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  • Viagra for Patients with Specific Needs: Safety First

    Erectile dysfunction is a medical term which is used to describe the inability of a man to develop and maintain an erection. It is a rather widespread medical condition, which affects even younger men. There is a number of ways to address erectile problems, the most popular one being the usage of special pills. ED drugs are relatively safe, but some patients need to use them with caution due to the condition of their health and special needs. In this article, we are going to take a look at the impact of Viagra (definitely the most popular ED medication) on senior patients.

    Viagra for Patients with Specific Needs Safety First

    Viagra and Geriatric Patients Needs: Do They Match?

    While it is not true that erectile dysfunction only affects senior patients, it is surely more likely to be developed in those who are older than 50. It would have been quite an easy solution for such men to just take Viagra before sexual intercourse, but unfortunately, geriatric patients often have other health problems which can make ED drugs usage potentially dangerous.

    First of all, geriatric patients might have cardiovascular diseases which may not be compatible with using Viagra. It is important that senior patients consult their healthcare provider before taking Viagra because having such medical conditions as arrhythmias, unstable angina pectoris, and a history of strokes (particularly recent ones) may render Viagra unusable for them. However, in most cases, it is possible to find a compromise and strike a balance between the impact of cardiovascular problems and Viagra on an older man’s body.

    Clinical studies have shown that the rate of cardiovascular complications in senior patients who take Viagra was not bigger as compared to one in younger Viagra users who are predisposed to heart diseases. Thus, healthcare providers often attempt to find ways of using Viagra and similar ED medications in geriatric patients. Due to slower metabolic rates, the medication is absorbed slower in elderly patients, and it also takes longer for Viagra to be cleared out of the body. This has to be taken into consideration when prescribing a dosage for a senior Viagra user: generally, medical practitioners recommend to start with Viagra 25mg dosage, and slowly increase the amount of medication taken if 25mg turns out to be ineffective.

    Older men with blood pressure issues might not be able to use Viagra due to its ability to affect blood flow, and consequently, blood pressure level. Patients who suffer from hypotension are unlikely to be able to use Viagra because sildenafil citrate (the main active component in Viagra) is known to decrease the blood pressure. Combined with the predisposition to hypotension, Viagra might cause critical blood pressure drops which could even be lethal. On the other hand, if a senior patient is suffering from hypertension, he is likely to be using nitrate-containing drugs which are often prescribed to lower blood pressure. The interaction of nitrates with Viagra is potentially dangerous because it could lead to abrupt blood pressure changes, including severe hypotension. Thus, it is crucial that senior ED patients who also suffer from hypotension or hypertension do not start taking Viagra without consulting a medical practitioner first, as the consequences for their health and overall well-being are quite grave.

    Using Viagra in Geriatric Patients: Is the Risk too High?

    Sexual health is undoubtedly a very important component of general health and well-being, so most healthcare providers agree that it is advisable to treat ED whenever possible. Overall, the benefits from Viagra and similar ED medications are higher than the implied risks, especially if the medicines are taken properly.

    Senior patients often face the problem of Viagra being ineffective in smaller dosages. Since taking higher dosages is associated with increased cardiovascular risks, older men often give up on taking Viagra and look for other ways to deal with their delicate problem. However, this is not always necessary because more and more healthcare providers report observing successful ED treatment in senior patients through taking a small dosage of sildenafil on a daily basis. The medication slowly increases its presence in the patient’s blood, eventually improving the man’s ability to maintain and develop erections.

    Nevertheless, there are several groups of geriatric patients who must refrain from using Viagra unless instructed to do otherwise by their healthcare provider:

    • cardiovascular diseasesPatients who have particular cardiovascular diseases, such as arrhythmias or a recent history of strokes. For more details, consult your doctor or ask him/her to refer you to a specialist.
    • Patients who suffer from blood pressure disorders, particularly hypotension.
    • Patients who were advised to refrain from sexual activities to avoid overstraining the body, particularly the cardiovascular system.
    • Patients who have a history of priapism ( a painful, prolonged erection that can cause permanent damage to the penis if left unattended). In elderly patients, the risk of developing Viagra side effects is considerably higher, so the chances of experiencing priapism after using an ED pill increase with age.

    Despite their relative safety, Viagra and similar ED medications may pose a threat to patients with special needs, so it is highly important that they are supervised by a qualified healthcare professional while using Viagra. This is particularly true during the early stages of taking ED drugs, as the body has to adjust itself to the effect of a new pharmaceutical, so the healthcare provider may have to adjust the Viagra dosage or check its interactions with other medicines the patient is currently taking.