Demystifying Viagra Side Effects: The Complete Guide

Maanvi Kashyap
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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Viagra Side Effects

Viagra has long been a trusted solution for treating Erectile Dysfunction (ED) in men. 

This pharmaceutical-grade medication is often recognized by its generic name, Sildenafil Citrate. 

It is manufactured by Pfizer Laboratories and has helped countless individuals regain their confidence and intimacy.

However, like most pharmaceutical medications, Viagra also can cause side effects.

While most of these side effects are rare and mild, it’s essential to be aware of them to understand better and manage your health.

Read on to learn more about the Viagra side effects and its management.

Side effects of Viagra

Viagra has numerous side effects on the body, which can be classified based on severity.

The following are the most commonly observed side effects of Viagra:

Common side effects

Headache - side effectSource: SIphotography_from_Getty_Images
Headache – side effect

Like most medications, Viagra (Sildenafil) carries with it the inherent risk of causing side effects in the patients who take it.

Most of these side effects are mild or moderate and require almost no medical intervention.

These mild side effects include:

  • Headaches: A common side effect reported by most users of Viagra, especially those on a higher dosage
  • Nausea: It is an uncomfortable feeling at the back of your throat
  • Flushing: Sudden blood flow under the skin, particularly in the face, neck, and chest areas
  • Indigestion: It is discomfort in your upper abdomen, also called Dyspepsia
  • Stuffy nose: Nasal congestion and Rhinitis are the common symptoms of Viagra side effects
  • Feeling dizzy: In some cases, the patients can feel light-headedness after taking Viagra

The most common moderate side effects include:

  • Temporary side effects in vision, like the blue coloration of vision and increased perceived brightness of lights
  • Minor cardiovascular events such as lowered blood pressure (systolic and diastolic) and Hypotension 
  • Viagra can cause Esophageal hypomotility (reduced movement of the esophagus), leading to gastroesophageal reflux and Dysphagia (swallowing difficulty)
  • Other gastrointestinal effects commonly observed are vomiting and nausea
Warning:
Rush to your nearest hospital immediately if you notice the adverse side effects after taking Viagra.

Severe side effects

The side effects of Viagra can take serious forms in some rare cases, which adversely affect the body.

The various severe side effects of Viagra are as follows:

  • People who take nitrate medications for heart problems with Viagra suffer from adverse effects like vasodilation in the coronary artery, reduction in systemic blood pressure, and enhanced Hypotensive (abnormally life-threateningly low blood pressure) effects
  • Viagra also can cause a special condition called Priapism in people with Sickle cell anemia
Fact:
Priapism is a medical condition in which the body maintains a rigid and prolonged erection without external stimulation.
  • Viagra can also cause the incidence of postural Hypotension in some cases
  • Studies also show that the use of Viagra artificially increased Testosterone levels in the serum, which can cause prostate enlargement and difficulty in urinating
  • Sildenafil (Viagra) is responsible for causing sympathetic nerve activity, resulting in an autonomic imbalance of the Central Nervous System (CNS)

Autonomic imbalance (Autonomic dysfunction) occurs when the Autonomic Nervous System fails to carry out the day-to-day physiological workings of the body like digestion, blood circulation, and temperature control.

  • A study reported side effects of Viagra on the brain, like disruption in information processing, aggression, altered sexual drive, emotional neurologic disturbances, and amnesia
  • Viagra can sometimes cause adverse retinal disorders like Nonarteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy (NAION) 
  • Patients with Parkinson’s disease or multiple system atrophy may experience increased Hypotension symptoms after taking Viagra
  • Viagra can also cause adverse side effects like blurry vision and light sensitivity, Keratitis (inflammation of the cornea), Conjunctival hyperemia (inflammation of blood vessels of the conjunctiva), and increased Intraocular Pressure (IOP)

Treatment for Viagra side effects

Doctor consultationSource: daizuoxin from Getty Images
Follow Doctor’s advice

Most of the side effects of Viagra diminish once the effects of the dosage wear off after a few hours.

If you are experiencing effects like headaches, dizziness, and flushing, lie down and rest until the discomfort subsides.

The visual side effects can be managed by turning off bright light sources near you.

If the headaches and nausea become unbearable, consult your doctor to prescribe safe medications to help manage them.

It should be remembered that higher doses of Viagra are more linked to side effects, so proper dosage instructions by a medical professional are necessary.

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Takeaway

Viagra (Sildenafil) works by relaxing the smooth muscles in the penis for better blood flow, thus treating ED.

Viagra can be associated with several side effects, some of which can be serious.

Common side effects include headaches, nausea, flushing, indigestion, nasal congestion, and light-headedness.

The severe effects include complicated cases like Priapism, autonomic imbalance, NAION, and other eye problems.

Viagra has more pronounced effects like autonomic imbalance of CNS, neurologic disturbances, and amnesia in some rare cases.

Reduced motility of the esophageal muscles, vomiting, and diarrhea are some more side effects of Viagra.

Most Viagra side effects are temporary and subside within a few hours after discontinuing the medicine.

Always consult your doctor if you observe any adverse side effects of Viagra or if the effects persist long after discontinuing the medicine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Viagra have side effects?

Yes, Viagra, like all other pharmaceutical drugs, comes with side effects. However, the side effects of Viagra are mostly transient and do not last for more than a few hours. The dosage of Viagra plays a major role since a higher dosage increases the chances of more side effects

What are the negative side effects of Viagra?

The negative side effects of Viagra include problems in blood pressure, autonomic imbalance of the Central Nervous System, disruption in information processing in the brain, reduced motility of the esophageal muscles, nausea, and diarrhea. Some serious adverse effects include life-threatening Hypotension and Priapism in some patients with special conditions.

How long do Viagra side effects last?

Most side effects of taking Viagra subsides within a few hours and are usually temporary. If the side effects become unbearable, consult your doctor for medications. Viagra persists in the blood for only a few hours, so discontinuing the dosage of Viagra can help stop the progression of side effects.

Is Viagra safe to take daily?

Viagra can be taken daily, but the dosage should not exceed once per day. Most doses are usually 50 mg daily, but other variations like 25 mg and 100 mg are also commercially available. Always consult your doctor about the adequate doses that you can take.

Citations:
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