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The History of Viagra

The term Viagra is one that society is very familiar with. After being introduced to the market in 1998, the drug has been in high demand from the moment it hit the shelves and with 300 million tablets being consumed a year, it’s showing no signs of slowing down.

However, many are unaware of exactly how this little blue pill came into existence. Fewer still know that it was in fact discovered by accident (a very lucky accident, many consumers will be thinking!) whilst manufacturer Pfizer was looking at the prevention of heart failure and high blood pressure. This humble pill has certainly come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1985.

How It Began

In attempting to find a treatment that would dilate blood vessels and so reduce blood pressure, Pfizer found a compound that looked particularly promising, Sildenafil. A compound that was later to be known as Viagra.

In testing this compound through clinical trials with healthy volunteers, the men were found to have interesting side effects which led to reports of frequent erections upon taking the drug. After these results were found, Pfizer turned to refocus their research upon an alternate widespread problem, erectile dysfunction (ED).

The Placebo Trials

In 1993, further trials were undertaken to test the drug, although this time it was analysed as a form of treatment for erectile dysfunction and not heart-related problems (literal ones, anyway). In doing so, they found the drug (renamed Viagra) to be a success.

With over 3000 patients spanning over a broad age range of 19-87, it was found that when compared to the placebo group, Viagra statistically showed to be significantly better and did indeed help men resolve their ED problems.

Licensing

After witnessing the capabilities of Viagra, it finally went on sale in 1998. With most new drugs, licensing can take up to a year to go through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In Viagra’s case, it only took six months.

Within two years of completing placebo trials, Viagra was being put on the market. And with sales reaching one billion dollars in the first year, it was greeted with much enthusiasm.

From a Medical Treatment to a Lifestyle Drug

Over time it seems that the reasons behind why individuals use Viagra have changed enormously. Originally, it was issued purely as a drug to combat ED. However with there being a much greater pressure on men to perform well in the bedroom, ulterior motives for its use have come to rise.

With media such as Fifty Shades of Grey getting so much attention the female and male generations alike are expecting much more, and these expectations leading to a rise in anxiety amongst men concerning their durability. With Viagra now available to those who pass an online consultation in the form of a questionnaire, it’s arguably much more accessible as a lifestyle drug.

Viagra: A Global Phenomenon

No matter where you are in the world, a form of Viagra is present. Since it was introduced 15 years ago, Viagra has revitalized the sex lives of millions of men and is reported to have an 80% rate of effectiveness.

The Viagra drug has even been used around other parts of the world in experiments with endangered species, trying to boost levels of reproduction! In China’s case, Viagra was used to encourage pandas to mate, although these attempts were rarely successful.

In a small matter of years, the popularity of Viagra had exceeded everyone’s expectations. Even now with Pfizer coming towards the end of its patent in several countries, it’s evident that forms of Sildenafil will still be around for the foreseeable future. Whether this will continue to include the Viagra brand itself it is less certain. Nonetheless, Viagra will always be remembered as a crucial turning point in medical history, changing the sexual experiences of billions of men with ED or other sexual problems on a global scale.

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