National Geographic : 2002 Jul
the mi lions PATIENT SUMMARY OF INFORMATION ABOUT VIACRA (sildenafil citrate) t rs 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.Askyour 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, VIAGRAis not for everyone. 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? VIAGRAisa 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 by taking this medicine. VIAGRAhelps a man with erectile 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 withmore blood than usual. The penis then expands and hardens. This iscalled an erection. Afterthe man isdone having sex, this extra blood flows out ofthe penis back into the body. The erection goes away. If an erection lasts fora long time (more than 6 hours), itcan permanently damage your penis. Youshould call a doctor immediately if you ever have a prolonged erection that lasts more than 4 hours. Some conditions and medicines interfere with this natural erection process. The penis cannot fillwith enough blood. The man cannot have an erection. This iscalled 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. If you have chest pains, dizziness or nausea during sex, stop having sex and immediately tellyour doctor you have had this problem. How VIAGRA 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 isover, the erection goes away. VIAGRAIs Not for Everyone As noted 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 in many 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 inthe 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 if you do not understand what nitrates are, ask your doctor or pharmacist. VIAGRAisonly for patients with erectile dysfunction. VIAGRAisnot for newborns, children, or women. Do not 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 is a treatment for erectile 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 ToTell Your Doctor Before YouBegin VIAGRA Only your 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 with your other medicines. Yourdoctor should determine ifyour 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 low or high blood pressure * have a rare inherited eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa * have ever had any kidney problems * have ever had any liver problems * 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 VIAGRAand Other Medicines Some medicines can change the way VIAGRA works. Tellyour doctor about any medicines you are taking. Do not start or stop taking any medicines before checking with your doctor or pharmacist. This includes prescription and nonprescription medicines or remedies. Remember, VIAGRA should never be used with medicines that contain nitrates (see VIAGRAIs Not 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 VIAGRAthan your doctor prescribes. * Ifyou think you need a larger dose ofVIAGRA, check with your doctor. * VIAGRA should not be taken more than once a day. Ifyou are older than age 65, or have serious liveror 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. How ToTake VIAGRA TakeVIAGRA about one hour before you plan to have sex. Beginning in about 30 minutes and for up 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, VIAGRAcancausesomeside effects.Theseeffectsareusually mild to moderate andusually don't lastlonger thanafewhours. Someoftheseside effectsare morelikely to occur with higher doses.Themostcommon side effectsofVIAGRAare headache, flushing oftheface, andupsetstomach.Lesscommon side effectsthatmay occur aretemporary changesin color vision (such astrouble tellingthe difference between blueandgreenobjects orhaving ablue color tinge tothem),eyesbeing more sensitive tolight, or blurred vision. Inrareinstances, menhavereportedanerectionthatlastsmanyhours. Youshould call adoctor immediately if youeverhaveanerectionthatlastsmorethan4hours. Ifnot treatedright away,permanent damageto your penis could occur (seeHow Sex Affects the Body). Heartattack,stroke,irregular heartbeats,anddeathhavebeenreportedrarelyin men taking VIAGRA.Most,butnotall,ofthesemenhadheartproblems beforetaking this medicine. Itis notpossible todetermine whethertheseeventsweredirectly relatedto VIAGRA. VIAGRAmaycauseotherside effectsbesidesthoselisted onthis sheet.Ifyou wantmore information or developanyside effectsorsymptoms you areconcerned about,call your 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 on VIAGRA VIAGRAisa prescription medicine used to treat erectile dysfunction. Only your 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 call 1-888-4VIAGRA. Rev.4, June 1999 VIAGRAl (sildenafil citrate) tablets HC144AO1O ~zooz Plizerinc Aurightsreonroed Thehixediamondtahivishapeisatrademark ofPlizorInc oin UU.S .Pharmaceufica]k HC144A01D © 2002PfizerInc. Allrightsreserved. Thebluediamond tabletshape is a trademarkof PfizerInc.