Viagra is a prescription medication used to treat impotence. It works by helping men get and keep an erection when they are sexually aroused. Just taking the medicine doesn’t cause an erection. The man will still need to be in a situation that would normally produce arousal.

Does Viagra work for everyone?

No, but Viagra is a popular first choice for treatment because it is a pill. If it doesn’t work for you, there are other treatment regimens available from your doctor.

How does Viagra Works?

Viagra helps many men get an erection in response to sexual stimulation.
When a man is sexually aroused, Viagra helps the blood vessels of his penis fill with enough blood to cause an erection. After the sexual encounter, the erection goes away.

Who can’t use Viagra?

If your heart is not healthy enough for the increased activity of sexual intercourse, you cannot take Viagra. If you are on any nitrates, common medications used to treat heart disease, you should never take Viagra. The combination could cause a heart attack. Nitrates are also found in recreational drugs such as amyl nitrate or nitrite (“poppers”).

What does Your Doctor needs to know?

Be sure to tell your doctor if you:

  • have ever had any heart problems or blood pressure problems
  • have ever had any kidney, liver, stomach or blood problems
  • Any drug allergies and all medications you take
  • more than 4 hours.

 

What is Yohimbine?

Yohimbine is a medication derived from the bark of Rubiaceae and related trees. It is thought that it works by increasing the amount of blood that flows into the penis and blocking blood outflow. It also is a mild mood elevator.

What do I need to look for when starting Yohimbine?

It may take several weeks for Yohimbine to start to work. Make sure you continue on your medication and do not change the dose. If you have any cardiac symptoms with sexual activity after starting the drug, consult your doctor immediately.

What are common side effects of Yohimbine that are not worrisome unless persistent?

Dizziness, flushing, headache, irritability, nausea, nervousness, sweating and tremor may be experienced when initiating treatment. These symptoms are usually mild. Report them to your doctor if they persist or become bothersome over the course of treatment.

The mechanics of obtaining an erection are complex. Many factors can affect a man’s performance. Erectile dysfunction may be part of the aging process. Physical and emotional stress can affect the ability to obtain an erection. Fatigue certainly contributes to the problem, as do other health problems and certain medications. Diabetes, hypertension and heart disease are common contributors to sexual dysfunction because of the medications used to treat these conditions and because of the effect these diseases can have on blood flow to the penis. Other common factors that may contribute to sexual dysfunction are the use of tobacco products, the consumption of alcohol, and the use of mind-altering drugs.

There are many treatments for impotence. Having sex in a relaxing setting with adequate foreplay helps many men. Decreasing or eliminating alcohol and tobacco use will certainly help. If the impotence is caused by prescription medications, other medications may be available that do not have sexual dysfunction as a side effect. Many herbal products claim to help impotence. Of them, gingseng is probably the best known. To learn more about these, the National Institutes of Health has a searchable database on dietary supplements and herbal treatments.

Several prescription products are also available.

Caverject (alprostadil) is injected into the penis prior to sex. It is also available in a suppository form that is inserted into the urethra. An erection is produced within minutes of injection or insertion. Yohimbine is a pill that has been available since 1938. It must be taken several times during the day and can take up to three weeks to start working. In 1998 a faster acting, use-when-needed agent became available. Viagra (sildenafil) is a pill that is swallowed about an hour before sex is planned.

Viagra alone does not cause an erection. A man will only get an erection when he is sexually aroused or stimulated. Viagra must not be used by anyone taking nitrates and should not be used by anyone whose heart is not b enough for sex. As with all prescription medications, a physician must be consulted. Your physician will help you decide what is best for your sexual dysfunction problem.

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