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Is Viagra Safe for Recreational Use? The Dangers of Viagra

Reviewed by
Date published
01/03/2022
Date last updated
01/03/2022
Length of read
5 Minutes

Since first appearing on the market in 1998, Viagra has been used by many men who suffer from erectile dysfunction. However, while appropriate use of the drug is considered fairly low risk for those with a GP’s prescription, recreational use of Viagra can be extremely dangerous. Here are some of the ways in which Viagra is being misused, along with the side effects the medication can cause.

What Is Viagra?

Viagra (the brand name for Sildenafil) is a medicine used to treat erectile dysfunction. Viagra works by increasing the blood flow to the penis, which in turn helps men to get an erection. The drug is also occasionally prescribed to patients to help treat pulmonary hypertension – referring to high blood pressure in the blood vessels that supply the lungs.

The medicine is available on prescription, and you can also buy Viagra online. While GP’s can direct patients on how to take Viagra, the drug is generally available as tablets you swallow, chewable tablets and as a liquid form.

Although Viagra is a common treatment for erectile dysfunction, it isn’t the only remedy for the condition, and your GP may advise you with an alternative treatment that is better suited to your circumstances and needs. Due to existing medical or health conditions, Viagra may not be the right course of action for everyone.

Can Viagra Be Used For Other Reasons?

While the use of Viagra is currently only approved for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, researchers are investigating the other ways in which the drug could be used to benefit other medical conditions. Alongside pulmonary hypertension, other studies include the treatment of prostate cancer and the treatment of Raynaud’s disease – a condition that causes a cold numbness in the fingers and toes.

Why Is Viagra Being Taken For Recreational Use?

A large majority of men who are misusing Viagra are doing so to enhance their sexual performance, even though they don’t have erectile dysfunction. Whether it be a low-confidence issue, or they simply want to perform better sexually, men are taking Viagra without medically requiring the drug. This can be especially common in younger men, who are feeling the pressures of performing sexually with perhaps little, to no, experience.

A further way in which the medicine is being misused is by men taking the Viagra without a doctor’s guidance or prescription to do so. Even in today’s society, there is often a stigma surrounding erectile dysfunction, with many sufferers being embarrassed about their diagnosis. For this reason, many men are avoiding a doctor’s appointment (and therefore a prescription, too).

How Is Viagra Being Obtained For Recreational Use?

As well as through dangerous and unlicensed websites, many men are also gaining access to Viagra through the prescriptions of family and friends. Men are able to obtain the drug with a valid prescription that doesn’t belong to them and then misusing the medication in a dangerous way.

Why Is It Important To Get A GP’s Approval?

It’s dangerous to take any prescription drug that hasn’t actually been prescribed or recommended to you by your own doctor. Many medicines carry side effects and taking them without checking may cause severe consequences. Doctors will be able to check the medicine isn’t going to react with any other medication you take and will be able to assess the safety of the drug for you personally.

What Are The Risks Of Taking Viagra For Recreational Use?

One of the main risks of buying drugs from unreputable sources online is that they could likely be fake, expired or even contaminated. Fake Viagra tablets often don’t even include Sildenafil within their ingredients, which means you could be wasting a lot of money on a product that isn’t going to work.

However, more important than money is your health, with Viagra having multiple possible side effects that you could suffer from if taken irresponsibly. Side effects of Viagra include:

  • Heartburn
  • Headaches
  • Nosebleeds
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle pain
  • Back pain
  • Stomach pains
  • Diarrhoea
  • Runny nose
  • A numb or tingling sensation in the hands, feet or legs
  • Insomnia
  • Flushing
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Changes in vision

Further sideeffects of Viagra can be experienced for those with existing medical conditions. Men who take medication for heart disease conditions, for example, can develop dangerously low blood pressure if taking Viagra as well. This is why it’s important for GPs to examine underlying medical conditions before prescribing Viagra to patients.

Men who take other, illicit recreational drugs will also be at a high risk of developing severe symptoms and side effects if combining these with Viagra. It is also possible for men to become psychologically addicted and dependant on Viagra medication – even if they don’t suffer from erectile dysfunction.