Is Viagra safe for seniors? Knows its side effects and precautions

Is Viagra safe for seniors? Knows its side effects and precautions
Published : Feb 04, 2024
Last Updated : Feb 07, 2024

Growing older means you have more chance of developing certain health ailments like erectile dysfunction.

After the age of 50, erectile dysfunction is more common, and it can be risky to take certain ED treatments.

Viagra, or blue pill, is one treatment that usually raises this concern in older adults.

When it comes to treating erectile dysfunction, Viagra and other phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors are the first choice for ED.

Viagra is available in oral pill form that can be taken almost 30 minutes to 4 hours before planned sexual activity.

This medication works by relaxing blood vessels and improving the flow of blood to the male sexual organ when sexually stimulated.

Though it is safe, it sometimes causes side effects like skin flushing, high blood pressure, and dizziness.

Some men, mainly older adults or seniors, can be especially prone to these side effects.

Is it safe for older adults to take Viagra?

Yes, Viagra or any generic version of Sildenafil is safe for seniors, but it is suggested to start with a lower dosage.

It is an FDA-approved medicine that contains Sildenafil with very minimal side effects.

However, as an older adult, if you take Viagra without a prescription, then it can be unsafe.

Viagra pill reacts with certain diseases, medications, and foods. With age, the risk of health issues also increases.

As a result, older men have more chances of experiencing adverse side effects from Viagra pills.

When there are high levels of Viagra in your plasma, the risk of side effects increases automatically.

Young men often clear this medication out of their bodies quickly, due to which they experience side effects for less time.

Nevertheless, men above 70 retain Sildenafil in their bodies for a long time, which means it leaves the body more slowly and experiences side effects longer.

Generally, the doctor recommends half a regular dosage of Viagra to men above 65 years.

The typical starting dosage of Viagra is 50mg, but seniors should begin with 25mg only.

Related Article: Know about Viagra prescription

What are the common side effects of Viagra for seniors?

Viagra can cause certain side effects to seniors, some of which are common and disappear after some time.

All these side effects are temporary and last only for a few days or weeks.

Here are some common side effects of Viagra that adult men might experience during treatment:

In case these common side effects last longer, bother you, or become serious, then consult with a doctor once.

What are the mild side effects of Viagra for seniors?

During treatment, some seniors can also experience possible mild side effects of the Viagra pill.

Here are some mild side effects of Viagra:

  • Mild allergic reaction
  • Flushing
  • Back pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Dizziness
  • Indigestion
  • Nasal congestion
  • Skin rash
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Temporary vision disorders like light sensitivity, changes in color, and blurry vision

All these side effects can be temporary and last for just a few days or sometimes weeks.

Nevertheless, if the side effects last longer than that or become serious over time, then meet your doctor immediately.

Serious side effects of Viagra for seniors?

Viagra can cause serious side effects sometimes to older adults. However, there is not a complete list of serious side effects.

In case you develop serious side effects while taking Viagra, then call your doctor immediately.

Here is a list of serious side effects of Viagra:

Cardiovascular problems that happen in people suffering from heart disease include:

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Priapism
  • Low blood pressure
  • Sudden hearing loss
  • Serious allergic reactions
  • Non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION)

Get emergency medical help if any of these side effects seem to be life-threatening.

What precautions should seniors take for Viagra?

There are certain people or older adults who must not take Viagra because some interacting medicines can cause problems.  

On the other hand, you need to take Viagra pills with extra precautions like a lower dosage or follow up with a doctor frequently.

People taking certain medicines

Older men who take nitrates like isosorbide dinitrate or nitroglycerin should strictly avoid taking Viagra.

This combination can be dangerous and even cause serious hypertension or low blood pressure.

Guanylate cyclase stimulators like Riociguat also interact with Viagra pill and cause side effects.

It is necessary to avoid such types of combinations as they raise the risk of experiencing excessively low blood pressure.

Alpha-blockers like doxazosin cause the same effects. So, please consult your doctor once before taking it.

Before taking any medicines, you must discuss with a doctor to avoid drug interactions.

People with recent heart problems

People with heart problems often have more chance of experiencing erectile dysfunction.

This includes conditions like an irregular heartbeat, heart failure, or a previous heart attack.

All these conditions can affect how your blood circulates in the body and interfere with enough blood flow to male sexual organs.

In case the sexual activity is safe for your heart, but you struggle with ED, medicines like Viagra pill can improve your quality of life.

However, this is not safe for all older adults or seniors.

Seniors with rare eye conditions

Some older adults can suffer from vision issues while taking Viagra, mainly with higher doses.

When suffering from vision problems, you can experience light sensitivity, blurred vision, and color changes.

In these cases, your vision will return to normal only after several days or weeks. 

Seniors with rare eye conditions like NAION or retinitis pigmentosa are more likely to develop eye-related side effects from Viagra.

If you experience any of these eye issues during your treatment with Viagra, then consult a doctor.

Not taking more than your prescribed dosage of Viagra can also help in keeping you safe.

Taking Viagra in true allergy can be unsafe, and you should not try to take it again.

Therefore, Viagra is safe for seniors and can help in treating erectile dysfunction when taken in the prescribed dosage.

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