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Little Blue Pills: Viagra Use And Gay Men

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The consequences of this combustible mix could not have been more obvious. By allowing guys already addled by drug and drink to pop a pill—and, half an hour later, a woody—Viagra upset the sexual ecology of the party scene. Thousands of folks whose minds had been chemically reduced to primary process are now able to close the evening's entertainments with a fuck—condoms and other cares cast to the winds. They still stagger, float or fall into oblivion, only now they exchange sexual fluids on the way.

Common Side Effects and Drug Interaction Problems
As a chemical compound, however, Viagra itself has proved surprisingly safe. By far the three most common complaints associated with Viagra use are flushing in the face, headache, and heartburn. Cases of priapism, a too-much-of-a-good-thing that can be very painful, have been reported, as have vision problems—a "blue haze"—related to the drug's effect on the blood vessels in the retina.

Red flags arise when Viagra interacts with other drugs, two of which are common among gay men. Poz guys on protease inhibitors, in particular ritonavir, are advised to limit their Viagra use to one 25-mg dose every two doses because the HIV med slows down the body's metabolism of the ED drug, causing an 11-fold pileup in the blood. Poppers, an accessory of some gay sex, are another no-no: The nitrates, like Viagra, dilate blood vessels, and the double whammy can cause blood pressure to plummet, leading to dizziness, heart attack or stroke.

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