Can Viagra Cause Priapism?

Yes, Viagra can cause priapism. Generic names of Viagra is sildenafil citrate. It is a vasoactive erectile drug, which is usually prescribes for erectile dysfunction in males. Sildenafil is also used in other conditions such as in pulmonary hypertension.

Priapism is one of the side effects of Viagra. However, it is a rare side effect which affects up to 1 in 1,000 people.

Can Viagra Cause Priapism?

Most of the cases with priapism due to Viagra have got priapism due to following reasons-

  • Very high dose e.g. more than 100 mg per day.
  • When used for recreational purposes.
  • When taken without a medical prescription over-the-counter.
  • Priapism can follow with simultaneous use of oral drugs and intravenous injections of sildenafil.
  • Concurrent use of drugs such as erythromycin, ketoconazole and itraconazole, HIV protease inhibitors and cimetidine with Viagra is associated with increased blood levels of Viagra.
  • Chronic liver disease can interfere with the metabolism of Viagra and increase blood levels of Viagra.
  • When taken when disease like sickle cell disease, leukemia, multiple myeloma are present. These disease are hematological causes of priapism when Viagra is taken when these disease are present it can increased the risk of getting priapism.

The ability to achieve penile erection depends on several factors, relaxation of smooth muscles of the penis (corpus cavernosum), increased arterial blood flow and restriction of venous outflow in the penis. During a sexual stimulation the nerves and endothelial cells release nitric oxide (NO) which activates guanylate cyclase which increase the level of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) in the corpus cavernosum. This induces corpus cavernosum smooth muscle relaxation, increased blood flow to the penis, increased intracavernosal pressure. Penile erection occurs with these effects.

Viagra is a selective inhibitor of cGMP-specific phophodiesterase type 5 (pDE5). By inhibiting the breakdown of cGMP, Viagra maintains the natural penile erection process NO-cGMP mechanism following sexual stimulation. Many clinical studies have shown the efficacy of Viagra for men with erectile dysfunction of organic, psychological and mixed organic/psychological. It helps to achieve and maintain the erection until orgasm is achieved.

Viagra Dosage And Pharmacokinetics

Viagra for erectile dysfunction-

  • It should be taken 30 minute to 1 hour before sexual activity for better effect. But it can be taken up to 4 hours before sexual activity.
  • Viagra is available as 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg tablets. The usual recommended initial dose is 50mg. depending on the effectiveness dose can be increased or decreased.
  • Maximum dose per day is 100 mg
  • Viagra is absorbed rapidly with maximum concentration reached within an hour (range 30 minutes to 2 hours).
  • The half-life of Viagra is about 3-5 hours. Drug’s effects expected to be sustained for at least 3 hours following 100 mg dose.

How Can You Prevent Priapism With Viagra?

  • Priapism is a rare side effect of Viagra, however, you all should know there is a possibility of priapism after the usage of Viagra. Therefore if you get a prolong erection which lasts for more than four hours after taking Viagra you should immediately go to a hospital and get the necessary treatment.
  • You should only take Viagra after consulting a doctor and according to the doctor’s prescription only. You should not use it as a recreational drug or increase the dose prescribed on your own.
  • Before taking Viagra you should tell your doctor about other medical conditions and drugs you take.

Summary

Priapism is one of the side effects of Viagra. However, it is quite a rare side effect affects about in 1 in 1000 people. Priapism mainly occurs when Viagra is taken in high doses (>100mg per day), used as a recreational drug, when taken over the counter, when used simultaneously with intravenous injections, people with chronic liver disease, sickle cell disease, leukemia, multiple myeloma and when taken with certain drugs like erythromycin cimetidine, ketoconazole. Therefore always take Viagra after consulting a doctor and according to the doctor’s prescription. If you get an erection more than 4 hours seek immediate medical advice.

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