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Viagra 20 Years Later: Here's Why Young, Healthy Men Use The Blue Pill

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Two decades after Viagra or Sildenafil Citrate was first released in the market, the blue pill has evolved into something more than just treatment for erectile dysfunction.

In its earlier days, "the miracle drug" was mainly patronized by older men who struggled with what was then known as "impotence." Now, its market has massively grown as millennials surprisingly enter the fold.

Why are these younger men still dependent on the medication despite being in the pink of health? This very question has puzzled researchers at the VA Boston Healthcare System and to determine the ultimate answer, they conducted an online survey in 2012 involving more than 1,200 sexually active men.

The results were both sad and shocking. Viagra and other oral erectile dysfunction medication are currently taken by recreational users to aide in a psychogenic condition resulting from misuse of the same drugs.

These type of users reported having the similar level of erectile function as those who have never taken the drug. However, they likewise claimed to have low sexual confidence and stronger feelings of dissatisfaction during intercourse.

Researchers determined that both are caused by frequent EDM misuse, which has been proven by the study to adversely affect an individual's erectile function.

Though further investigation is required, they warn in a paper published July 9, 2012, in the U.S. National Library of Medicine that recreational use of drugs such as Viagra by young and healthy men can potentially impede their "pharmacologically unaided erectile ability."

The Evolution Of Viagra Pills Over The Past 20 Years

By December 2017, the blue pill has made at least $17 billion in the United States alone. Aside from a large population of recreational users who spend regularly on EDMs, part of this amount was generated through the Pfizer's marketing efforts.

The company pulled almost every trick out of the bag, from launching studies that linked erectile dysfunction to diabetes and heart failure, to having Senator Bob Dole introduce Viagra to cancer survivors.

Although the media often joked about the drug, medical experts commended it for being the first non-invasive treatment for erectile dysfunction and for setting the stage for men to open up about their reproductive health issues.

"Viagra marks the start of the marketing of sexual dysfunction as a social and individual problem, and one to be solved by medicine," says Meika Loe, assistant professor of Sociology at Colgate University in New York and author of The Rise of Viagra: How The Little Blue Pill Changed Sex In America.

Nonetheless, she pointed out that its effectiveness remains uncertain as it doesn't really treat relationships or social ideas affecting a person's sexual confidence.

At present, Viagra is being sold at its most affordable price since 1998. According to a recent report, prices for branded EDMs are at $70 per pill, while prices for generic versions vary from $35 to $40 if purchased without discounts. Alternatives are also available in the market, such as Cialis and Levitra.

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