Think that Viagra is the true one and only ED pill that is currently out there? Wrong you are – it’s no more than one out of hundreds of brand names, under which Sildenafil Citrate is marketed. Sildenafil Citrate, in its turn, is one of very, very few meds that actually help against erectile dysfunction. It has been around for a relatively short time – since 1998, to be precise. However, for such a short period of time, it has got a very impressing number of those who have already managed to enjoy its effect to the fullest. Right now there are millions of happy customers out there and it means only one thing. Sildenafil is more than just a drug that will keep you and your sexual partner happy. It is an integral part of our life and world now. Similar to other meds that really managed to change the history - like penicillin, insulin and various anesthetics – Sildenafil increases the quality of our lives so much.
So, who is the one we should thank for the development of this wonder pill? Where does Viagra come from, how does it work, whats Viagra’s effect due to and what are its alternatives that are at least worth considering? Read on and we will answer these questions for you.
Like it often happens in pharmaceutical research industry, the outstanding effect that Sildenafil has in the treatment of erectile dysfunction was uncovered almost by mistake. A group of scientists working for Pfizer were trying to develop a medicine they could use to treat angina and hypertension. They succeeded in a way – the compound they had created did have a little therapeutic effect in the treatment of angina but… There was also one interesting ‘side effect’ reported in the course of laboratory trials. It turned out that Sildenafil was also extremely effective for increasing blood flow towards the patient’s pelvic area and, therefore, for stimulating erection. What a breakthrough that was!
The medication was patented in 1996. Two years later, FDA approved it as the very first orally administered medication used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Is there any need to say that men started sweeping it off the pharmacy counters the very moment it appeared there? Viagra became incredibly popular in virtually no time at all – in 2008 annual sales reached almost $2 billion worldwide. However, due to increasing competition with generic versions of the med, patent expiration and tight race with almost equally famous competitors like Cialis and Levitra, the stunning success of 2008 remains unsurpassed.
Unfortunately (or fortunately for many), what used to be almost a monopoly back in the year 2000 when Viagra occupied 92% of the global market of ED meds, is now facing crisis. In 2007, Viagra’s share of the market was hardly above 50% and nowadays it clearly keeps plunging even lower. Nevertheless, Viagra will most definitely remain the first medication that pops up in your memory when you are asked about possible erectile dysfunction treatments.
The mechanism of action of Sildenafil is based on the fact that it is a PDE5 inhibitor. Doesn’t mean that much to you, unless you are a healthcare professional, right? Well, let us put it the simple way. PDE5 is a substance that degrades an enzyme in your body responsible for stimulating an erection. Sildenafil inhibits the effect of PDE5, the levels of that enzyme stay normal in your blood, it results in relaxation of muscles in your penis and, as more blood flows into it freely, you get a perfect natural erection. Exactly the erection you have been dreaming of for quite a while lately. That’s it, as simple as that.
That’s another very important question – about as important as ‘what is Viagra?’ Remember that only when you administer Viagra the right way, in full accordance with all of the guidelines, you will be able to experience its wonderful effect. There are many things that can go wrong, so don’t underestimate the importance of the instructions.
Viagra should ALWAYS be taken quite some time before the expected sexual intercourse. It takes between 30 and 120 minutes for a sufficient amount of Sildenafil to enter your bloodstream resulting in a healthy erection. It’s best to take it on an empty stomach because certain foods, especially fatty ones, can slow down the absorption of the medication leaving you without the erection you needed so badly. Besides, try to avoid alcohol and grapefruit and grapefruit juice when on Viagra too – these don’t mix together too well, which results in increased levels of Sildenafil in your blood and may cause serious side effects.
And the last though definitely not least... Don’t take Viagra together with other ED meds or together with nitrite preparations used in the treatment of angina (chest pain). Don’t overdose too – a proper dose will be prescribed to you by your doctor but the main rule is simple: don’t take more than 100 mg of Sildenafil within 24 hours. This will bring your chances of suffering from side effects down very low.
In most of the cases you will be recommended to start with a 50 mg pill taken prior to sexual intercourse – not more than once a day. If it works well, you may be advised to stick with 50 mg pills or try 25 mg ones. If it doesn’t, you will also get to try 100 mg ones, which are currently the strongest option for Viagra.
That’s one of the most complicated whos and whys and whats Viagra brings along when you start talking about it. Technically, the authentic brand-name Viagra is manufactured by only one company – the almighty US-based Pfizer. However, there are also lots of other manufacturers that you need to consider – the ones that produce generic Sildenafil-based medications that are almost identical to Viagra and by no means inferior to it. That’s where we run into a much longer list already. Among the most famous manufacturers of generics, I would probably name Indian Ajanta Pharma, Cipla and Sun Pharmaceutical along with US-based Greenstone, Mylan and Watson. The latter, however, specialize in Sildenafil-based meds with very low strengths – those that are probably designed to be the competitors for Viagra’s alternative Revatio used for treating pulmonary arterial hypertension.
Nevertheless, once again, this monopoly doesn’t look like it’s going to last for a long time – Pfizer’s patents for Sildenafil-based medications have already expired in most countries of the world, so more and more competitors appear every here and there biting large chunks of market off from Pfizer.
So, now that we know that Viagra is not the only one out there, it’s time to see, what the alternatives are. Basically, there are two groups of them – generic medications that also have Sildenafil as their active ingredient and brand-name meds using Tadalafil and Vardenafil (Cialis and Levitra). We won’t talk about other alternatives like surgery, traditional methods, herbal medicines and so and so on. Those are plentiful but this article is dedicated solely to medical means of treating erectile dysfunction, so let’s leave it this way.
Okay, talking about the generics… In most of the cases, when produced by a reliable manufacturer and purchased from a reliable drugstore, these work just as well as Viagra does. Plus, at the same time, they are so much cheaper than the genuine pill – up to 10-20 times cheaper, in fact. What also speaks in their favor is the fact that most of them are available for purchase without prescription – at least, in the countries where they are produced and, consequently, online. Of course, using generics is often considered risky by many – but remember that, if you don’t purchase them from shady suppliers, you will be perfectly fine using them.
As for Vardenafil and Tadalafil, we can say that the former of these two is almost identical to Sildenafil. It has somewhat shorter response time and may work for those men, for whom Sildenafil proved to be ineffective – but in the end of the day it’s barely different. Even the prices you can get Vardenafil and Sildenafil at are almost the same. Tadalafil, in its turn, is a completely different medication. It has fewer side effects and offers you a truly astounding duration of action of 17+ hours following the intake. Unfortunately, it is slightly more expensive than Viagra, which might be a problem to some.
Having understood how to use Viagra and what it is after all, you also probably want to know where to get it from. You probably know how most people in the US do it, right? First, they go to the doctor to talk about their sexual problems and concerns, then they get tested for a whole lot of things, then they are finally given the prescription that they can use to buy Viagra from a brick and mortar pharmacy or by mail order. Quite a lengthy way, don’t you feel? Especially when opposed to the way people get it in other countries – simply by ordering it online or buying from a drugstore around the corner. Well, we hope you will be glad to hear that there is a way for you to enjoy free Viagra trade too.
With current booming growth of e-commerce, it would have been weird if Viagra didn’t become available for purchase online. Yes, in the US too – there are both official local pharmacies where you can get Viagra with prescription and international ones where you won’t be asked for any papers whatsoever. Don’t be scared to go for the latter of the two options – there are loads of very reliable Mexican and Canadian pharmacies that will get your Viagra delivered to your door in a blink of an eye and it will be of perfect quality. The same applies to Indian online pharmacies – at least, when it comes to quality of the meds. Fast shipping from the opposite end of the world is something we can only dream of at the moment.
We hope that this little article on what Viagra is, what it is used for and how it is used managed to answer all of your questions. Don’t hesitate to have a look around our site or ask us if you have more. Thanks for reading!