Clinical studies have consistently shown that a moderate level of alcohol when combined with Viagra is unlikely to cause problems; however, you must be aware about the potential risks of mixing alcohol with Viagra. It is a known fact that Viagra as well as alcohol can aid in the dilation of blood vessels. Therefore, combining both Viagra and alcohol may in certain people lead to many problems including low blood pressure. Therefore, it is best to resist alcohol while taking Viagra for erectile dysfunction.
How does Viagra react with alcohol?
Having undergone extensive tests, Viagra manufacturers feel that combining alcohol with Viagra is not expected to cause any problems. But, knowing that both Viagra and alcohol can have similar effects on blood vessels, it is best to avoid combining the two for safety reasons. Certain problems could occur due to overly dilated blood vessels; these problems include:
- A rapid heart rate
- Low blood pressure
As soon as the alcohol is ingested, it reaches the digestive tract through the stomach and in no time starts to circulate throughout the system via the blood. So, the more alcohol is present in your system, the more blood volume exists in the body. All erections depend on blood flow and therefore, alcohol when mixed with Viagra sildenafil tends to increase the volume of the blood itself, thus helping to maintain an erection. But this happens only when you consume alcohol in moderate amounts. Heavy drinking can in fact work in just the opposite way. This is because excessive alcohol can act as a sedative. We all know that sex starts in the brain and sedation of the brain using alcohol actually minimizes all sensations, good or bad; this then has a direct bearing on the erection itself. For any erection to sustain, the brain needs to be constantly stimulated through thought as well as through physical sensations. Therefore, excessive alcohol may work negatively to affect erections.
How does alcohol affect erections?
Excessive consumption of alcohol may decrease the ability to get an erection. Alcohol is a substance that depresses the central nervous system; alcohol only in small amounts works as a stimulant. But excessive alcohol actually results in loss of self-control, reduction in brain activity and sluggish reaction time to situations.
The endocrine system works like well-oiled machinery; it controls all hormonal activity as well as the activity of the ovaries and the testes. Alcohol may affect sexual functioning in a variety of ways. In reduced amounts, alcohol lowers inhibitions as well as makes a person feel sexier; but when consumed in larger quantities, it can decrease as well as impair sexual functioning. Whilst, alcohol decreases the frequency of erections, it also decreases the maintenance of erections and penile size during erections; on the other hand, alcohol gravely increases the amount of time between erections. Prolonged use of alcohol in men can also cause shrinking of the sex glands and an increase in estrogen (female hormone) levels. This in turn also directly affects erections.
Precautions to take with Viagra
It is advisable to use Viagra with care. Before taking this drug let your doctor know about the allergies that you might have; your complete medical history, especially about the penis conditions such as angulation, fibrosis/scarring and Peyronie’s disease; history of priapism; sickle cell anaemia and blood system cancers such as leukaemia or myeloma; eye problems such as retinitis pigmentosa; kidney or liver disease; bleeding disorders; active stomach ulcers; heart problems including recent heart attack or arrhythmias, heart failure, coronary artery disease with unstable angina, aortic stenosis and idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis; history of strokes as well as high or low blood pressure.
Additionally, Viagra can make you dizzy or cause vision changes; you also need to use caution while engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. You must limit the use of alcoholic beverages. The elderly are known to be more sensitive to the side effects of Viagra and should therefore use the drug with extreme caution.