In March 1998, the FDA approved the use of Viagra, often referred to as “the little blue pill” to treat impotence. In a matter of weeks, over 40,000 Viagra prescriptions had been filled. Today, a number of celebrities, including Michael Douglas and Ashton Kutcher, admit to having used Viagra more than once. So, who really needs Viagra, who is actually taking it, and does it really work?
Who Needs It?
Intended for men struggling with erectile dysfunction, or the inability to achieve and maintain an erection, Viagra is primarily used by men in their early to mid 50’s, according to Pfizer, the drug manufacturer. However, with approximately 40 percent of men in their 40’s also dealing with some degree of erectile dysfunction, Pfizer is now actively marketing to this age group. For example, Rafael Palmeiro, a member of the Texas Rangers, is appearing in ads promoting the drug, at the young age of 37. Essentially, any man who struggles with impotence, whether on a consistent or irregular basis, can benefit from the use of Viagra.
While plenty of men who need Viagra are using it, there are also plenty of users routinely taking it, despite the fact they don’t actually need it. Men, as young as their early 20s, are taking Viagra in an effort to enhance their sexual performance, as well as to decrease how long it takes them to recover after sex and get ready for another round. Referred to as the “refractory period”, it usually takes around 20 minutes or longer for a man to recover, but Viagra shorten this period of time to approximately 10 minutes. Unfortunately, the recreational use of Viagra is more likely to result in a psychological dependence that makes it almost impossible to achieve an erection without it as men become older.
Does Viagra Really Work?
For many men (and women), this is the most important question. The truth is that yes, Viagra does work for the majority of men who try it. Between 70 and 85 percent of men with ED caused by the side effects of medications, physical factors, and even psychological factors, such as anxiety, find that Viagra works very well for them. It is important to note that Viagra, as well as other ED drugs, will not get an erection if they are not aroused or interested in sex. Essentially, while Viagra is not an aphrodisiac, there is a pretty good chance that it will work if a man has a desire to have sex.
Potential Side Effects
Let’s take a quick look at the potential side effects associated with the long term use of Viagra. Interestingly, hearing loss, as well as temporary vision loss and double vision are not uncommon. Viagra can also increase the incidence of gastric reflux and other intestinal problems, such as diarrhea. Finally, cardiomyopathy, irregular heartbeat, and heart palpitations have been reported.
For thousands, if not millions of men, Viagra has had a positive impact on their sexual health. Could it benefit your relationship?