May 2012 Archives

Tragic and Shocking: Suicide by Viagra

Thumbnail image for news-icon.jpgThis is a first: the Daily Mail is reporting that an English church warden apparently killed himself by taking a massive overdose of Viagra. According to the investigating coroner, he had taken "hundreds of times" a normal dose, causing extreme hypertension and collapse. He was found fully clothed in his bathtub.

This isn't the only Viagra-overdose fatality - a few years ago there was that Russian guy who collapsed and died after having a Viagra-fueled sex marathon with two women. However, this case is unique in that it was clearly intentional. The deceased was despondent over the death of his mother and had spoken to neighbors about wanting to take his life.

What a way to go. The Daily Mail has been taking some flack from readers for publishing other details of the victim's personal life. Besides a large stash of Viagra, investigators found a roomful of sex supplies: a large quantity of condoms, lubricants, disposable gloves, canes and towels. Perhaps it's disrespectful of the dead to disclose such information, but on the other hand, if someone overdoses on Viagra, it seems they were intending to make a statement about their sexuality, and a pretty emphatic one at that.

What's tragic is that this seems like it could have been a desperate cry for help - from someone burdened both by grief and by sexual repression. It's entirely possible that although suicidal, the victim may have thought, in the back of his mind, that Viagra, even in a massive dose, might not be fatal. Sadly, this was not the case. 

Can Viagra Cause Heartburn?

Thumbnail image for faq-icon.jpgSometimes I get really bad heartburn after using Viagra. Is the Viagra to blame?

There's a likelihood that it's related. Dyspepsia, indigestion, heartburn - these can all be side effects of Viagra. And if you already get heartburn, using Viagra can aggravate it.

What's happening? While the drug causes the smooth muscles in the penis to relax, allowing increased blood flow that causes erection, it also causes other smooth muscles in the body to relax, including the sphincter that closes off your stomach from your esophagus. That permits the flow of stomach acid going the wrong way - up. The situation isn't helped any by the fact that you're probably in a horizontal position for some, if not all of the time the Viagra is in effect, making it easier for the acid to move into the esophagus.

What can you do? You can take an antacid before or with the Viagra as a preventative. Some people say drinking a large glass of water with the Viagra reduces or eliminates the heartburn for them. Also, limit your alcohol intake when using Viagra. Alcohol relaxes the esophageal sphincter as well, exacerbating the problem (and alcohol can worsen post-Viagra headaches if you're prone to hangovers). Having sex standing up is optional.

Greece Could Use a Stimulus Package

Thumbnail image for news-icon.jpgGreece is down in the dumps these days. Their economy imploding, the rest of Europe breathing down their backs, the political instability...with all that on their minds, Greeks apparently just aren't much in the mood for getting it on.

This week at Athens Erotic Dream - the country's largest yearly sex event - both attendees and vendors were scarce, and the recession has reportedly taken out three-quarters of Athens' adult toy stores.

With rampant unemployment and other economic pressures, consumers just don't have the euros to lay out for naughty negligees and Magic Wands - or they don't have the desire. "We're making just 20 euros ($25) a day, if at all," said sex toy retailer Marianna Lemnarou.. "Some customers just don't feel like having sex - others can't afford to buy our stuff in the crisis."

That's a shame, that their national woes are taking a toll on Grecian's sex lives - depriving them of one of life's great - and free - pleasures.

My suggestion - humanitarian aid to bolster Greek libido: a bulk shipment of free Viagra and vibrators. It may not be a bailout, but it's sure to lift everyone's spirits, and civic morale can't be underrated in tough times.

It's the least we can do for them - after all, they gave the rest of the world..."Greek".

The Hoff Says Nein to Viagra

Thumbnail image for news-icon.jpgDavid Hasselhoff wants you to know he does not - does not! - need Viagra. Not only that, he declared, "I am anti-Viagra. I am the Hoff." I'm not sure what that means.  Is that like being the anti-christ? He's against other men taking ED drugs? Or he's the antidote to Viagra?

He has a girlfriend three decades younger than him who declares that their "sex is amazing." He goes on about wanting to die in bed with her...I get that he's trying to make a point about his own virility. But why does he have to do it at Viagra's expense? Like they say, methinks he doth protest too much.

Might this have something to do with his fellow "Britain's Got Talent" judge Simon Cowell - who was highly insulted when offered a $2 million deal to endorse the blue pill?

Maybe the Hoff is angry that he got passed over for Cowell to be the "face of Viagra".

The Best Part of Waking Up...Is Morning Wood in a Cup

Thumbnail image for humor_icon.jpgGoogle's full of surprises sometimes. Just on a lark, I threw a couple of words into Google to see if there would be any connections - Viagra (of course) and coffee (because, why not). Up popped several references to a product I'd never heard of - "Magic Power Coffee" - coffee claiming to have Viagra-like properties. Was this stuff for real?

Now, there are a bazillion products and supplements and beverages on the market claiming to increase your libido and give you better erections. But the coffee in question attracted the attention of the FDA a couple of years ago, because it contained a substance - hydroxythiohomosildenafil - that's chemically related to Viagra's main ingredient. So, there could be some medical basis to their claims.

The FDA warned consumers that the coffee could be dangerous, causing abnormally low blood pressure, and asked for a voluntary recall of the product, which it looks like the company actually followed through on, eventually. But the stuff is still on sale online. Maybe they just took out the hydro-whatchamacallit.

I don't see ingredients listed for the coffee, but an Emergen-C type of drink sold on their website lists a bunch of herbs including Horny Goat Weed), Yohimbe, and Tribulus Terrestris. 

The sites FAQ says their products' ingredients are all classified "Generally Regarded as Safe" by the FDA, so unless the FDA changed their position on hydroxythiohomsildenafil, my guess is they took it out.

They also sell a product called "Magic Power Cream", which, silly me, I thought was an accompaniment to the coffee. Well, maybe it could be, but you don't put it in the's, uh, applied topically.

The only thing is, most people drink coffee in the morning, not before bedtime. So this product seems ideal if you want a morning quickie, or some afternoon delight. On the other hand, maybe it makes sense, if you want to keep it up, to take something that will keep you up all night.

Recreational Viagra Has Its Downside

Thumbnail image for research_icon.jpgTaking Viagra when you don't need it? You may be setting the, er, bar too high for yourself, leading to real sexual dysfunction later on.

A study recently published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine surveyed 1200 college-age men, and found that those who used Viagra recreationally (6 percent of the subjects) were more likely to experience subsequent difficulty in sexual performance.

Using unneeded ED drugs doesn't cause any physical damage, according to urologists, but it can create a psychological dependence. Viagra abuse can make young men more prone to "self-monitoring" of their erections during sex. That kind of self-consciousness and anxiety about adequacy can lead to real difficulties in performing when the drug is not available.

Paradoxically, the study also found that  men who used Viagra for kicks were actually less satisfied with their sex lives overall than non-users, and were less confident about their ability to achieve and maintain an erection.

The study's authors admit they don't know if the subjects began taking ED drugs in the first place because they had anxiety about sexual performance, but it's clear if that was the case, the drugs didn't help the users' original concerns, and may have undermined the confidence of healthy individuals.

Is There Viagra in the Water?

Thumbnail image for faq-icon.jpgI saw a news article about pharmaceuticals, including Viagra, getting into the water supply. How does this happen? Does it cause environmental problems?

Viagra in the drinking water sounds like a fantasy or a joke (or a recipe for a very happy village), but it's not far from reality. Significant traces of prescription drugs have been found in groundwater, rivers, lakes, bays, and coastal waters, including erectile dysfunction drugs, antidepressants and other psychiatric medications, hormones, and other substances like caffeine and nicotine.

How does it get there? Well, what goes in has to come out. When you take a drug and your body can't metabolize all of it, some gets excreted. So, those drugs are getting into the water through wastewater, i.e. sewage. Even treated sewage can still have those chemicals in it. Yeah, it's not nice to think about. Drugs can also leach into groundwater if they are thrown away and disposed of in a landfill.

The good news is that (hopefully) not a lot of that is getting into the drinking water supply, but that depends on where you live and what your water source is. And they're still out in the environment, where you can be exposed to them, and they can impact wildlife. The full and longterm effects aren't known, because environmental agencies have just recently started monitoring pharmaceutical pollution.

For the average Viagra user, there's not a lot you can do to prevent this from happening. Maybe don't take a higher dose of Viagra than required, to avoid excreting the excess amount. In the (unlikely) event that you have some unneeded or expired Viagra that you need to dispose of, don't throw it in the trash or flush it down the toilet. Take it to a pharmacy, medical facility, or police station where they accept prescription drugs for disposal. This goes for any type of drug, prescription or over the counter, that you might need to get rid of.

Anyway, Viagra probably isn't one of the drugs that would have the greatest impact. The ones that are really causing problems are hormones - estrogen and phytoestrogens. They can disrupt the normal development and reproduction of wildlife, and exposure to excess estrogens can have serious health consequences for humans, including...impotence in men.

Darn You Autocorrect: The Viagra Edition

Thumbnail image for humor_icon.jpgSometimes smartphones are just too helpful for their own good. (Except when they seem to be playing dumb. Looking at you, Siri.)

One of the best examples of this is the often-annoying autocorrect feature. Autocorrect totally makes sense, in theory, especially given the inevitable fat-fingered typing on those tiny phone text keypads. But between autocorrect and that other helpful feature, autocomplete, your phone sometimes seems to be sabotaging your text communications, and hilarity ensues.

It's such a rampant problem that it quickly became an internet meme, with a number of websites springing up with some of the best of the worst mangled texts.

Of course, there's no shortage of boner jokes in this genre. Check out what happens when these innocent texts get Viagra-fied:

This one is truly epic.

Always take Mom's advice.

And be extra careful on Valentine's Day.

Sometimes, no matter how you try, you can't turn it off.

But like Freud said, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar - except when autocorrect gets a hold of it.

Viagra Helps More Young Hearts

Thumbnail image for research_icon.jpgViagra already has a number of documented pediatric uses, and now we can add another. A small study at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has shown that sildenafil helps children with underdeveloped hearts. Children and young adults with a congenital heart defect called single ventricle heart disease palliation showed improved circulatory capacity and cardiac function after 6 weeks of treatment with the drug.

The condition can cause long-term illness and increased risk of death, even after surgical intervention. All the subjects in the study had previously undergone a procedure called a Fontan surgery to divert blood flow to the lungs. However, those blood vessels can become resistant, lessening the benefit of surgical treatment.

Echocardiograms showed that the drug had dramatically improved the heart's blood pumping capacity in those treated. The study was published in the journal Pediatric Cardiology.

In Viagra We Trust

Thumbnail image for news-icon.jpgMore doctors trust Viagra...sound like the tagline for an ad? It's true, though. In a Harris poll of almost 800 physicians, Viagra and Cialis were the most trusted drug brands. The surveyed doctors were asked questions about drugs in four categories: erectile dysfunction drugs, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and non-insulin diabetes drugs. Out of a possible 100 points, Viagra and Cialis ranked highest, tied at 82.

Since the poll asked subjective questions about familiarity with brands and the doctors' dispositions toward the manufacturers, it's arguable that the winners were just the drugs with the highest advertising profiles, or who gave out the best schwag.

It's true - Pfizer pours a lot of money into advertising, and some claim the company has recruited attractive females, including graduating college cheerleaders, to act as sales reps. But all that wouldn't be enough to hold the product up if it was truly terrible. The truth is, it delivers.

Viagra is no doubt well-regarded in part because of Pfizer's efforts in marketing and building relationships with doctors, but it's also a solid product. It works as advertised for most individuals for whom it's prescribed, and patients are satisfied with the result.

PDE-5 inhibitors are also fairly uncomplicated drugs, are predictable in their actions, and don't have serious or lasting side effects or require a lot of dose adjustment. So doctors can feel pretty confident in prescribing them.

Will Viagra Increase My Testosterone Level?

Does Viagra cause an increase in testosterone levels? Will it deplete my testosterone?

Since there is a correlation between testosterone and libido or sexual potency, it's not surprising that there could be some confusion about the connection between testosterone and Viagra.

However,  Viagra has no effect whatsoever on testosterone levels. The hormone testosterone is produced by the body's endocrine system, in the testes and pituitary gland. Viagra produces erections by affecting muscles and blood vessels, causing them to relax and dilate. The increased blood flow, not increased testosterone, is what causes an erection.

Using Viagra also doesn't utilize or "use up" your testosterone, and actually, some studies show that sexual activity causes an increase in testosterone levels in males.

That said, if you have erectile dysfunction and Viagra doesn't work for you, the cause may be low testosterone levels. If your testosterone levels drop too far, Viagra won't be enough to help.

While Viagra doesn't affect your testosterone levels, there are a lot of medications that do, none of which are related to sex. These include statins, Propecia/Proscar (finasteride), opiate painkillers, and some chemotherapy drugs, all of which may lower testosterone. Low testosterone levels can have negative health consequences for men, or may indicate other health problems, so if you have concerns about your testosterone levels, ask your doctor to have them checked.

You Think Viagra Grows on Trees?

Thumbnail image for research_icon.jpgApparently it does. It's also stocked on supermarket shelves, in the juice and produce aisles.

I'm not talking about pharmaceutical Viagra, of course - I'm referring to the food that's being touted as the latest "natural Viagra".  Pomegranates, or pomegranate juice to be specific. Research has declared that drinking a daily glass of the ruby red elixir for two weeks produces "Viagra-like effects" for both men and women.

Didn't we go through this with watermelon a few years ago?

Anyway, pomegranates, which have had a reputation as an aphrodisiac since ancient times, are the farmers market Viagra du jour. A UK study found that regularly drinking pomegranate juice produced a surge of libido-lifting testosterone in both sexes, plus positive effects on mood, memory, and blood pressure.

As far as the Viagra comparison goes, watermelon is a more accurate analog, as it contains amino acids that relax blood vessels in a manner similar to sildenafil. Neither watermelon nor Viagra have any effect on testosterone production.

Libido-enhancement aside, pomegranate juice has a lot of other fine qualities, being chock full of cancer and heart-disease fighting antioxidants. I'm not usually one to go in for superfood fads, but I might consider adding this one to my daily regimen. Although I wouldn't be surprised to find the store out of stock after the announcement of this news.

Crotch Rocket Causes Two-Year Erection

Thumbnail image for news-icon.jpgLooks like Viagra's not the only thing that needs a warning label about four-hour erections. A man is suing BMW, claiming one of its motorcycles gave him a case of priapism that has lasted two years. After riding the cycle in May 2010 for four hours, he developed an erection that wouldn't quit - and apparently still hasn't.

He blames the design of the seat, which rather than being wide and padded, is narrow and ridge-like, concentrating pressure and vibration at a delicate juncture. The plaintiff is suing BMW and the seat manufacturer, Corbin Pacific, for damages including lost wages, hospital bills, and emotional distress. He is reportedly still unable to have normal sexual relations.

It's times like that when you need a pill that works like Viagra in reverse.

While the case is unfortunate, and no doubt uncomfortable for the poor guy, it may bring some attention to an often overlooked cause of erectile dysfunction: motorcycle and bicycle riding, especially with unpadded seats. The pressure of the seat and the vibrations of the road can indeed cause impotence, which has been confirmed by studies. One Japanese study found some degree of ED symptoms in one-quarter of their sampling of regular motorcyclists.

Just goes to show, when it comes to putting the fun between your legs, there can be too much of a good thing.

Viagra: The Yardstick for SERP Relevance

Thumbnail image for news-icon.jpgThere's no way around it: Viagra is one of the most competitive keywords for search engine optimization. That's why, when Google rolled out a new algorithm meant to yield more relevant search results by penalizing over-optimization, bloggers used the V-word to test it out.

The results were not impressive. Or, at least, mixed.

This particular update went after, among other things, "exact match domains" - domains that are identical with the keyword or words. Which meant that Pfizer's official site for the drug,, actually dropped in the search rankings. Meanwhile, a lot of really sketchy stuff started floating to the top - unrelated sites that had obviously been hacked.

The website of Lois Lowry, children's literature author, is currently still on the page-one results for Viagra - with a warning from Google that the site "may be compromised". No kidding. Unless Ms. Lowry has switched careers and is now a pharmaceutical rep, that site has no business being in those search results anywhere.

The general consensus, among users and webmasters alike, is that this update didn't work so well, and actually worsened search results in some cases, with legitimate websites taking hits in their rankings. But Google is continually tweaking, so no doubt it will take that feedback and use it to adjust its next algorithm in the war against webspam. Unfortunately, in the battle between black hat SEO and Google, there always seems to be some collateral damage.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

April 2012 is the previous archive.

June 2012 is the next archive.

This is the blog for the Viagra Stories website, aka where real people share their experiences taking Viagra.