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    What is Viagra Connect?

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      In November 2017, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced that, as of spring 2018, Viagra would become available to buy over the counter in high street pharmacies. As detailed here, the decision was made following the development of Viagra Connect, which was found to be safe as a non-prescription treatment.

      This is good news for men with ED who up until this point, have only been able to obtain Viagra with a prescription from their GP or through a prescription service such as Online Doctor. However, it’s likely that some men affected by the condition may be curious or even concerned about the differences between prescription Viagra and over-the-counter Viagra Connect.

      If you’re considering purchasing Viagra Connect, we've taken a look into Viagra Connect, which will hopefully help you decide what is best for you and you’d like to know how it compares to prescription Viagra. 

      The active ingredient

      The first thing to know about Viagra Connect is that it contains the same active ingredient as Viagra, sildenafil citrate. Sildenafil is a PDE-5 inhibitor and works by temporarily increasing blood flow to the penis, which allows you to achieve an erection and maintain it during sex.

      Because Viagra and Viagra Connect both contain sildenafil, they work in the same way.

      The dosage

      The only key difference between Viagra and Viagra Connect is the dosage. As you’ll see from visiting the Online Doctor Viagra Clinic, you can currently obtain prescription Viagra in dosages of 25mg, 50mg and 100mg (in pack sizes of 4 to 16 tablets). By contrast, Viagra Connect will only be available in a dosage of 50mg (in pack sizes of 4 to 16 tablets).

      For most men, this will not be an issue, as 50mg is the most popular Viagra dosage and is usually very effective. If you are already taking the higher or lower dose, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor before purchasing Viagra Connect, as it is not normally advised that you alter the dosage size by breaking tablets or taking more than one in 24 hours.

      The instructions

      Viagra and Viagra Connect tablets should be taken in the same way. You should take one tablet around one hour before sex, preferably on an empty stomach. It’s best not to drink more than a couple of units of alcohol or grapefruit juice before taking Viagra/Viagra Connect, as both can interact negatively with the active ingredient. One hour after taking Viagra/Viagra Connect you should be able to achieve an erection, provided you are sexually aroused.

      The effects of Viagra 50mg/Viagra Connect should last for up to four hours (i.e. during this period you should be able to achieve an erection when aroused). If you are seeking a longer period of efficacy you might consider a higher dosage of prescription Viagra, or an alternative ED tablet such as Cialis.

      The side effects

      As with any medicine, Viagra and Viagra Connect are associated with some side effects, the most common of which are very mild. Taking prescription Viagra in a dosage of 50mg or Viagra Connect (which also has a dosage of 50mg) will be associated with the same side effects, so you shouldn’t experience any changes if you switch from one to the other.

      If you have been taking a lower or higher dose of prescription Viagra (e.g. 25mg or 100mg), you may experience a change if you then begin taking Viagra Connect. This is because higher dosages can cause stronger side effects. For this reason, you should speak to your doctor before switching to Viagra Connect to ensure your safety.

      Side effects which can result from taking Viagra/Viagra Connect include headache, blocked nose, indigestion, facial flushing, dizziness and nausea.

      Why is Viagra Connect being made available over the counter?

      The decision to roll out Viagra Connect came “following a reassuring assessment of the safety of the Viagra Connect, advice from the Commission on Human Medicines, and a public consultation earlier this year with positive outcome.”

      It’s hoped that this move will encourage more men experiencing erectile dysfunction to seek medical help. Despite increasing awareness about the condition, many men still feel embarrassed about visiting a doctor to discuss the problem and seek treatment.

      This is problematic because erectile dysfunction is very often a symptom of another condition, when a man visits his doctor with ED, it can help lead to the diagnosis of the underlying condition. Feeling too embarrassed to visit a GP or not having the time to book an appointment means that many men may be missing out on this vital health check.

      It is also believed that a worrying number of men with ED are sourcing Viagra and other ED tablets illegally over the internet; in the past five years, investigators from the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency have seized more than £50 million of unlicensed and counterfeit medicines. When obtained illegally it is impossible to tell whether an ED treatment is genuine, and – even if it is – whether it is safe to take.

      By making it easier to obtain Viagra in a pharmacy, men with ED will have safe access to the medicine they need, and the opportunity to discuss their health problems with a medical professional.

      Taking Viagra Connect safely

      If you have been taking prescription Viagra you should be able to safely transition to Viagra Connect, provided you have been taking a dosage of 50mg. If you are new to Viagra, you may want to speak to your GP about your options first.
      Viagra cannot be taken by certain men, including those with:

      • A history/family history of eye problems/sight issues
      • Sickle-cell anaemia, multiple myeloma or leukaemia
      • A history of kidney or liver problems
      • Certain heart/cardiovascular conditions
      • Conditions that require medications such as alpha blockers and nitrates

      Before getting Viagra Connect, the pharmacist will make sure it is safe for you to take. However, it is still important to read the product information leaflet accompanying the medicine and to take it as instructed.

      Obtaining Viagra from Online Doctor

      For men who would prefer to obtain their ED medication without speaking to someone face to face, there’s the Online Doctor erectile dysfunction clinic. We can prescribe seven different ED treatments in a range of dosages, as well as a Combo Pack which lets you try three different tablets.

      All you have to do to order your medication is fill out a short, confidential questionnaire, which is checked by one of our doctors to ensure safety. Once your order has been approved by a doctor, your ED treatment can be delivered or made available to collect at your nearest LloydsPharmacy store.

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      LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

      This service operates in the United Kingdom only

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      LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

      This service operates in the United Kingdom only

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