Viagra – the drug that changed the world

Pack of Viagra

Viagra was developed and is marketed by the Pfizer pharmaceutical company and has been available for use since 1998. The active ingredient is Sildenafil citrate, a PDE5 inhibitor, which increases the flow of blood to the penis to aid men suffering from erectile dysfunction (impotence) achieve and maintain an erection.

Since it was introduced to the market in 1998 the rise of Viagra has been a worldwide phenomenon, helping millions of men suffering from erectile dysfunction and also spawning similar drugs and many third world counterfeit suppliers.

It was the drug that transformed the sexual landscape. Before Viagra, impotence meant shame and often the collapse of all but the most committed relationships. The discovery of its startling ability to restore men’s faded sexual function triggered a social revolution as monumental as that caused by the contraceptive pill.

Ten years on: it’s time to count the cost of the Viagra revolution, The Guardian, 24 February 2008

More recently there has been evidence of a slowdown in this phenomenon:

The market for Viagra-type drugs has stalled in the United States. Last year the total number of prescriptions for so-called ED drugs declined by 5 percent after growing just 1 percent annually the previous four years.

Honeymoon With Viagra Could Be Over, Say Doctors, ABC News, 9 June 2011

Generic Viagra

Viagra was under patent until June 2013, after which several drug manufacturers marketed UK licensed sildenafil at much lower cost than Pfizer branded Viagra.

Buying Viagra online on prescription

How to order

Viagra tablets are prescription only medicine, meaning a prescription will need to be issued in your name by a doctor or other health professional.

Dr Fox provides Viagra online on prescription following an online medical questionnaire – tablets are posted from a GPhC registered pharmacy direct to the customer.

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is used to describe the condition when a man has difficulty getting or maintaining an erection due to lack of blood flow to the penis, preventing them from having full intercourse.

ED also means impotence but the term is thought to be less embarrassing for sufferers and a more encompassing description of the condition.

Erectile dysfunction is quite common and research has shown that more than half of men over 40 have some difficulty getting or maintaining an erection. Age is a factor as are the use of other medications, general health and lifestyle choices.

Erectile dysfunction is not just a “part of ageing” that you need to accept – it’s a genuine medical condition and should be treated as such. In most cases, ED won’t improve without treatment.

Causes of ED

  • Age
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Depression
  • Spinal cord injury

Viagra to treat Erectile Dysfunction

Viagra has been widely used by men successfully for erectile dysfunction since 1998 and has a proven safety record, although there are safety issues that should be observed.

Dosage

Viagra tablets are available in several strengths:

  • Viagra 25mg tablets
  • Viagra 50mg tablets
  • Viagra 100mg tablets

Effects of Viagra

If you have ED, Viagra can help improve your ability to:

  • Get an erection
  • Achieve harder erections
  • Maintain erections longer

The effects of Viagra can last for 4-6 hours and should allow men to achieve an erection when stimulated. A continuous erection for more than 4 hours requires medical attention. It should not be taken more than once in any 24 hour period.

Alternatives to Viagra

Other tablets used to treat ED are:

  • Cialis
  • Levitra
  • Spedra

There are also alternatives to tablets, such as Vitaros cream.

Cost of ED treatment

Our price comparison research has shown Dr Fox is significantly cheaper than other UK regulated online clinics supplying Viagra. Patients should know the cost of treatment before undertaking a medical consultation.

How Viagra was discovered

Viagra – the fastest selling drug of all time – was discovered by accident:

It started life as plain old UK92480, a new treatment for angina, a heart condition that constricts the vessels that supply the heart with blood.

The drug company Pfizer was looking for something that would relax these blood vessels, however its trials in people were disappointing.

Pfizer were about to abandon further trials when the trial volunteers started coming back and reporting an unusual side effect – lots of erections.

From Viagra and other drugs discovered by accident (BBC, 20 January 2010).

Ubiquity of Viagra

Viagra was such a global success the name is widely-used in mainstream media:

Viagra … is the world’s most ubiquitous medical brand name. Type it into Google and a search throws up more than four million references: 10 times more than Prozac and 20 times as many as Botox, its nearest competitors.

The drug has also spawned its own catalogue of jokes and become a byword for efficacy and impact. Nicole Kidman’s nude scene in the play The Blue Room was famously described as ‘pure theatrical Viagra’, for example, while in the US the Survivor TV series was labelled ‘CBS’s Viagra’, a magic pill that made the network virile.

Ten years on: it’s time to count the cost of the Viagra revolution, The Guardian, 24 February 2008

The product is now being stocked in major supermarkets and issued under guidance by pharmacists: Tesco to sell ‘cut-price’ Viagra.

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