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    The side effects of Viagra

    On this page
    1. Is Viagra bad for you? 
    2. The most common side effects of Viagra 
    3. Long term side effects of Viagra 
    4. Treatment for erectile dysfunction

    Reviewed by our clinical team

    Side effects of Viagra

    Viagra is the most common form of treatment for erectile dysfunction, otherwise known as impotence. Affectionately referred to as ‘the blue pill’, this medication is widely used by men of all ages around the world, however not everyone is able to reap its benefits.

    There are a few occasions where Viagra is not safe to take - or where an alternative treatment may suit you better. If you’re worried about the side effects or long term risks of Viagra, read on for our go-to guide. 

    Is Viagra bad for you? 

    In general, Viagra isn’t bad for you. But like all medicine, it can cause both common and serious side effects.  

    Viagra is a widely known erectile dysfunction (ED) medicine that works by increasing the blood flow to the penis, therefore helping to achieve an erection. It can be very effective, but isn’t suitable for everyone, so it’s important to be assessed by a clinician before getting a prescription.

    If you have low blood pressure, heart problems, an eye disease such as retinitis pigmentosa, are taking certain medications such as nitrates or are allergic to sildenafil citrate, then it is not safe to take Viagra. It should also never be taken recreationally - Viagra will only work for ED, not a low libido.

    Learn more about how Viagra works and whether it’s right for you. If you have any of the above conditions, there are many alternatives that could be a better option such as Levitra, Cialis and Spedra

    You should also make sure you request Viagra from a trustworthy and regulated online pharmacy to avoid being sold unlicensed products. There is a record amount of fake Viagra being sold online which has not undergone safety tests and could therefore be dangerous to consume.

    The most common side effects of Viagra 

    The majority of people don’t experience side effects when taking Viagra bought from a trusted source, such as LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor. However, as with all types of medication, there can be some risks. The below side effects are most common and happen in more than 1 in 100 people

    Headaches 

    Headaches are one of the more common side effects of Viagra, however they typically don’t last longer than a week after taking the medication. Avoiding alcohol and drinking plenty of water can help. If your headaches are severe or don’t go away, talk to a doctor. 

    Nausea 

    Feeling sick or nauseous can happen whilst taking Viagra. Try taking your tablet with a snack or after a meal and keep hydrated throughout the day. It can also help to limit spicy or rich food that may heighten your nausea. 

    Hot flushes 

    Flushing can happen for the first few days after taking Viagra. It might help to avoid alcoholic and caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee during this time - instead cool yourself down with colder beverages. Speak to your doctor if the hot flushes don’t go away. 

    Indigestion 

    Indigestion and acid reflux can be unpleasant so make sure you speak to a doctor if the side effects are uncomfortable. An antacid may initially help - you can find them over the counter at most pharmacies and shops. 

    Blocked nose 

    Nasal sprays and vapour rubs can help relieve congestion caused by Viagra. Talk to a pharmacist if you’re not sure which is best for you. 

    Dizziness 

    If you feel dizzy, lightheaded or faint whilst taking Viagra then you must avoid driving, cycling and using tools. Lie down or stay seated until the dizziness passes. If this doesn’t settle you should contact a doctor.   

    These side effects are more common in people who take higher doses of Viagra. Find out more about 50mg vs 100mg of Sildenafil. You can always ask for a lower dose if side effects are causing you discomfort. 

    Long term side effects of Viagra 

    Many men may take Viagra for an extended period of time to treat erectile dysfunction. There can therefore be a number of long term side effects that may occur. Whilst these risks aren’t common, they are serious and it’s therefore always important to speak to your doctor before taking Viagra. 

    Sensory 

    Various visual and auditory side effects have been reported alongside the long term use of Viagra. A study in 2011 supported claims that Viagra may induce this disabling side effect.  

    There have also been rare cases of men developing nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) after taking Viagra, an eye condition which can cause which can cause a sudden, often painless, loss of vision usually in one eye.  

    Cerebrovascular/Cardiovascular 

    In very rare cases, Viagra can cause short term side effects such as strokes and heart attacks. This is more common in men who have a prior history of heart problems such as angina, heart failure or irregular heartbeats. 

    However, a new study from Sweden counters this evidence, claiming that Viagra could in fact reduce the risk of further heart attacks in men with diagnosed cardiovascular disease. This could be because the medication reduces the patients’ blood pressure (a common cause of erectile dysfunction and a risk factor for heart disease), therefore more research is needed to confirm this development. 

    If you have a heart condition or low blood pressure, speak to a clinician to find out if Viagra is safe for you. 

    Gastrointestinal  

    Long term usage of Viagra has been shown to cause dyspepsia (indigestion) and can lead to stomach upset such as diarrhoea, gastritis, vomiting and abdominal pain.

    Erectile dysfunction is really common. But thankfully there are plenty of easy treatments that can help. Whilst some people may experience side effects of Viagra, these are often outweighed by the benefits of the medication.

    Treatment for erectile dysfunction

    Our simple, discreet subscription service makes it super easy to get treatment for erectile dysfunction. We ask you to complete a consultation so our clinicians can make sure you're safe to take erectile dysfunction treatment, and if you are, it can be delivered to your door without having to see a doctor face-to-face. From Viagra to other medication, you can sign up and save 15% every time you order. 

    Or if you don't want a subscription, you can use our ED clinic to order on-off treatments too. 

    Looking for erectile dysfunction treatment?

    Use our online service


    References

    https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/sildenafil-viagra/side-effects-of-sildenafil/ 
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21520123/
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1448698/
    https://www.jacc.org/doi/10.1016/j.jacc.2021.02.021  

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