‘How does Viagra work?’

Sildenafil, sold as the brand name Viagra among others, is a medication used to treat erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Its effectiveness for treating sexual dysfunction in women has not been demonstrated.

Common side effects include headaches and heartburn, as well as flushed skin. Caution is advised in those who have cardiovascular disease. Rare but serious side effects include prolonged erections, which can lead to damage to the penis, and sudden-onset hearing loss. Sildenafil should not be taken by people who take nitrates such as nitroglycerin (glycerin trinitrate), as this may result in a severe and potentially fatal drop in blood pressure.

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