows more adult men to enjoy sexual life even with significant issues with sexual performance.
Viagra (sildenafil) is an oral medication taken to resolve problems of erectile dysfunction. This drug helps men maintain sexuality to build or continue a satisfying physical intimacy. This drug is available in three different doses, 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg. The drug will work most quickly when taken on an empty stomach or after consuming a meal that is low in fat.
Viagra will work to generate a physical response to arousal. The drug typically starts working within 30 minutes of when it is taken. Arousal must occur for the Viagra to start working. This quick time frame for action of the drug allows for spontaneity in romantic settings, when physical intimacy is desired.
Once the drug begins working, Viagra will help you to maintain sexual arousal for 4 hours. Thus, physical intimacy does not have to be rushed through a small time frame before the drug wears off. While on Viagra, a couple will have enough time for a fulfilling, intimate encounter that is not frantic due to time constraints.
The erection created with help from Viagra will diminish naturally once sexual activity is complete. The ebb of arousal occurs normally without any special effort after sexual activity during Viagra use.
However, while main therapeutic effect of Viagra is tremendous by itself, it is not limited by the sexual performance. In this post, we will review several other positive “side effects” of this drug.
The latest study performed at Sao Paulo University Medical School in Brazil, confirmed that Viagra improved health for male patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) and a history of erectile dysfunctions (ED).
Sildenafil blocks the activity of the enzyme phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5), which is active in multiple tissues and cells. The effects of PDE5 inhibition include increased production of nitric oxide, which is associated with improved function of the heart and blood vessels. The cardiovascular effects of sildenafil have naturally created some concern that the drug might be harmful in men with CHF. However, the study results proved an opposite.
Most of the men had moderate or severe heart failure, and each had been referred for treatment of ED. On separate days, the men underwent two exercise treadmill tests, which consisted of a six-minute walk and a maximal exercise test. About an hour before the first test, the men received either 50 milligrams of sildenafil or a placebo. On the second day, the men received the opposite treatment (sildenafil or placebo) before exercise.
Those treated with sildenafil had significantly lower blood pressure and heart rate and improvement in measures of oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production compared with those on placebo. Total exercise time also increased significantly. A separate evaluation showed that treatment with sildenafil was associated with higher scores on a questionnaire related to erectile function.
For millions who suffer from depression, the sexual side effects of many antidepressants can make treatment plan extremely difficult to stick to. But a new study shows that more than half of the men who took Viagra (sildenafil) in addition to their prescribed antidepressant had a significant improvement in sexual function.
Researchers say that sexual dysfunction occurs in about 30% to 70% of people who take the most frequently prescribed antidepressants known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, and others). The effects may include problems with sexual desire or libido, arousal, and orgasm. The sexual side effects can become so bothersome that the study authors say almost 90% of depressed patients who develop these sexual problems stop taking their antidepressants too soon, which can put them at risk for a relapse of depression.
In the study, researchers looked at the effects of taking Viagra before sexual activity among 90 men with an average age of 45 who suffered from sexual dysfunction as a result of their treatment for depression. After six weeks of study, researcher H. George Nurnberg, MD, of the department of psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, and colleagues found that 54.5% of the men who took Viagra had much or very much improved scores on overall sexual function compared with only about 4% of those who did not take the drug.
Researchers say measures of erectile function, arousal, ejaculation, orgasm, and overall sexual satisfaction improved significantly among the men treated with Viagra compared with those who received the placebo.
One of the studies showed that Viagra has strong positive psychological effect on men who take it before intercourse. Their subconscious is saving the memories of their successful and enjoyable sexual intercourse with Viagra, and as a result they are becoming more confident in themselves. This positive experience is very important for men, especially if they had or perceived any difficulties before. The result of such psychological therapy can be amazing. It can even help them getting a natural erection the next time without taking any pills.
One of the recent studies produced very interesting results, showing that Viagra may help the body's immune system fight cancer. Scientists in Germany genetically engineered mice to develop melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and found that when these mice were given Viagra in their drinking water, they lived twice as long as untreated mice.
The drug works because it "wakes up" the immune system to fight cancer, said study researcher Viktor Umansky, an immunologist at the German Cancer Research Center, in Heidelberg.
Researchers from John Hopkins University had discovered in 2006 that Viagra (which is drug manufacturer Pfizer's brand name for sildenafil citrate) boosted the activity of T cells in mice with cancer. T cells are part of the immune system, and they fight tumors. The new study showed how this may work. Most tumors release chemicals that inhibit T cells, but "sildenafil switches off these suppressor cells and wakes up the sleeping T cells," Umansky said. Umansky used mice that were altered to develop malignant melanoma, mimicking the way the cancer develops in people.
The Saarland University researchers have discovered that Viagra may ease symptoms of a circulatory disorder called Raynaud's phenomenon. Raynaud's phenomenon, which affects 3 million to 5 million people worldwide, occurs when cold temperatures or stress cause small blood vessels in the skin to constrict, resulting in numbness, tingling and pain in toes and fingers. In severe cases, there's a risk of ulcerations.
The study compared outcomes in 16 patients with severe Raynaud's, who did not respond to standard treatment with drugs used to help dilate blood vessels. The patients received either Viagra or a placebo for four weeks, and were then switched to the opposite treatment for another four weeks. The conclusion was that Viagra had reduced the frequency and duration of Raynaud's attacks, improved capillary blood flow and helped heal chronic toe and finger ulcerations.
Sildenafil has been shown to be useful for the prevention and treatment of high-altitude pulmonary edema associated with altitude sickness such as that suffered by mountain climbers. While this effect has only recently been discovered, sildenafil is already becoming an accepted treatment for this condition, in particular in situations where the standard treatment of rapid descent has been delayed for some reason.
A team of Argentine scientists made the discovery that Viagra may help to recover 50% faster from Jet Lag, when running tests on hamsters. Interestingly, it only applies when travelling forward through time zones, or east on a plane. The reason for this is mainly the way mammals’ body clocks are regulated by light and dark.
The scientists, from the National University of Quilmes, shifted the light-dark cycle of hamsters six hours forward and monitored the hamsters’ subsequent activity. Typically, the hamsters were more active during the light cycles, running in their hamster wheels, and stopped when the lights went out.
When Viagra injections were used without any changes to the light cycles, the hamsters were no more or less active. When the light cycle was sped up, however, the hamsters were much quicker to adjust when given Viagra.
Dr. Diego Golumbek, who led the research, said the drug seemed to work this way due to a molecule called cGMP. cGMP has a role in setting the body’s time clock, and has higher levels of activity during the day. The Viagra blocks an enzyme that breaks down cGMP, which lets higher levels build up, thereby reducing the time it takes to adjust to the change in light.
You may be surprised but lately Viagra has moved from the bedroom to the locker room. The buzz on the street was that Yankee superstar Roger Clemens had a bottle of Viagra disguised as vitamin pills stashed in his locker. Italian cyclist Andrea Moletta was removed from the Giro d'Italia after police found Viagra in his car. Not surprisingly, the tabloids had a field day following these incidents and charged that legions of athletes in baseball, football, bodybuilding and Olympic sports took Viagra to boost endurance and physical performance. The World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) considered banning Viagra before the Beijing Olympics, but backed off because it had no official evidence that the drug provided a competitive advantage.
A Stanford University study by Ann Friedlander and colleagues published in 2006 triggered the Viagra craze among athletes. The researchers found that Viagra improved cardiovascular capacity during exercise on a stationary bike at a simulated altitude of 12,710 feet but not at sea level. Viagra increased cardiac output (blood pumped by the heart per minute), stroke volume (blood pumped by the heart per heartbeat), and oxygen saturation (percent of red blood cells carrying oxygen). Cycling performance at altitude improved by 15 percent. The drug increased exercise capacity by reducing blood pressure in the lungs, which increases at high altitude.
Note that Viagra has not been scientifically validated for all side uses, and additional research is needed for the dosage recommendation development.
Sources and Additional Information: