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If you have never taken medication for erectile dysfunction (ED) before, you may have a few concerns and questions. It’s a safe and effective medication to use for the vast majority of men. However, there are a few points to bear in mind to make sure the pill works as it is intended to. Here are some basic tips for the best results.

How does ED medication work?

Pills such as Viagra work by enhancing the supply of nitrous oxide, which is a natural chemical produced by the body, and relaxes the muscles in the penis. This allows for increased blood flow to the area, making it easier to get and maintain an erection. It is still necessary to be sexually aroused first, so they should only occur when you want them to.

Who can take ED medication?

You’ll need a consultation with a doctor or pharmacist before you are prescribed treatment for ED. It might not be suitable for certain patients who have very low or high blood pressure, severe liver or kidney disease, or take nitrate drugs, so it’s important to seek medical advice before taking anything.

How do you take ED medication?

Follow the instructions on the packet which should be provided by the manufacturer. Viagra is recommended to be taken about an hour before you plan to have sex, as it will take between 30 to 60 minutes for the full effects to kick in. Once fully effective, you will have four hours before the medication wears off.

Remember that you still need some form of sexual stimulation to achieve an erection; the pill won’t simply make the penis erect until the effects wear off. Take it at the right time, for example when you have an evening at home with your partner planned.

Take the recommended dose, which is usually 50mg, but it can be decreased to 25mg, or increased to 100mg if you find that the effects are too strong or too weak. However, always consult a medical professional before altering the dose.

What about taking other substances?

It’s recommended that you don’t eat a calorie loaded meal beforehand, as this will inhibit the effectiveness of the medication, and may mean it takes longer to work. Also avoid drinking too much alcohol, as this can lower the amount of testosterone in the body and make it more difficult to feel and respond to sexual stimulation.

If you are taking a medication such as Viagra, or its trade name, Sildenafil which you can buy online at an approved men’s pharmacist, then you are advised not to eat grapefruit beforehand.

This is because grapefruit contains a concoction of chemicals that will interfere with the way that the medicine is absorbed into the blood.

Are there any side effects?

If you take the right dose, there shouldn’t be any side effects. However, some patients may experience dizziness, headaches, nausea, indigestion, flushing, or a stuffy nose. If you have persistent unpleasant side effects, tell your doctor or pharmacist. In the vast majority of cases, side effects will be minor and may go away over time.