Is Viagra Safe to use in the Long Term?

Friday 19 November 2021
Viagra
4 minute(s) read

Table of Contents


I. Is Viagra Effective?

II. Prolonged use of Viagra

III. Results of Viagra Studies

IV. So, is Viagra Safe to Use?


If you experience erectile dysfunction symptoms chronically, you may use Viagra (sildenafil) regularly. There is no cure-all for erectile dysfunction, so Viagra may be used several times a week, but is this safe? Many men have this question, and several studies have been completed documenting the safety of long-term Viagra use. Read on to learn more.

Is Viagra Effective?

Sildenafil (the generic version of Viagra) is a phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitor that increases blood flow to the penis when sexual stimulation is present. It relaxes the blood vessels and allows blood to fill the penis, causing an erection. It does not treat ED fully or increase sexual desire, but many men are satisfied with the effect of Viagra on their sex life. [1]

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ED occurs for many different reasons, so you need a proper diagnosis of your condition before a treatment plan is put in place. If you are experiencing ED due to a medical condition like diabetes, it is essential to get your blood sugar levels under control before turning to pharmaceutical options. The effectiveness and long-term safety of Viagra are also affected by the dosage prescribed by your doctor. When starting out, your doctor will likely prescribe smaller doses of Viagra and increase it over time. It is also essential to tell your healthcare provider if you taking other medications to prevent any interactions with Viagra. [2] 

Prolonged use of Viagra

Viagra was approved for the general public by the FDA in 1998. Since then, tens of millions of men have used the little blue pill to combat erectile dysfunction symptoms. Now that many men have been taking Viagra for several years, researchers can gather data on the long-term effects of Viagra use. 

One study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information performed a four-year flexible-dose (25, 50, and 100mg) study of Viagra use in men. At the beginning of the study, 979 men were enrolled and self-assessed their erectile dysfunction symptoms, noting down their experience with Viagra in diaries.

This study aimed to assess the safety of Viagra, so researchers asked the participants several questions at yearly intervals, including:

  • Are you satisfied with the effect of treatment on your erections?
  • If yes, has Viagra improved your ability to engage in sexual activity? [3]

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Results of Viagra Studies

Men in the study were mostly white (89 percent) with a mean age of 58 years old. Men were asked to participate anywhere from 48-60 weeks, and some stayed on for up to four years. 

The study found that Viagra is effective in two-thirds of men who use it to treat ED. Across several studies, it was found that between 43 percent and 83 percent of men who used Viagra had improved erections. This number is quite high compared to the reported ten percent of improved erections in men who took a placebo. 

Researchers found that 3.8 percent of men had one or more adverse events over the four-year study period. Headaches and dyspepsia were the most commonly reported side effects of long-term use of Viagra. Dyspepsia is also known as indigestion and may cause pain in the upper abdomen after eating or drinking. There was also one instance of each of the following conditions: 

  • Moderate tachycardia (fast heart rate)
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Conjunctivitis (infection of the eye)
  • Myalgia (muscle aches and pains)
  • Hypertonia (too much muscle tone that causes stiffness)
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • Flushing of the face
  • Mild heart palpitations

Over the four-year study, 149 adverse events occurred. Researchers determined that none of these events were caused by the Viagra treatment and were likely caused by other factors. [3]

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So, is Viagra Safe to Use?

At the end of the study, researchers found that 94 percent of the 979 participants reported satisfaction with their sildenafil treatments. Only 6.2 percent of the men in the trial discontinued use of Viagra due to adverse side effects, most commonly flushing.

Overall, the four-year study found a low incidence of severe side effects when Viagra is used regularly over a long period. This study is consistent with other similar Viagra studies, and more information is coming out about prolonged Viagra use every year. [3]

Viagra may be generally safe to use, but your doctor will determine the right treatment plan for you. Sildenafil may not be right for everyone, especially if you want to use it often. Consult your doctor to find out if Viagra will work for your erectile dysfunction symptoms. 

The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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