Viagra: Stay Safe When Ordering Online
By now, almost everyone has heard about the little blue miracle pill Viagra. Since being approved by the FDA and introduced to the public in 1998, sales have skyrocketed with sales exceeding $1 billion by the new millennium.
Viagra is most commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction by relaxing muscles and increasing blood flow to the penis, allowing men to get and maintain an erection. It is usually taken as needed, though not more than once a day. Although other similar drugs have been introduced in recent years, Viagra is still the most well known and popular drug of its kind.
Like nearly everything else, Viagra has gone high tech, with more and more men buying Viagra online. In fact, Viagra is among the top selling online medications. Buying prescriptions online has many benefits, such as saving a drive to the pharmacy. Some men who may feel uncomfortable about suffering from erectile dysfunction avoid feeling self conscience when they avoid purchasing Viagra in person. In addition, many online pharmacies offer their prescription drugs at a much lower price than traditional pharmacies.
Unfortunately, much of Viagra’s online sales are due to scam pharmacies willing to sell medications to anyone who wants them, with or without a prescription. As a result, the recreational use of Viagra is on the rise. Men as young as junior high school aged are using Viagra in deadly combinations with street drugs and alcohol.
Many recreational users think it will make them appear macho by giving them erections that last for hours, but there are many dangers associated with recreational use. One of the biggest dangers is the combination of amyl nitrate and Viagra used to get high at parties. Both drugs dilate blood vessels and can be fatal when combined. Viagra is also commonly used to overcome the temporary erectile dysfunction of Ecstasy. Yet another danger of buying Viagra from pharmacies on the Internet that are not reputable is the fact that many of them do not offer the drug in its pure form. The drugs are often ordered from overseas and are not the “real deal”.
Buying Viagra online can be done safely if it’s done in the right way. For example, you should only use Viagra under the supervision of your doctor. To avoid scams and other dangerous practices when ordering online, follow these tips:
- When buying Viagra online beware of the “pharmacies” that offer prescription medications without needing a prescription, or who offer an “online consultation. These consultations are often noting more than a quick questionnaire used to make these sites appear valid.
- Some online pharmacies, legit or not, may not make you aware of potential drug interactions that a trusted pharmacist may have caught for you. When speaking with your doctor about trying Viagra, always tell him about any other medications you may be taking so that any potentially serious drug interactions can be discussed before you even have the prescription filled.
- Aside from all the “pharmacies” that may send you the wrong drug, a different dosage of the drug, or an impure version, there are also sites posing as pharmacies that never send you anything at all. They have you type in your information for the purpose of stealing you medical and financial records. You never receive your drugs and they have your credit card number. Make sure any site you send your information to is secure. This means more than just seeing a logo claiming all transactions are secure. When you get ready to check out, the URL for that page should be https:// not http://. The added “s” at the end means that the site is secure and that your information cannot be stolen and used inappropriately.
- Any pharmacy you use should have an available phone number and a physical address. You should be able to talk to a licensed pharmacist any time. If there is no number, go to a different site.
- If the site contains a lot of bad grammar and broken English, run away! You may just be visiting a reputable pharmacy who hired a really bad copywriter, but it may also be that the “pharmacy” is based in Russia and they are selling you a toned down horse tranquilizer.
- Your safest bet may be to stick with pharmacies whose names you are already familiar with. Many well known pharmacy chains are taking business to the Internet, and you will know that a reputable pharmacist is responsible for any medications you receive and that your pills are the real thing. CVS is just one pharmacy that is taking business online. You can speak with your regular pharmacist about whether their drug store is on the Internet and if having your prescription medications shipped to you is an option.
If you have an online pharmacy in mind and want to find out more about scams and what to look for, visit the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy website. If you want to learn more about Viagra you can visit fda.gov, or talk to your pharmacist or doctor.