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Viagra FAQ

Q: What is Viagra?

Viagra (sildenafil citrate) is a widely known prescription drug that's used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, or impotency in men. Men who have erectile dysfunction are unable to achieve and maintain a normal erection. Viagra helps increase the flow of blood to the penis, allowing the patient to engage in sexual relations with his partner.

Q: How long has Viagra been sold in the United States?

In 1998, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Pfizer's new drug application for Viagra. Since that time, Viagra has been sold in the United States and has used by millions of men.

Q: Will Viagra protect me against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases?

No, Viagra doesn't protect against the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). If you or your partner is at risk for HIV or other STDs, you should practice "safe sex" and use a condom.

Q: Is Viagra birth control for men?

No, Viagra isn't birth control for men. It only helps men engage in sexual activity. Viagra doesn't protect against pregnancy. If you want to prevent pregnancy, you should make sure that birth control is used.

Q: I've received an email asking me to buy Viagra. Is it legitimate?

A: The email may be a ploy to get you to buy counterfeit Viagra. Under FDA rules, it's illegal to sell counterfeit drugs. In addition, because counterfeit drugs are made without the FDA's approval, they are often dangerous to use.

Q: Is it safe to buy Viagra over the Internet?

It depends. You should never purchase Viagra from an online pharmacy located outside the United States. The FDA prohibits Americans from buying drugs from foreign online pharmacies. In addition, sometimes phantom companies in the United States set up unlicensed online pharmacies. However, if an online pharmacy is U.S. based and is regulated and licensed by a state, it's generally safe to buy a prescription drug. To help consumers, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy provides a list of accredited online pharmacies.

Q: Who shouldn't use Viagra?

You shouldn't use Viagra if you take nitrate medications or use nitrate recreational drugs known as "poppers." Combining Viagra with nitrates can cause serious health consequences. The patient's blood pressure could decrease to unusually low levels. This could cause the patient to become faint or dizzy. In other instances, the patient could suffer a stroke or heart attack.

In addition, you may not be able to take Viagra if you've had a heart attack or suffer from other heart issues. Your doctor generally will only prescribe Viagra after it's been determined that it's safe for you to engage in sexual relations.

Q: What are common side effects associated with Viagra?

Like any other medication, Viagra has side effects. Common side effects include headache, stomachache, and facial flushing - extreme redness of the face. In most instances, these side effects will only last for a few hours. In addition, some men have experienced painful and persistent erections. If you have an erection that continues for more than four hours, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Q: What are serious medical complications associated with Viagra?

There have been reports of men experiencing sudden hearing and vision loss after taking Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs. In some instances, the hearing loss was temporary. In other instances, it was long-term. In addition, hearing loss typically only affected one ear. There has also been concern over sudden vision loss, as it may be associated with the eye disorder non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION). When a patient has NAION, he is at risk for losing his vision permanently.

After reviewing medical data, the FDA hasn't found conclusive evidence that Viagra is the cause of sudden hearing and vision loss. It's possible that these medical conditions are caused by other factors such as aging. Nonetheless, in an abundance of caution, the FDA has mandated that Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs contain warnings in their drug labels about the potential risk for sudden hearing and vision loss. The FDA recommends that if a Viagra patient suffers from sudden hearing loss or vision loss, he should cease taking the drug and see his doctor as soon as possible.

Q: What should I do if I believe I've been harmed by Viagra?

If you believe that you've been harmed by Viagra, you should contact your doctor or hospital for medical care. In addition, you may want to consider consulting with an attorney to discuss your legal options. Under product liability law, drug manufacturers and sellers have a duty to protect consumers from unsafe and defective products. If an unreasonably dangerous and defective drug harms a consumer, the drug manufacturer and sellers can be held liable for the resulting injuries. If the injured consumer wins his case, a jury could award him damages for lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.

Q: How do I determine whether I should file a lawsuit?

The potential dangers of viagra and many other medications for erectile dysfunction are well known, so there are plenty of products liability attorneys who can help you. If you have suffered hearing or vision loss, or any other serious side effects, you may want to file a claim. Find out whether you have a valid legal claim by having an attorney analyze your case free of charge. A product liability attorney will be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your claim and advise you on a course of action.

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