Viagra in South Africa

Viagra side effects and prices

Viagra, also known as sildenafil, is a male enhancement drug commonly used throughout the world. It was the first major drug developed and approved for treating erectile dysfunction, although several others, particularly Cialis and Levitra, have become available since. In general, Viagra helps men get and keep erections, and increases sexual drive and energy. In addition to male enhancement, Viagra is also used to treat hypertension.

Viagra in South Africa

Viagra in South Africa

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As in many countries, Viagra is readily available through a doctor in South Africa. South Africa has both public and private healthcare, however the public healthcare option, the National Health Insurance (NHI), lacks sufficient resources to make drugs like Viagra readily available to all South Africans who want or need them. Nevertheless, Viagra, as well as other male enhancers, can be obtained in South Africa without too much difficulty, if a person can pay.

The mechanism of action for sildenafil involves relaxation of the smooth muscle tissue of the penis. It is this smooth muscle relaxation which allows for blood to flow into the penis causing in erection. This activity is stimulated by binding of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) to nitrous oxide in the corpus cavernosum of the penis. Sildenafil makes it harder to break down cGMP, effectively increasing levels available for binding, and thus making the erection easier to achieve and longer-lasting.
Viagra is widely accepted to be generally safe and effective, however it does pose some known risks.

Side effects

Common side effects include headache, indigestion, and blurry vision. In rare cases, erections lasting too long occur and require hospitalization to treat. Additionally, Viagra may increase the risk of serious cardiac events, such as extreme low blood pressure, heart attack, or stroke. People should not take Viagra if they are taking various nitric oxide donors, nitrates, and nitrites, such as nitroglycerin. The same goes for patients on soluble guanylyl cyclase. Patients with a known hypersensitivity to sildenafil should also not take the drug.
Additionally, it is important to note that Viagra does not provide any birth control or protection against sexually transmitted diseases. Given the history and prevalence of HIV and related conditions in South Africa, it is perhaps especially important for South Africans using Viagra to remember to practice safe sex. Moreover, one treatment for HIV/AIDS, known as protease inhibitors, may make it harder to break down sildenafil in the body, and thus may increase the risk for adverse side effects of the drug. Given the relatively high incidence of HIV/AIDS in South Africa, the risk of interactions between Viagra and protease inhibitors may be higher in South Africa. South Africans (and anybody else) on protease inhibitors should use care when considering taking Viagra.

Viagra prices

While prices for Viagra vary based on access to public funds as well as by doctor and location, prices for Viagra in South Africa appear comparable to other countries around the world. In addition, it does not appear difficult to order Viagra online. That said, Viagra should be taken under a doctor’s supervision, not over-the-counter. Based on available private pricing information, Viagra costs range substantially, but are generally between 0.25 USD (roughly 3.50 South African rand) and 2.50 USD (roughly 35 South African rand).

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