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35 Viagra Pills for Laughs, Not So Funny After All

Thumbnail image for news-icon.jpgHere's a cautionary tale that shows you one reason it's wise not to mix alcohol with Viagra: Daniel Medforth, a 26-year-old U.K. man who was joking around with some drinking buddies, found himself in a world of hurt after downing 35 Viagra pills within an hour.

Thirty-five? What on earth was he thinking? Planning an epic date-night? The story makes a little more sense when we learn that he and his pub-mates had been on a two-day bender.

"My mate brought them downstairs, I just said I'd take one for a laugh and one led to two to three, et cetera," Medforth told The Daily Beast

Bad idea. Very bad idea. This is a good time to remind everyone to a) only take prescription medications like Viagra under a doctor's supervision, b) follow the dosing and directions given by your doctor and pharmacist, and c) never take someone else's medication.

(On a side note, the U.K.'s national health program rations Viagra to one pill per week per patient, so it's curious to begin with that his buddy had 35 tablets on hand. Perhaps he had been hoarding them, or paid extra for them out of pocket. Wonder if Medforth's going to pay his pal back for the loss.)

Anyway, the poor bloke ended up with a "massive erection" that wouldn't go away, along with some other unpleasant symptoms: "I ended up feeling sick, dizzy and hallucinating -- everything I saw was green." (Having the visual field turn greenish is an uncommon but know side effect of Viagra. If you're a sildenafil user and you start seeing green, contact your doctor.)

He got a dressing down from his doctors, angered his wife (did he expect she'd be happy to have him come home hopped up on Viagra?), and spent two days in the hospital. Even when he got out, Medforth lived with the aftereffects for days: his painful and hypersensitive member sprang up at the slightest touch, giving him continual but "useless" erections.

All things considered, he was lucky. Excessive Viagra use resulted in the amputation of a Colombian man's penis (he'd had an erection for several days before seeking medical attention, and gangrene had set in), and a fatal heart attack for a Russian man who took a bottle of the drug while engaging in a 12-hour sex marathon.

As it was, Medforth just had to suffer through some pain and embarrassment, and a hard week. A very hard week.
news-icon.jpgViagra now has another outstanding celebrity endorsement! In a recent podcast, WWE legend Stone Cold Steve Austin went public with his use of the little blue pill.

Like some other celebs who have copped to using Viagra, the fifty-year-old Austin stopped short of saying that he actually needed the pill to do the deed: "I can f*ck without Viagra or Cialis, but I f*ck better with Viagra than if I don't take Viagra. So, at 50 years of age, I'm into reality, and the reality is -- at 50 -- I've got more years behind me than I do in front of me. So, I wanna enjoy these next few motherf*cking years to the maximum enjoyment that I can enjoy."

Steve raises a good point: You don't have to be having complete sexual dysfunction to benefit from using Viagra. But sexual function does decline with age, and many men in mid-life simply find that they perform better and more consistently when using the drug. 

Austin mentioned that while he has used both Viagra and Cialis, he wouldn't consider mixing the medications: "[I] take Viagra. I also take Cialis, but you never take those things at the same time. If you're gonna take Viagra, you stick with the Viagra. If you're gonna take Cialis, stick with the Cialis. You can't flip-flop back-and-forth [because] it's bad for you medically." 

Well, Austin's obviously not a doctor, and neither are we, but that seems like sound advice. 

So if you've been on the fence about whether to use Viagra, consider Stone Cold's words of wisdom: "[I]t makes me f*ck better, and when I f*ck, I'm pretty goddamn happy."

"Pink Pill" for Women Moves Closer to Approval

Thumbnail image for research_icon.jpgThe long-awaited "female Viagra" could be on its way soon thanks to an important decision last week by an FDA advisory committee. The committee voted 18-6 to recommend that the FDA approve the drug flibanserin for the treatment of sexual dysfunction in premenopausal women.

The approval is a major victory for the drug's maker, Sprout Pharmaceuticals. In 2010 the FDA committee unanimously vetoed its approval, and Sprout filed an appeal. 

Sprout is not the only pharmaceutical company benefiting from the decision; shares of Palatin Technologies, which is working on a drug similar to flibanserin, also skyrocketed. 

The search for the elusive "pink pill" has been a long one -- because women's sexual response is governed by different physiological and psychological mechanisms than men's, treatment for female sexual dysfunction is much more complex. Unlike Viagra, whose primary effects are focused on blood circulation in the genitalia, flibanserin affects the nervous system and causes changes in the balance of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. In fact, it was originally investigated as an antidepressant. 

Unlike past contenders for the "female Viagra" title, flibanserin seems like it could be the real deal, and the vote for its approval is being hailed as a milestone by advocates of women's sexual health equity, such as Even the Score. Supporters say that the FDA has had a double standard for sexual dysfunction treatments for men and women, and the vote for the drug's approval represents major progress. 

Pfizer Debuts Its Online Pharmacy

Thumbnail image for news-icon.jpgPfizer, the mega-pharmaceutical company behind Viagra, has started selling Viagra on its website. Or, at least, they are linking out to CVS's online pharmacy to sell and ship the drug. The ironies here are obvious and many, which we'll discuss below. But it's interesting to note just how prominent the company has made this new offering on its website. Here is a screencap of how they are marketing the new service:


This ad, which pops up right when you visit, emphasizes the "home delivery" aspect of their service. People may be embarrassed to pick up their pills in-person at a pharmacy, so this might be some benefit. However, there's nothing really new on offer here. There are plenty of online pharmacies ready to sell you Viagra, or any other drug, if you already have a doctor's prescription.

According to news reports, Pfizer began program in response to the prevalence of "fake" or "generic" Viagra sold online. Pfizer claims that many customers are unwittingly buying the fake Viagra online thinking it is real.

It's hard to believe that people ordering from very low-priced online pharmacies are under any illusion about what they are getting for their money. You get what you pay for, after all. People looking for a bargain know they aren't getting genuine Viagra; they are willing to take that risk to their health and well-being to get some knock-off manufactured who-knows-where. Some customers probably are getting fooled, but that's likely the small minority.

Pfizer's online pharmacy requires that you already have a prescription to order the drug. This differs from online pharmacies like which offer an online questionnaire about your health history. After you fill it out, a physician reviews your answers and prepares a prescription for you. These pharmacies sell genuine Viagra, but of course, their prices reflect that. Most consumers are smart enough to know the difference.

Blinded by Viagra: Man Says He Lost His Sight

Thumbnail image for news-icon.jpgAn 86-year-old New Yorker is claiming that Viagra caused him to lose his sight, and now he's seeking a whopping $2 million in damages. And he wants Pfizer to stop selling the drug.

According to the New York Post, Anthony Andresakis said he had concerns about the drug prior to taking it, but was assured by the manufacturer that any side effects would clear up shortly. Swallowing his fears, he gulped down the pills.

Now he claims the resulting vision problems, which have persisted since April, have robbed him of "the joy of life." Well, hopefully he got a little joie de vivre in there before the pills wore off and the vision problem kicked in.

Tell me - how many 86-year-olds don't have visual impairment? Chances are the guy just has cataracts.

While he's taken his case to a Manhattan federal court, I don't expect it to get much further - especially since he's chosen to represent himself in the legal proceedings.

U.S. Doesn't Measure Up, and Yes, It Actually Does Matter

Thumbnail image for news-icon.jpgA world-wide survey of erect penis length doesn't reflect very well on the U.S.A's collective manhood. The United States ranked somewhere around 18th, in the 25th percentile. Number one: the Republic of the Congo, with a whopping 7.1 inch average. The U.S. average length of just 5.1 inches put it well behind most of Europe, and Australia, and Canada, get the idea.

The surprise "show-ers" in this run-off are Iceland and Sweden. You don't normally associate Nordic countries with big dicks, but maybe it's deceptive because of shrinkage due to the frigid climate.

While the study is interesting, I don't think the data really means that much when applied to the U.S. Our country is such a melting pot, with a population drawn from all races and nationalities, so it's really no surprise that the U.S. penile index is only "average" - we're like the global average.

In other news, the truth has finally come out after years of denial: Size does matter. A report in the Journal of Sexual Medicine reveals that in a survey, a third of women who have primarily vaginal (as opposed to clitoral) orgasms prefer longer-than-average penises. If you're not well endowed, don't worry - two thirds of the women felt it didn't matter. At least, that's what they say...

Young and Addicted - to Viagra?

Thumbnail image for news-icon.jpgThinking of getting an early start with Viagra? You might want to think again, because more reports are surfacing that taking Viagra when you don't really need it can lead to...actually needing it. Like, every time you want to do it.

For a while now, doctors and therapists have been saying they're seeing more and more younger men who have become dependent on ED drugs to perform sexually. They may get their start taking the pills recreationally, or taking them to bolster their confidence if they feel under pressure to perform. Either way, after a while they find themselves unable to do the deed without chemical assistance.

A study of the phenomenon was published earlier this year in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, and now more anecdotal reports are backing it up. Some articles in the British press feature interviews with men who came to Viagra early in life and now find they can't get by without it.

Most of these young men would never have been diagnosed with ED in the first place, so how did they get their hands on the drugs? Some get them the same way you'd get any sort of recreational drug - illegally - and some, especially men in Europe and the UK, simply jaunt over to another country where doctors have more liberal prescribing policies. We hear Spain is the place to go if you're looking for this sort of thing.

What's causing more men to turn to Viagra and similar drugs, at younger ages? Physicians and pundits have singled out a few possible culprits for making men feel so sexually inadequate that they feel they need back up before facing the bedroom. Many point the finger at porn, for setting unrealistic expectations about what male sexual performance looks like and how women are supposed to look or behave as sexual partners; and for making it harder for guys to get off - or even get hard - in a real-life sexual situation.

Women's increasing sexual liberation is cited as well: men may feel threatened or intimidated by women's sexual assertiveness, feeling pressure to have sex sooner in a dating scenario, and feeling that women are - no pun intended - sizing them up based on their sexual performance.

Some health professionals are skeptical about all the fuss over "Viagra addiction", claiming there's really no such thing and the problem isn't as widespread as the press would have you believe. It's perhaps just a matter of semantics - if you want to define addiction in its narrowest sense, these guys are not addicted. However, they have physical and/or psychological dependency on the drugs to help them get it up. And of course the press sensationalizes things, but it does happen.

Point being, if you don't need Viagra to treat erectile dysfunction, you shouldn't  take it. Like any chemical crutch, it gets easier and easier to lean on over time, until you can manage without it. And it's a slippery slope from using a pill here and there to improve your performance, to needing the drug to perform at all.

Bengali Doctors Predict Viagra Public Health Crisis

Thumbnail image for news-icon.jpgDoctors in Bangladesh are taking an unusual position for the medical profession - asking the government to halt production of a medication. The Bengali government recently granted permission to over a dozen drug manufacturers to produce and market sildenafil citrate - but the Bangladesh Medical Association wants to put the brakes on.

They're concerned that the medication will too easily get into the hands of people who shouldn't be taking it - men with heart disease, diabetes, or other conditions that contraindicate prescribing Viagra. Because in Bangladesh, apparently, you don't need to go to a prescribing physician to get medications; you can get pretty much anything over the counter.

If that were the case, I would think they would be more concerned with other drugs with high potential for abuse, like maybe opiates? But I guess they figure there is going to be a huge demand for Viagra once it becomes available, and everyone is going to run out and get it without really thinking about the consequences.

The government granted the licenses to manufacture the drug in response to reports that the number of erectile dysfunction sufferers had increased, so I guess it's not unreasonable to expect that there might be a rush on the drug once it becomes available. Obviously the standards of care are somewhat different than those in other countries, but maybe they could manage with a public education campaign about the potential dangers of using Viagra.

Save a Tiger - Take Viagra

Thumbnail image for news-icon.jpgHere's some good news for an endangered species and wildlife conservationists: the acceptance of Viagra in China as a viable erectile dysfunction treatment is reducing the demand for a traditional ED remedy: tiger penis.

And it's a good thing, too, because there may be as few as 20 tigers in the wild in China, and not all of them have penises.  India, a supplier of the Chinese market, has an estimated tiger population of around 1200, which is dwindling due to poachers.

Chinese health care consumers are starting to recognize that exotic remedies like tiger penis and rhino horn, though they may be time-honored, are prohibitively expensive and are likely not so effective as their Western counterparts.

On the other hand, some fear these remedies' steep price tag could make them something of a status symbol among wealthier patients.

Viagra Alternative Recalled for...Being Viagra

Thumbnail image for news-icon.jpgA so-called natural male enhancement supplement, Actra SX, has been recalled by the FDA for containing active ingredients of Viagra and Levitra.

The product's packaging listed ingredients such as horny goat weed, ginseng, astralagus, bee pollen, and vitamin B-12. All relatively benign and common ingredients for "herbal Viagra" supplements.

Turns out this one had a little extra kick to it - actual pharmaceuticals.

Body Basics, the company that sells the pills, is said to have confirmed the presence of the drugs sildenafil and vardenafil through independent lab testing. So, they didn't know it was in there to begin with? That seems strange, but maybe they were just buying and repackaging sketchy supplements from overseas.

It might not make sense to put Viagra in herbal pills. If you're going to do that, why not just sell Viagra? The reasoning is probably that cutting in a small amount of the active drug might actually make the pills effective, and happy users will come back for more. The pills cost a fortune, so you know they were making bank on them, and they're totally unregulated as drugs.

Well, unregulated until the FDA catches up with you.

Body Basics voluntarily stopped distributing the pills in 2011, but there may be some still out there, and they pose a potential risk to consumers who may think they're taking a "natural" formula with no side effects, when in reality it could cause dangerous drug interactions or medical complications.

As with most things, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.