High blood pressure, commonly known as hypertension, is a condition where the force of the blood against the walls of the artery becomes more elevated than usual. Many would not have hypertension and Viagra (a drug for treating erectile dysfunction) placed in the same sentence. However, both conditions can be related.

High Blood Pressure and Sexual Function

One of the significant causes of impotence in men is damage to the arteries of the penis. When these arteries are damaged, they would not be able to open up usually, thus making erection difficult. You may be asking; how does this relate to high blood pressure?

Blood pressure is vital for a man to get and maintain an erection. High blood pressure can damage the arteries in the penis by causing them to become thicker and/or burst. When this happens, blood flow is restricted to the penis, which becomes the condition known as erectile dysfunction.

According to a survey published in the October 2000 issue of The Journal of Urology, hypertension is one of the leading causes of erectile dysfunction. The survey of 104 men with hypertension discovered that the 71 patients had some form of erectile dysfunction, with 47 facing severe ED.

The concerns of high blood pressure affected a person’s sex life is not restricted to men alone. Recent researches have explained high blood pressure also affects the sexuality of women too. It is now believed that women with hypertension are likely to suffer more pain during intercourse. They are also more likely to have lower vaginal lubrication and encounter more trouble reaching orgasm.

For individuals don’t have their hypertension condition under control, sex can be dangerous. This is because sex is just another form of exercise which raises your heart beat and blood pressure too.

So, if you have hypertension but aren’t under treatment, or the medications are not helping your doctor may ask that you refrain from sex along with other activities that will raise your blood pressure. With this, it is clear that high blood pressure and sexual function can, and should not be placed separately.

Viagra and Hypertension

Viagra is one of the most common treatments for erectile dysfunction available today. It contains sildenafil as its active ingredient. Sildenafil citrate is commonly known as a phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor (PDE5i); it blocks the PDE5 enzyme; thus preventing relaxation of smooth muscle tissue – which is found in the penis.

The drug may be famous for its use in treating erectile dysfunction, but the drug also helps patients with high blood pressure. In fact, the initial tests of Viagra as a drug was to treat heart problems, angina pectoris (a form of chest pain) to be more precise.

Viagra performed modestly when used for this condition. Attention shifted to its use in improving sexual function when the patients began reporting an unexpected improved erection after taking Viagra. Since then, the drug has become popular for this cause among millions of men.

A study by in Circulation by Johns Hopkins University study found the Viagra increased the strength of heart contractions by half, thus acting as a “break” to hypertension.

The dosage prescribed for men with heart condition differs from the regular Viagra for ED, and so, experts have warned that men with heart conditions should consult their doctors about taking Viagra to ensure they use it safely.

Should You Take Viagra with Medications for Hypertension?

Yes, and No. Why? This is because it has been discovered that some blood pressure medicines can cause erectile dysfunction, while others have no effect on your erectile dysfunction and the drugs you take.

Although very rare, Thiazide diuretics and beta-blockers are most likely to cause these problems. If you notice that your hypertension medication is affecting your erections, you should contact your doctor immediately for a change of prescription. It is, however, safe to take both drugs together if you don’t have this side effect.

On the other hand, some hypertension medications can lower your blood pressure without hampering your erection. ACE inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, and alpha blockers are some examples. Studies have also shown that some hypertension drugs improve erections.

Our recommendation? Before getting medication for hypertension or erectile dysfunction, consult a doctor for a diagnosis. This will enable your doctor to prescribe the best medicine with the least possible side effects.

Furthermore, when you get a prescription from your doctor, be sure to follow the instructions to the letter. Correct use of medications (whether for hypertension or erectile dysfunction) is one of the best ways to minimize the side effects, sexual or otherwise.

If you get your prescriptions from a doctor (after appropriate diagnosis), it means that it is safe to take your erectile dysfunction drugs (Viagra) along with your medications for high blood pressure.

P.S. Never take hypertension medications along with nitrates or products that contain high amounts of nitrates. This is because when taken together, they can cause a life-threatening drop in blood pressure.

Viagra and Other Conditions

There have been several kinds of research on the action of erectile dysfunction on the heart, and some of them have come out with exciting results.

A recent study has found that Viagra prevents the heart from changing shape in patients suffering from left ventricular hypertrophy. The drug also improved the functioning of the heart in patients with a variety of cardiac conditions, with no effect on blood pressure.

The results of Viagra have been impressive, and currently, a different brand (Revatio) is being used to treat other conditions like pulmonary arterial hypertension, lower urinary tract symptoms, and improve the exercise capacity of men and women.

Researchers are still testing the effects of PDE5 inhibitors on several other areas including; andrology and urology, rehabilitating erectile function, relief of the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, pulmonary hemodynamics, and treatment of some bladder disorders.

For now, Viagra and PDE5 inhibitors remain popular for their effects on improving erectile function. However, in the future, possibly after larger clinical trials have been carried out, we could see this group of drugs is used to treat other health conditions.

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