The major side effect of taking erectile dysfunction (ED) medication, such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra, is that 100 people die each year while taking them. Yet this happens almost exclusively in people with cardiac disease.
Unfortunately, many cases of nonperformance involve guys who are part of this group: men with arterial disease who have risk factors such as high blood pressure, chest pain, diabetes, high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol counts, or high inflammation numbers, which are indicated by either a waist size larger than 40 inches or a test called high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP). If you are in this category, get thee to a cardiologist, tell him (most guys with this problem choose a male doctor) what you want, and get his take on the side effects of Viagra and other erectile dysfunction medication -- and decide together whether they're right for you.
If you do get a prescription, remember not to use these pills with nitroglycerin. If you get chest pain after using one of these, take an aspirin with water, and get to an ED -- that stands for emergency department, not erectile dysfunction -- fast. Have your partner drive you. Immediately.