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Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Viagra Connect Side Effects

by Scott McDougall

As covered in our dedicated blog post, Viagra Connect is the first ED treatment available to buy over-the-counter. Like normal prescription Viagra, it contains sildenafil citrate, an ingredient that helps men achieve and maintain an erection for sexual activity.

After extensive testing, it was passed safe for consumption by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on November 28th 2017. Although rare, like most medications, Viagra Connect can cause side effects for a small number of people.

If you are in two minds about taking the medication, this guide answers the most common questions users have about Viagra Connect side effects.

 

How likely am I to experience side effects when taking Viagra Connect?

A group of researchers conducted a four-year review of sildenafil citrate, the active ingredient of Viagra Connect. They discovered that side effects from taking the medication were common but were mostly short-lived and easily treated.

 

Some of the most common side effects of taking Viagra Connect include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion and heartburn
  • Facial flushing
  • Light-headed or dizzy spells
  • Blurred or blue-tinted vision
  • Indigestion
  • Nasal congestion

 

Some of the less common side effects of taking Viagra Connect include:

  • Tiredness
  • Muscular pain
  • Chest pain
  • Dehydration
  • Numbness
  • Hypersensitivity to pain
  • Vomiting
  • Tinnitus
  • Increased heart rate/heart palpitations
  • Vertigo
  • Skin rashes
  • Evidence of blood in urine or semen

 

Some of the extremely rare side effects of taking Viagra Connect include:  

  • Painful and prolonged erections
  • Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
  • Heart attack
  • Seizure
  • Stroke
  • Extreme flaking of the skin
  • Blistering skin

 

When do I need to see a doctor after taking Viagra Connect?

The side effects listed directly above are extremely rare, but potentially very dangerous. If you start to experience any of the following symptoms after taking Viagra Connect, contact your doctor immediately:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe rash
  • Swelling
  • Chest pains
  • Painful erection
  • An erection that lasts for more than four hours
  • Loss of vision
  • Seizures or fits

 

Can Viagra Connect cause an allergic reaction?

Allergic reactions to Viagra Connect are rare but they can be extremely dangerous if they do occur and you will need to contact your doctor. You could be allergic to the medication if you start to develop the following symptoms:

  • Wheezing
  • Breathing problems
  • Swellings of the face, mouth or throat
  • Dizziness

 

Is there a way to tell if you are more likely to suffer from side effects?

Viagra Connect Side Effects

If you use our online pharmacy service, you will be required to take a short questionnaire. The questionnaire will be checked by a qualified doctor, who will be able to evaluate your medical history, check what other medications you are already on, and assess if you are more likely to suffer from extreme side effects.

Even so, everyone reacts to Viagra Connect differently, so it’s nearly impossible to say if you will be more susceptible to side effects. The only way to tell for certain is by trying it. After taking the medication, make a note of any side effects you experience and how severe they are. Then, it’s up to you to assess if they are strong enough to detract from the benefits of taking Viagra Connect. Severe side effects, however, are extremely rare.

 

What can I do to relieve side effects?

Most side effects, like headaches, facial flushing or indigestion, are easily relieved or go away quickly. For instance, painkillers such as ibuprofen and paracetamol are safe to take with Viagra Connect for headaches, while antacids are fine for indigestion caused by the medication.

If you are taking Viagra Connect for the first time, be aware that it might take a while for your body to get used to the effects of sildenafil citrate. For this reason, some people take one or two attempts to get used to Viagra Connect’s effects and feel comfortable enough to engage in sexual activity while using the medication.

 

Can you overdose on Viagra Connect?

Viagra Connect is available to buy in packets of 50mg, which is the normal recommended daily dosage for most men. Taking more than one tablet of Viagra Connect per day increases your chances of experiencing:

  • Chest pain
  • Feeling sick
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Feeling light-headed or fainting

If you don’t get satisfactory results using one 50mg Viagra Connect tablet, it’s not recommended that you take another tablet in the same 24-hour period. Instead, speak to your GP, who may able to provide a prescription of 100mg regular Viagra tablets, depending on your medical history and other medications you may be taking.

 

Is it dangerous to mix Viagra Connect and prescription drugs?

Mixing drugs can produce unexpected and dangerous side effects. It’s crucial to speak to your GP before mixing prescription drugs with any type of ED medication. Every case is different but as a rough guide, the following types of prescription drugs are usually more dangerous when mixed with Viagra Connect:

  • Medications that are given to treat heart attacks
  • Medications that are given to treat strokes
  • Medications that are given to treat kidney or liver failure
  • Medicines used to treat angina or low blood pressure (especially drugs known as nitrates)

Viagra is sometimes taken with recreational drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, and amphetamine, stimulants that inhibit erections. A growing trend, a recent study warns that combining these drugs increases the risk of developing heart problems significantly.

You should also ensure that you never use the recreational drug known as 'poppers' or amyl nitrate, with Viagra Connect. It can cause a potentially fatal reaction.

 

Can you reduce the risk of side effects caused by Viagra Connect?

Aside from avoiding recreational drugs and not mixing with prescription medicine, there are three more things you can do to reduce the risk of side effects caused by Viagra Connect:

Don’t drink alcohol - A little liquid lubrication helps some people to get in the mood. Unfortunately, alcohol also lowers blood pressure, reducing the amount of blood that flows to your penis, and can reduce the effectiveness of ED medication.

Take it with food - It’s usually recommended that you don’t take Viagra Connect with food; high-fat meals particularly reduce the medicine’s effectiveness or delay the onset time. That said, if you are experiencing side effects such as dizziness or face flushing, some people find that taking a tablet with a light meal helps.

Don’t buy it from an unlicensed online pharmacy - Buying Viagra Connect from an unregulated source is dangerous. In addition to the quality of the medicine not being guaranteed, you probably won’t be required to take an online consultation, increasing your chances of taking the medication unsafely.

 

Does Viagra Connect always work well - is it worth the side effects?

User reviews for the effectiveness, ease of use and satisfaction of using Viagra Connect are very high. Side effects are rare and if experienced, they are usually mild and treatable. Consulting your GP or taking an online consultation increases your chances of using the Viagra Connect safely and enjoying the benefits the medication can provide.

 

Are there alternatives to Viagra Connect that are less likely to cause side effects?

There are several alternative treatments to Viagra Connect, but most contain the same active ingredient, sildenafil citrate. Cialis or Cialis Daily use tadalafil, a different active ingredient that produces the same effect as Viagra Connect. However, tadalafil can produce similar side effects to sildenafil citrate.

If you don’t want to take medication for ED, you could try talking to your GP about one of the following drug-free treatments:

  • Psychosexual therapies such as CBT
  • Herbal supplements such as red ginseng or vitamin B3

 

Summary

Viagra Connect Side Effects Summary

Viagra Connect is a highly effective over-the-counter medication that has been passed as safe to use by the UK Government.

Millions of men across the world have enjoyed the benefits of the medication, with only a small number experiencing side effects. Of those that have experienced side effects, the vast majority are short-lived and easily treated.

If you are still unsure about exposing yourself to the possible side effects of Viagra Connect, talk to your GP or feel free to email or call us for more personalised advice.

 

Sources

https://www.viagra.com/taking/check-out-single-packs

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mhra-reclassifies-viagra-connect-tablets-to-a-pharmacy-medicine

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1476025/

https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/sildenafil-viagra/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10400408

 

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