Viagra On-Label and Off-Label Indications

Viagra has many names: “the blue pill”, “vitamin V”, and numerous others. But, no matter how you call it, this drug is known to be the first and one of the most effective treatments for erectile dysfunction.

This drug is FDA-approved as a first-line treatment for male sexual inability. Viagra is prescribed to men who can’t attain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse and to the male patients who can’t sustain the erection until the end of coitus. Both problems are joined by a single diagnosis – erectile dysfunction.

The active ingredient of Viagra tablets, sildenafil citrate, is also approved for the therapy of pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Except for the on-label usage, Viagra is also used off-label to treat lower urinary tract symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia. It hasn’t been officially approved for this purpose, but numerous researches prove it to be effective.

Viagra Mechanisms

Viagra works by enhancing the inflow of blood to the penile area. It becomes possible due to the vasodilatory effect of the drug. Sildenafil helps to widen the penile arteries and to relax the smooth muscle tissue of corpora cavernosa of the penis.

On condition that a man feels sexually excited and gets enough sexual stimulation, the release of nitric oxide, which starts in the penile tissues triggers the production of cGMP – the chemical responsible for the processes we’ve described above. The role of Viagra in all this is to inhibit the secretion of PDE5 – an enzyme that breaks down cGMP and thus interferes with the vasodilatory effect of the latter.

Viagra and Alcohol Interaction

Alcohol is not the substance to be combined with any medications. The reason is that it can seriously impair the effects of the drugs so that you can’t predict how it will work.

Viagra and Alcohol

Speaking about the interaction of Viagra and alcohol it should be mentioned that it is not recommended. However, the doctors and the scientists studying this issue came to the common conclusion that small amounts of alcohol-containing beverages (up to three drinks for men) don’t have any serious impact on the way Viagra works.

The situation is absolutely different when it comes to excessive alcohol consumption. Spirits (especially in high doses) are known to depress the nervous system. As the effect of Viagra pills strongly depends on the nervous system response to the physical stimulation, it is likely that the reaction will be either very slow or absent. Therefore, men drinking too much alcohol risk failing in bed even if they take Viagra.

Another scenario, which is also possible with Viagra and alcohol interaction, is the increase in the frequency and the severity of side effects.

Both Viagra and alcoholic beverages widen the blood vessels. Working in synergy, these substances can cause:

  • Headache;
  • Severe dizziness;
  • Fainting;
  • Heart health issues, including arrhythmia and chest pain.

In case a man suffers from some major health problems, the negative effects of concomitant intake of alcohol and Viagra can lead to serious and possibly dangerous health issues.

Who Should Never Combine Viagra with Alcohol?

Small amounts of alcohol are considered safe for men taking Viagra only on condition that they don’t have any precautions to the drug intake. Alcohol increases the load on all organs and systems, which can trigger a rapid worsening of some chronic diseases.

A perfect example is men suffering from cardiovascular diseases. They can take Viagra only if their doctor considers that the potential benefits prevail the possible risks. So, Viagra is safe for them only to some extent. Drinking alcohol, these people increase the load on their heart and vascular system, which can change the reaction of the body to Viagra.

The consequences of such a mixture can be very serious, starting with the changes in the heart rhythm, and ending with a heart attack.

Another category of patients who should avoid combining Viagra with alcohol is those suffering from liver and kidneys dysfunction. The metabolism and excretion of both Viagra and alcohol take place in the liver and kidneys. A man who already has the problems with these organs doubles the load on them, thus leading to possible renal failure or severe liver disease.

Viagra & Alcohol: Final Conclusion

Every organism reacts differently to the effects induced by the same medicines and the same type of alcohol. For some people taking a Viagra pill and then following it with a glass or two of wine won’t do any harm. Some may develop some very unpleasant side effects, whereas others may even get to the hospital after taking such a mixture.

The truth is that you never know how you will react to the combination of alcohol and Viagra. Therefore, it is better to avoid experiments and choose the thing you need more tonight.