It has been 10 years since a blue pill containing sildenafil citrate triggered off a revolution in the bedroom. But, was it really a boon or has it simply opened another Pandora’s Box?
They say that love is the answer, but only if you’re ready for the right question. Until then, it is sex that otherwise raises some pretty interesting questions. This is especially so for medical professionals over the years – where looking after the ill and to make them better was our sole aim. Then came Viagra, which changed the medical landscape in a staggering manner. It was a cure that was charged with controversy because by treating the underlying ailment, it also meant a tremendous lifestyle change fraught with moral implications.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is an even more outrageous subject. Even in Western society, this has always been a skeleton hidden in the very back of the closet for a lot of men. Who can bring themselves to admit that they have a problem with their manhood?
Erectile dysfunction as its name suggests is the inability to develop or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual achievement. Causes range from mild cardiovascular disease and diabetes, neurological problems, hormonal insufficiencies such as hypogonadism and drug side effects.
However, there are also significant studies that prove psychological and relational issues also directly contribute to erectile dysfunction. Psychological impotence happens when an erection or penetration fails due to emotional issues rather than physical impossibilities.
Known as the accidental pill, Viagra or sildenafil citrate was discovered by a group of chemists at Pfizer, an American pharmaceutical giant. Initial research was to find a treatment for hypertension ( high blood pressure ) and angina pectoris ( severe chest pain or heart disease ).
However, the end result was this little blue pill which was found to bring about a rather happy side effect instead; creating mile penile erections.
Realizing the potential of such a drug, the pill was launched as an answer for erectile dysfunction and not angina. The drug was patented in 1996 and approved for administration later in 1998. And so, Viagra became the first oral treatment approved to treat erectile dysfunction.
Since then, Viagra has become such a phenomenon that its brand name is the second most recognizable name worldwide, after the drink Coca Cola. Globally, six tablets of this little blue pill are prescribed every minute. It’s everywhere! People want it, and perhaps, people do need it.
Viagra and drugs similar to it, for example Cialis and Levitra, may be prescription drugs but the availability and convenience of the cyber-world has made it available to basically every person alive.
Facts and myths
But seriously, do pills really work? Abuse comes when there’s misuse, so let’s look at the facts and fiction behind this potent pill.
· Viagra for ED and not just D ( Desire )
Viagra works to correct and assist in erections. It is not recreational drug, nor a party drug. Whatever one may want to call it, Viagra is, in very layman terms, medication. So, please treat it as such.
· Viagra was, is and will never be, an immortality pill
For those who think that it’s a fountain of youth, delude yourself no more. Viagra will not make a person 21 again. If you’re a normal 45-year old man, and you can attain an erection and have intercourse without any chemical aid, there’s no reason to take this pill. Please don’t confuse this medication with aphrodisiacs. It is not a magic wand, magic seed or magic pill.
· Viagra is no Energizer bunny
An instant erection after taking Viagra does not happen. The drug allows an erection to result following stimulation. No sexual stimulation equals no erection. Plus, Viagra also does not leave a person with an erection that does not go away. Once ejaculation occurs, the person goes back to his intended state of balance.
· Viagra is not addictive
Just as a person shouldn’t be addicted to paracetamol, you shouldn’t be addicted to Viagra. Some people who have been addicted to the results of Viagra have confused the addiction. But, let me stress that under no circumstances does Viagra cause a ‘natural’ addiction unless it’s self-induced.
Scientifically, sildenafil citrate works to release a certain amount of nitric oxide in the corpus area of the penis. This in turn results in an increased level of cyclic guanosine monophosphate which leads to a relaxation of the muscle, increase inflow of blood and erection of the penis.
Most importantly, sildenafil acts a competitive binding agent of PDE5 in the corpus cavernosum, resulting in more cyclic guanosine monophosphate and better erections. Medical terms aside, sexual stimulation remains an important part in the achievement of true satisfaction.
Still, Viagra has also been found to be effective in treating cases of the rare disease pulmonary arterial hypertension. The pill will acts to relax the arterial resistance and pressure, which reduces the workload and pressure of the right ventricle of the heart – ultimately improving symptoms of right-sided heart failure.
On a lighter and not quite related note, the little blue pill has also been known to prevent flowers from wilting. So yes, pop a tablet in that vase of roses and you’ll see the flowers lasting longer.
Side effects of sildenafil include reports of headache, flushing, dyspepsia, nasal congestion and impaired vision including photophobia and blurred vision. Some users have also complained of a blue tinge in vision, blurriness and loss of peripheral vision.
While certain conservative group are constantly pointing out the social and cultural implications of this drug, it remains a fact that Viagra is already the success it is today. Taken appropriately, Viagra is certain to bring about much improvements and enjoyment in the bedroom.
As with all drugs and even decisions in life, there are both sides to the coin. So, despite the rants of opposition groups, Viagra, in the hearts of pharmaceutical chemists and doctors alike, was never meant to delude or destroy, but to recreate that spark that might have been lost so long in the bedroom.