History of Viagra

Viagra, the brand name of Sildenafil, is one of the most widely-known prescription medications on the market for treating erectile dysfunction. It’s commonly referred to as “the little blue pill.” It works by inhibiting phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5). It was the first drug approved to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). The history of Viagra isn’t as long as some people may think. While it’s widely popular, the drug has only been around for about 20 years.

What Causes ED?

It’s estimated that over 100 million men around the world suffer from ED. It commonly affects older men, but men can develop ED for other reasons as well. Risks factors for developing ED vary but can include a number of underlying health issues. These issues include high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. If you have any condition that may restrict blood flow to your veins, such as smoking, you can develop ED. Diseases such as Parkinson’s and Peyronie’s (scar tissue builds up in the penis) can also lead to erectile dysfunction.

Other factors include certain medications and chronic drug and alcohol abuse. Your mental health could also be a factor. Stress or depression can sometimes lead to a loss of libido. Performance anxiety can also result in erection failures.

The Unexpected Discovery

The discovery of Sildenafil wasn’t an accident, but its effects on the male body were. It was in 1989 that British Pfizer scientists Albert Wood and Peter Dunn created a compound called Sildenafil citrate. The drug was classified as UK-92480. The first tests of Sildenafil were intended to see if the compound was a suitable treatment for hypertension and angina pectoris.

In the early 1990s, the trials for the drug proved to not be effective in treating either condition. Pfizer completed many trials with little hope for heart disease treatment, but they did find that volunteers noted an increase in the number of erections that they got over several days.

During the time of these trials, other studies were revealing more information about biochemical pathways involved in the process of getting an erection. Pfizer saw how their drug could help with this previously untreatable medical need and took the opportunity to capitalise on it.

It was in 1996 when Pfizer took Sildenafil citrate to the United States and got a patent for it. Two years later, the FDA (the drug regulator official in the States) approved the use of Viagra for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. It took off from there. Pharmacists dispensed more than 40,000 prescriptions for Viagra in the first year of its launching.

It’s been about 20 years since the discovery of Viagra. The drug has had steady sales and remains at the top for drugs that treat erectile dysfunction. As of 2012, it holds 45 percent of the market share for ED with its competitor Cialis close behind. There are about 8 million Viagra prescriptions written each year and about $2 billion total sales each year.

The Growth of the Little Blue Pill

When it was approved, the ED drug Viagra had the fastest initial growth in sales than any other prescription drug. Since 2008, it has continuously reached $2 million or more in sales. This growth was in part due to the promotion of ED and the drug. Pfizer promoted ED awareness and Viagra through direct-to-customer advertising, helping to prompt men to seek professional advice concerning their condition.

Thanks to Viagra, more and more men are less embarrassed to talk to the general practitioner about ED. Viagra and other PDE5 inhibitors have helped in ending the stigma surrounding the discussion of sexual dysfunction.

Controversy Surrounding Viagra

There have been many controversies surrounding Viagra, but there are two that are more prominent than others. The first of these controversies involves younger men abusing the drug to not achieve an erection but to make their erection last longer. This misuse of the drug is dangerous as these young men often can’t get a prescription for Viagra, so they resort to buying from other sources. The other sources that they go to often aren’t legal. With illegal sellers, these men risk the chance of purchasing a drug that is fake, contaminated, or expired.

The second controversy that arose from people taking Viagra concerns relationships. Many older men and their former wives have blamed their separation on the little blue pill. When they take this pill, older men are able to perform again. They use this excuse to cheat on their wives with women who are younger than them. There have been reports from both the UK and the states that blame Viagra for the demise of their relationship. These cases are rare, but people who criticise Viagra are quick to point out these cases. More often though, Viagra helps to revitalise marriages.

Viagra Today

The future of Viagra is as hopeful as the day it was discovered. Men are becoming more comfortable talking about their erectile dysfunction problems. They should be sure to ask their doctors questions and do their research if they plan on buying Viagra online.

In recent years, Viagra has released an over the counter option for those who need it called Viagra Connect. Much like Viagra itself, Viagra Connect is the first of its kind. It works the same way as regular Viagra. The intent behind its creation was to decrease men from buying the prescription drug from illegal sources. Doctors and scientist urge those who intend to purchase Viagra Connect to do so only if they exhibit signs of erectile dysfunction.

The search continues for a Viagra for women. Regular Viagra is not recommended for use by women. While there has been no approval for women to use Viagra, there have been trials to see if the drug has any effect on women. If you come across any drugs that claim to be the “female Viagra,” do not trust them. Be sure to do your research while looking for drugs to cure sexual dysfunction.

While more and more erectile dysfunction treatments come onto the market, you can be sure that Viagra will adapt. It would be no surprise to anyone if Viagra is still the top ED treatment in the future.

About Kamal HaiderDr Kamal Haider is an experienced GP having worked in various hospital specialties as a junior doctor after graduation from University College Hospital in 2000. During this period of training, Dr Haider decided that general practice was his calling and so embarked upon becoming a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners, as he found himself very passionate about the provision of high quality, holistic, patient-focused medicine.

He has developed excellent skills in investigating and managing a range of medical conditions, both acute and related to chronic disease and in integrating care for the patient as a whole. His specialty lies in preventative medicine and promoting health. He believes in practicing what he preaches and plays football and cycles regularly. He has attained an FA coaching badge and works with youngsters of varying ages and socio-economic backgrounds, and thoroughly enjoys helping youngsters to make the most of their lives.
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