UPGUYS
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UPGUYS

How Young is Too Young For Viagra?

And How Old is Too Old?

Disclaimer: Your healthcare provider is the best source of health and medical information. Articles written by UPGUYS are informed by peer-reviewed studies and research, as well as governmental health authorities and agencies — but they cannot replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns you might have.

Aging is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, our bodies begin to fail us. Years of wear-and-tear on the body’s muscles and joints, aggregate damage to internal organs from environmental factors like pollution and radiation, poor lifestyle habits like inactivity and unhealthy diets all take their toll eventually.

On the other hand, as the years go by, we accrue knowledge and learn from increasingly varied experiences — hopefully. (As Mohammed Ali said, “the man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 30 has wasted 20 years of his life).

Erectile dysfunction, too, affects men later in life more than it does in their early years. The Canadian Urology Association as well as findings in the Massachusetts Male Aging Study both suggest that around half of all men will experience erectile dysfunction at the age of 40. ED can affect men of all ages, however. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that up to a quarter of men newly diagnosed with ED were under the age of 40.

Since Viagra first hit the market in the late 90’s, the general public has become more aware of prescription treatment options for ED, like the aforementioned Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. They’ve been shown to be both effective and well-tolerated in clinical trials. But at what age should prescription medication be considered for treating ED? And at what age is it no longer safe to take Viagra?

The simplest answer concerning the lower-age limit is that Viagra has been deemed safe by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in men 18 years of age or older. That is, from a strictly physiological point of view, Viagra is well-tolerated in adult men. There are more than just physical considerations at play here though.

Viagra’s benefits in helping men achieve and maintain an erection has made it popular among recreational drug users. After a night of drinking, in addition to other banned substances, some young men may turn to Viagra in order to overcome erectile difficulties. One study found that young recreational users of erectile dysfunction medication actually developed less confidence in their ability to get an erection compared to non-users. This, in turn, created a risk for developing a psychological dependency on these drugs. Another study found similar results.

Of course, the operative word here is “recreational” — that is, medication that was obtained without the blessing of a qualified medical professional and used for something outside of its intended purpose. Erectile dysfunction is a complex condition affected by both physical and mental factors. Simple changes to diet and exercise can sometimes help reverse ED, especially in younger, healthy men, which may eliminate the need for younger men to seek out prescription ED meds to begin with. There’s also a possibility that erectile function issues could be caused by more serious, underlying conditions, like type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular issues. Exploring non-prescription options for treating ED, as well as testing for any potential underlying causes, can both be accomplished by seeking proper medical help. Without it, the risks to young men’s health are increased.

For older men, ED not only affects around half of all men at the age of 40, but becomes increasingly prevalent, to the rate of 70 percent by age 70. As with the lower-end of the age spectrum cutoff at 18, Viagra has been shown to be safe and well-tolerated by men up to the age of 85. There are, however, more caveats to taking ED meds as men age.

Men whose hearts are healthy enough for sexual activity should not take Viagra, Cialis or Levitra. These drugs can also interact with other medications, causing potentially harmful effects. As taking prescription medication becomes more common with age, it becomes imperative to ensure that all prescription meds, including ED meds, can live in harmony.

Ultimately, the first step in seeking treatment for erectile dysfunction should be to consult a doctor — irrespective of age. Whether it’s a visit to your family doctor, a walk-in clinic, or an online consultation, trained medical professionals will know the right questions to ask to determine if prescription medication is right for you.

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