Male Erectile Dysfunction - How Does Viagra Work?

Coming across questions and topics such as “how does Viagra work, what is Viagra” and related question is quite common. Despite the fact that it has been around for more than 15 years, many people are still not sure of the science behind the male erectile dysfunction drug. This has led to many people misusing the drug by either consuming the wrong dosage or using it too often. Like any other drug, wrong use can lead to side effects such as high blood pressure, increased heart beat, an erection that doesn’t die down, dizziness and more. To avoid such negative effects and enjoy maximum satisfaction, it pays to first understand the drug and know how to properly use it.

How Does Viagra Work?

PfizerViagra is scientifically known as sildenafil citrate. It was accidentally discovered by scientists working at Pfizer Laboratories and was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on March 27, 1998. Ever since, it has grown and become one of the most popular erectile dysfunction drugs for men. Classified as a Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5) inhibitor, Viagra works by increasing the flow of blood inside a man’s penis after the user has been sexually aroused. This happens after the blood veins that supply blood to the male organ vasodilate (increase in size) allowing more blood to flow through, and restrict it from flowing back.

In order to get an erection, a man first has been sexually aroused. This happens after a specific section of the brain is triggered leading to release of nitric oxide (NO). The NO is released from the endothelial cells and nerve endings found in a region of the penis known as corpus cavernosum. In addition to increased supply of nitric oxide, there is an enzyme that converts GTP (guanosine triphosphate) to cGMP (cyclic guanosine monophosphate). This chain reaction relaxes the nerves, tissues, and veins, widening the passages and allowing more blood to pass through and leads to a stronger and longer lasting erection.

However, men who suffer from erectile dysfunction produce low amounts of nitric oxide. Also, phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) hydrolyses the cGMP back to inactive GMP faster than normal men. This means the erection won’t be as stiff and won’t last long. Viagra helps such men by boosting the level of nitric oxide and also produces more cGMP ensuring some still remains even after being hydrolyzed by phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5). By knowing the chemistry behind the erectile dysfunction drug, questions such as how does Viagra work will be asked less often.

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