Viagra Addiction and Abuse


Viagra Addiction and Abuse

Viagra is touted as an oral therapy for the purpose of erectile dysfunction. Viagra is made from the citrate salt from Sildenafil, which is a selective inhibitor that can help to reduce problems relating to erectile dysfunction. Viagra is one of the most popular medications prescribed for this particular purpose, though it is not the only medication that is prescribed for this particular purpose.


Viagra is the name brand for the medication known as Sildenafil Citrate, though another name that is commonly used for this medication is Revatio.

Viagra is typically a blue, rounded diamond tablet that is available in three different dosages: a 25 mg dosage, a 50 mg dosage and a 100 mg dosage. Revatio on the other hand is available as a 20 mg tablet, though it is used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension rather than impotence.

Sildenafil's purpose is to inhibit an enzyme that is known as Phosphodiesterase-5 or PDE5, which is responsible for destroying cGMP. By preventing the destruction of cGMP, Viagra allows for cGMP to accumulate as well as to persist for longer, and the longer that the cGMP is able to persist, the longer the erection will be able to last.

Why is Viagra Prescribed?

Viagra is used only for the alleviation of symptoms relating to erectile dysfunction. Unlike many other types of medications, there are no other uses for which a doctor may prescribe this specific medication. The way that Viagra or Sildenafil works is by relaxing muscles, increasing the blood flow into particular areas of the patient's body, which allows that person to achieve an erection more easily where normally they may have difficulty doing so. It is estimated that erectile dysfunction, ED or impotence currently affects as many as 140 million men around the world, and over half of them are purported to suffer from a physical or medical cause while the rest are said to have a psychogenic or emotional cause.

Medical Causes for Impotence

  • Diabetes
  • Neurological Conditions
  • Circulatory Conditions
  • Urologic Conditions

Erection of the penis is achieved by engorgement with blood, and so the basic mechanism for use of Viagra is to increase blood flow by opening up blood vessels so that erection can be achieved more easily.

Statistics Relating To Viagra

According to studies conducted by Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, serious cardiovascular events and death have both occurred from misuse of Viagra. A total of 1,473 different major adverse events were analyzed, and of those events 522 people experienced death while taking Viagra. This study is an example of why Viagra needs to be taken as directed by a physician as well as why it needs to be taken only by people who are healthy enough to take the medication and not taking anything that may cause an adverse reaction.

How Is Viagra Abused?

According to USA Today, Viagra is being used by younger audiences as a street drug and a thrill pill. Because it is generally easy to acquire, it has become a chosen drug on college campuses, rave parties and in clubs. Unfortunately, it is commonly consumed in conjunction with other drugs as well as alcohol, and this can produce a deadly result. On the black market, Viagra is being purchased for between $25 and $30 for each individual pill.

The basic physiologic mechanism for Viagra has to do with erectile response. In studies where patients either had an organic erectile dysfunction or a psychogenic erectile dysfunction, Viagra was able to improve erections through sexual stimulation based on an objective measurement both of hardness of the erection and duration of the erection. Most of the studies that have been held regarding the effectiveness of Viagra have shown a proven difference in the group taking the Viagra and the group taking the placebo. Viagra has also been used in treating pulmonary heart issues, but it is not used to treat both of these conditions at once.

Viagra Abuse Treatment Options

The first step to eliminating an addiction to Viagra is to eliminate the use of the drug for those that are overusing it or otherwise abusing it. Weaning the body off of the drug slowly is essential in making sure that there are no withdrawal symptoms or adverse effects.

The second part of the treatment process is behavioral modifications, because drug addictions and abuse problems are both physical and mental or emotional in nature. Treating both sides of the addiction is the best way to make sure that the drug abuse comes to an end and that the problem does not return again. A professional rehab center can successfully teach a patient the above lessons in order to guide them to a sober life.

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