Is Viagra Safe For Seniors?

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VIAGRA can be safe for some seniors. Patients over the age of 65 should start with only half a regular dose of VIAGRA, according to Pfizer Medical Information. The typical starting dose of VIAGRA is 50 mg, but older men may need to start at 25 mg. Also, seniors tend to have underlying conditions that could put them at risk of adverse reactions from VIAGRA.
VIAGRA is a brand name of sildenafil citrate, a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). The drug works by increasing blood flow to the penis. VIAGRA opens the blood vessels throughout the body, called dilation, which is what increases blood flow. When blood vessels dilate, the person’s blood pressure can decrease. If a man’s blood pressure gets too low, he can lose consciousness or experience a life-threatening cardiac event.

High levels of sildenafil in the plasma throughout the body can increase the risk of side effects. Younger men tend to clear the drug from their systems quickly, but people over the age of 65 tend to retain much more of the sildenafil and its metabolite in their plasma than men who are not elderly. The clinical trials of VIAGRA studied more than 3,000 men from 19 to 87 years of age.

How VIAGRA Affects People with Kidney or Liver Disease

Many older people have underlying kidney or liver disease. These conditions can make it harder for the body to break down and eliminate VIAGRA from the body within the expected time. For this reason, men with severe kidney or liver impairment may receive the directive from a doctor to start with half the regular dose.

Nitroglycerin and VIAGRA

Most of the people who take nitroglycerine, also known as nitrates, for a heart condition are older. VIAGRA is not safe for seniors if the patient takes nitroglycerin because of the heightened risk of significant cardiovascular complications. Men who are 65 or older tend to retain between three and eight times as much sildenafil in their plasma 24 hours after taking VIAGRA as healthier men. As a result, even the next day, an older man may not be able to take his heart medicine safely.

Blood Pressure Drugs and VIAGRA

Men who take medications to reduce their blood pressure should talk with their doctors before taking VIAGRA. Men over the age of 65 are more likely to take anti-hypertensive drugs than younger men. Since VIAGRA can lower blood pressure, a person who already takes anti-hypertensive medications can experience dangerously low blood pressure, which can lead to a loss of consciousness or a life-threatening cardiac situation.

How VIAGRA Can Affect Hearing or Vision

Older men often experience hearing loss and vision issues. VIAGRA is in a category of drugs called “PDE5 inhibitors.” These drugs can cause a sudden loss of hearing or vision, which may be permanent, according to a study in Frontiers in Neurology. Patients who have a history of optic neuropathy or other vision issues seem to be at a higher risk of losing sight in one or both of their eyes after taking VIAGRA.

Cardiovascular Complications with VIAGRA

Generally, a man who has an underlying cardiovascular condition that makes sexual activity inadvisable should not take VIAGRA. Men with high or low blood pressure at rest should exercise caution about using VIAGRA. For this purpose, high blood pressure, or hypertension, is a reading of higher than 170/110 mmHg. Low blood pressure, or hypotension, is a reading of lower than 90/50 mmHg.

Men with unstable angina (severe chest pain that can spread to the neck, shoulder, and arms) from cardiac failure or coronary artery disease should not take VIAGRA. Also, men should not use the drug if they have experienced a stroke, life-threatening arrhythmia, or myocardial infarction within the last six months.

During clinical trials for the approval of VIAGRA, some men experienced these cardiovascular events:

  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Tachycardia
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Heart failure
  • Cerebral thrombosis
  • Angina pectoris
  • AV block
  • Hypotension, including postural hypotension
  • Myocardial ischemia
  • Palpitations
  • Syncope (loss of consciousness)
  • Migraine
  • Abnormal EKG (electrocardiogram), also called ECG

The study did not separate the cardiovascular events by age group, so it is unclear whether seniors are at a greater risk of these complications than younger men.

After VIAGRA was released, patients who were not part of the clinical trials reported cardiovascular problems like brain hemorrhages, sudden cardiac death, strokes, and hypertension in addition to the side effects the test group experienced. The adverse reactions occurred after taking VIAGRA, with or without sexual activity.

Men Have a Drug-Free Option

Men do not have to take a pill and risk the possible side effects to treat their ED. GAINSWave® therapy is a revolutionary ED treatment that does not involve prescription drugs and is entirely non-invasive. Men can call a local provider of the GAINSWave treatment to get started. Interested parties can find a doctor in our directory.

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