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Viagra: Miracle Drug Or Miracle Scam?

2435 words - 10 pages

VIAGRA: MIRACLE DRUG OR MIRACLE SCAM?Erectile dysfunction is a disorder in men that, over time, keeps men from either having or keeping an erection during sexual intercourse. Erectile dysfunction, or "ED" as it is commonly referred to, affects over 30 million men in the United States (Coon 607). ED can have a significant impact on one's life. Many men feel embarrassed about ED and avoid talking about it, especially to their partners. In return the intimacy between a couples will decrease and tension in the relationship can cause rifts and even divorce.Previous treatments for ED included very embarrassing, painful, and often-expensive treatments that only had a small success rate. Some ...view middle of the document...

With a success rate of 82 % or 4 out of every 5 patients, and such minimal side effects such as headaches and flushing, Viagra had become the most effective drug for erectile dysfunction on the market. Pfizer also claims that the longer the patient is on Viagra the better chances of them maintaining erections longer increases. In fact, there is a 90 % success rate on long-term users (1).The Pfizer website also goes on to claim that in clinical studies Viagra was not shown to be habit- forming nor did the frequency in dosage among patients increase over time. Unlike many other drugs on the market the patients did not build up a tolerance to the drug. However, as time progressed, some patients who had been on the drug for long periods of time began to experience some severe and unusual side effects. These included chest pains, blurred vision, the inability to establish the color blue, and erections lasting for over four hours at a time. Some older patients began to even have mild to serious heart attacks either before or during intercourse.The reason was that the drug Viagra as a treatment for ED was originally meant to be a heart medication designed to treat angina by increasing the blood flow into the heart. However, the drugs main ingredient named Sildenafil failed at opening coronary arteries, but instead opened the arteries in the penis giving men a long lasting erection (Handy 40). Another serious effect of the drug is that when taken with certain medications such as nitrate, drugs that help with chest pains and people prone to heart attacks, it causes the blood pressure in the user to drop to very low and life threatening levels (Handy 41). This information was not released until late in the year 2000, when there were eight reported deaths of men who died of heart attacks while on the drug Viagra (Weeks A01).But Viagra is not the only drug to have serious side effects. Over the past decade there have been several drugs and treatments that at the time seemed the answer until the drug had been on the market. According to Brian Storm, "all drugs are poisons. They are given to interfere with normal body functions to make other functions possible [...] all drugs have side effects, why should Viagra be any different?" (qtd. in Brown C01) A most recent case was in 1997 when the new diet drug known as "fen-phen" was known to be quoted as, "the safest and easiest way to lose weight," until it was pulled off the market because it hardened and blocked the heart valves. What doctors are really worried about is the wrong type of people taking the pills. The desire to have great and instant erections among some men is so great; they are willing to overlook the medical side effects to take the drug.Viagra is a prescription medication that you should only be able to obtain through a doctor. It roughly costs about $8-$10 a dosage and should be taken no more than three times a day. And because of the reactions with medications and high popularity, insurance...

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