National Geographic : 2003 Feb
So in th e PATIENTSUMMARY OFINFORMATION ABOUT VIA cRA (sildenafil citrate)uabise This summary contains important information about VIAGRA®.Itis not meant to take the place ofyour doctor's instructions. Read this information carefully before you start taking VIAGRA.Ask your doctor or pharmacist ifyou do not understand any ofthis information or ifyou want to know more about VIAGRA. This medicine can help many men when itis used as prescribed bytheir doctors. However, VIAGRAisnot foreveryone. Itis intended foruse only bymen who have a condition called erectile dysfunction. VIAGRAmust never be used by men who are taking medicines that contain nitrates of any kind, at any time. This includes nitroglycerin. Ifyou take VIAGRAwith any nitrate medicine your blood pressure could suddenly drop to an unsafe or life threatening level. What Is VIAGRA? VIAGRAis a pillused to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence) in men. Itcan help many men who have erectile dysfunction get and keep an erection when they become sexually excited (stimulated). Youwillnot get an erection just bytaking this medicine. VIAGRA helps a man witherectile dysfunction get an erection only when he is sexually excited. How Sex Affects the Body When a man is sexually excited, the penis rapidly fills with more blood than usual. The penis then expands and hardens. This is called an erection. Afterthe man isdone having sex, this extra blood flows out ofthe penis back into the body. The erection goes away. Ifan erection lasts fora long time (more than 6 hours), itcan permanently damage your penis. Youshould calla doctor immediately ifyou ever have a prolonged erection that lasts more than 4 hours. Some conditions and medicines interfere withthis natural erection process. The penis cannot fillwith enough blood. Theman cannot have an erection. This is called erectile dysfunction if itbecomes a frequent problem. During sex, your heart works harder. Therefore sexual activity may not be advisable for people who have heart problems. Before you start any treatment forerectile dysfunction, ask your doctor ifyour heart is healthy enough to handle the extra strain ofhaving sex. Ifyou have chest pains, dizziness or nausea during sex, stop having sex and immediately tellyour doctor you have had this problem. HowVIAGRA Works VIAGRA enables many men with erectile dysfunction to respond to sexual stimulation. When a man is sexually excited, VIAGRAhelps the penis fillwith enough blood to cause an erection. Aftersex is over, the erection goes away. VIAGRAIs Not for Everyone Asnoted above (How Sex Affects the Body), ask your doctor ifyour heart ishealthy enough forsexual activity. Ifyou take any medicines that contain nitrates-either regularly or as needed-you should never take VIAGRA.Ifyou take VIAGRA withany nitrate medicine or recreational drug containing nitrates, your blood pressure could suddenly drop to an unsafe level.Youcould get dizzy,faint, or even have a heart attack or stroke. Nitrates are found inmany prescription medicines that are used to treat angina (chest pain due to heart disease) such as: * nitroglycerin (sprays, ointments, skin patches or pastes, and tablets that are swallowed or dissolved in the mouth) * isosorbide mononitrate and isosorbide dinitrate (tablets that are swallowed, chewed, or dissolved in the mouth) Nitrates are also found in recreational drugs such as amyl nitrate or nitrite ("poppers"). Ifyou are not sure ifany ofyour medicines contain nitrates, or ifyou do not understand what nitrates are, ask your doctor or pharmacist. VIAGRAisonly forpatients witherectile dysfunction. VIAGRAisnot fornewborns, children, or women. Donot letanyone else take your VIAGRA. VIAGRA must be used only under a doctor's supervision. What VIAGRA Does Not Do * VIAGRAdoes not cure erectile dysfunction. It isa treatment forerectile dysfunction. * VIAGRAdoes not protect you or your partner from getting sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV-the virus that causes AIDS. * VIAGRAis not a hormone or an aphrodisiac. What ToTellYour Doctor Before YouBegin VIAGRA Onlyyour doctor can decide ifVIAGRAis right foryou. VIAGRA can cause mild, temporary lowering ofyour blood pressure. Youwillneed to have a thorough medical exam to diagnose your erectile dysfunction and to find out ifyou can safely take VIAGRA alone or withyour other medicines. Yourdoctor should determine if your heart is healthy enough to handle the extra strain ofhaving sex. Besure to tellyour doctor ifyou: * have ever had any heart problems (e.g ., angina, chest pain, heart failure, irregular heart beats, or heart attack) * have ever had a stroke * have lowor high blood pressure * have a rare inherited eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa * have ever had any kidney problems * have ever had any liverproblems * have ever had any blood problems, including sickle cellanemia or leukemia * are allergic to sildenafil or any ofthe other ingredients ofVIAGRA tablets * have a deformed penis, Peyronie's disease, or ever had an erection that lasted more than 4 hours * have stomach ulcers or any types ofbleeding problems * are taking any other medicines VIAGRA andOther Medicines Some medicines can change the wayVIAGRA works. Tellyour doctor about any medicines you are taking. Do not start or stop taking any medicines before checking withyour doctor or pharmacist. This includes prescription and nonprescription medicines or remedies. Remember, VIAGRA should never be used with medicines that contain nitrates (see VIAGRAIsNot for Everyone). Ifyou are taking a protease inhibitor, your dose may be adjusted (please see Findingthe Right Dose for You.)VIAGRA should not be used with any other medical treatments that cause erections. These treatments include pills, medicines that are injected or inserted into the penis, implants or vacuum pumps. Finding the Right Dose for You VIAGRA comes in different doses (25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg). Ifyou do not get the results you expect, talk withyour doctor. Youand your doctor can determine the dose that works best foryou. * Donot take more VIAGRA than your doctor prescribes. * Ifyou think you need a larger dose ofVIAGRA, check withyour doctor. * VIAGRA should not be taken more than once a day. Ifyou are older than age 65, or have serious liver or kidney problems, your doctor may start you at the lowest dose (25 mg)ofVIAGRA.Ifyou are taking protease inhibitors, such as forthe treatment ofHIV,your doctor may recommend a 25 mg dose and may limityou to a maximum single dose of25 mg ofVIAGRAin a 48 hour period. HowToTakeVIAGRA TakeVIAGRA about one hour before you plan to have sex. Beginning in about 30 minutes and forup to 4 hours, VIAGRA can help you get an erection ifyou are sexually excited. Ifyou take VIAGRA after a high-fat meal (such as a cheeseburger and french fries), the medicine may take a littlelonger to start working. VIAGRA can help you get an erection when you are sexually excited. Youwillnot get an erection just by taking the pill. Possible Side Effects Likeallmedicines, VIAGRAcancausesomesideeffects.Theseeffectsareusually mild to moderate andusually don'tlastlonger thanafewhours.Someoftheseside effects aremorelikely tooccur withhigher doses.Themostcommonside effectsofVIAGRA areheadache, flushing oftheface,andupsetstomach.Lesscommon side effectsthat mayoccur aretemporary changesin color vision (suchastrouble telling thedifference between blueandgreenobjects or havingabluecolor tinge tothem),eyesbeingmore sensitive tolight, or blurredvision. Inrareinstances, menhavereportedanerectionthatlastsmanyhours.Youshould call a doctor immediately ifyoueverhavean erectionthatlastsmorethan4hours.Ifnot treatedright away,permanentdamagetoyour peniscould occur (seeHow SexAffects the Body). Heartattack,stroke,irregular heartbeats,anddeathhavebeenreportedrarelyin men taking VIAGRA.Most, butnotall,ofthesemenhadheartproblems beforetaking this medicine. It isnotpossible todetermine whethertheseeventsweredirectly relatedto VIAGRA. VIAGRAmaycauseotherside effectsbesidesthoselistedonthis sheet.If youwant moreinformation or developanyside effectsorsymptoms youareconcerned about, callyour doctor. Accidental Overdose Incase ofaccidental overdose, callyour doctor right away. Storing VIAGRA KeepVIAGRA out ofthe reach ofchildren. KeepVIAGRAin its original container Store at room temperature, 59°-86°F (15°-30°C). For More Information onVIAGRA VIAGRAisa prescription medicine used to treat erectile dysfunction. Onlyyour doctor can decide if itis right for you. This sheet is only a summary. Ifyou have any questions or want more information about VIAGRA, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, visit www.viagra.com, or call1-888-4VIAGRA. 23-5515-00 -4 June1999 (sildenafil citrate) tablets LU.S.Pharmaceuticals Thebluediamondtabletshapeis atrademarkofPfizerInc. HC144A01C © 2002PfizerInc. Ailrightsreserved. PrintedinUSA/January 2002 m i 1ions.