What Does Viagra Do?

Viagra is marketed for treating two different health issues in the medical community.

The first and most popular use of the drug is its success in treating erectile dysfunction in men. After years of being on the market for this specific purpose, medical scientists discovered that it also has great success in treating pulmonary arterial hypertension in men and women.

Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a form of high blood pressure found in the lungs specifically. Viagra is a prescription drug, so you should talk with your doctor if you suffer from one or both of these issues and to see if Viagra is right for you.

Viagra In Treating Erectile Dysfunction

 

Erectile dysfunction, or sexual impotence, is the inability for the male penis to become erect when sexually excited. The penis is made up of several blood vessels that fill with blood when aroused. This allows the penis to become enlarged and stiff while remaining that way so long as the penis skin is stimulated. In erectile dysfunction, this process is inhibited. The key culprit in this dysfunction is an enzyme called phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5).

PDE5 controls how relaxed or tense blood vessels become. When the enzyme is overactive, it constricts the blood vessels in the penis and prevents it from becoming erect. Viagra’s active ingredient is a PDE5 inhibitor that prevents PDE5 from doing this. Thus, the blood vessels stay relaxed and allow for adequate blood flow.

Viagra does not keep the penis erect on its own. It simply allows for normal erectile function during sexual activity or intercourse. If the penis is not stimulated through stroke or touch, Viagra does not prevent the penis from becoming flaccid. Normal sexual activity is necessary for maintaining an erection.

Viagra in Treating Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

 

Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a serious ailment, and when left untreated, it can have negative effects on one’s quality of life. People who suffer from this type of respiratory hypertension experience fatigue, chronic cough, dizziness, fast heart rate, swollen legs, and shortness of breath.

People who suffer from some autoimmune disorders, such as those that affect connective tissue like rheumatoid arthritis, are generally at risk for pulmonary hypertension. Individuals who are living with the HIV infection are also likely to be afflicted with hypertension as a concomitant symptom of the disease.

Pulmonary hypertension is essentially a form of high blood pressure that is specific to the lungs. Just as with erectile dysfunction, the main culprit in this disease is overactive PDE5. PDE5 is not present as an enzyme in every part of the cardiovascular system, and thus Viagra does not treat general high blood pressure issues. However, because PDE5 is found in the lungs, Viagra is a novel approach to treating this potentially crippling disease.

Viagra works to inhibit PDE5 and thus relaxes the blood vessels in the lungs and allows increased blood flow. This relieves the symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension and decreases the strain on the heart as it attempts to provide adequate blood flow to the lungs through constricted blood vessels.