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I am 87 years old, with a problem of the prostate gland. Before I met Dr. Baum, I went to the bathroom every 30-60 minutes. After Dr. Baum's treatment on my prostate, I go only 5 times per day and only 1 time at night! You turned my life around. I am so very grateful!

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Viagra, the new oral medication approved by the Federal Drug Association, for the treatment of impotence and one of the most popular drugs in the USA has come under fire lately because of the side effects and possible danger of fatal reactions to the medication. This article will review how Viagra works, the side effects and the precautions for using this exciting new drug.

How does Viagra work?

Viagra does not directly give a man an erection. It works by boosting the natural mechanism that leads to an erection. When a man is sexually aroused, certain smooth muscles around the blood vessels in his penis relax. This allows large amounts of blood to flow into the penis, thus producing an erection. Viagra helps by elevating the levels of the chemical that causes the tissues to relax.

Viagra comes in three strengths, 25, 50, and 100 milligrams. Viagra was tested on thousands of men with varying degrees of impotence. It achieved a success rate of 60-80%, depending on the dosage.

The side-effects of Viagra

In a small number of cases, people who have taken Viagra have complained of headaches, flushing and stomachache. It can also cause some visual problems, including an increased sensitivity to light, blurred vision or an inability to tell the difference between blue and green. Men who are already taking medicines that contain nitrates, such as nitroglycerine, are strongly advised not to use Viagra because the combination of Viagra and nitroglycerin can lower blood pressure to even fatal levels. There are also concerns about its safety following the deaths of 39 American men who have taken the drug.

The US Food and Drug Administration reviewed the deaths and found that there is no evidence Viagra had caused the fatalities. Several of the men were also taking nitroglycerin which is known to cause potentially fatal interactions with Viagra.

Viagra should be considered for use only after a clinical evaluation that involves a physical exam and medical history to confirm a diagnosis of impotence and to assess the appropriateness of Viagra therapy.

Because impotence often is associated with serious medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, a medical exam can be important in identifying potential underlying causes that may themselves require treatment.

There is a degree of cardiovascular risk associated with sexual activity, particularly among older patients with known cardiovascular disease. Because sexual intercourse, like other forms of physical exertion, increases the heart rate as well as the cardiac workload, your doctor may wish to assess your cardiovascular status prior to their resumption of sexual activity or initiation of any treatment for impotence.

What's the bottom line.

Viagra is an effective drug for the treatment of impotence especially when it is used properly under your doctor's recommendations. If you have a problem obtaining or maintaining an erection, you do not take nitroglycerin and you are able to climb to flights of stairs without chest pain, then you are probably candidate for Viagra and can avoid the unpleasant outcomes or side effects. If you would like additional information on Viagra, please call my office.