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Best Selling ED Drug Viagra Turns 15

Viagra celebrates its 15th birthday.

Viagra celebrates its 15th birthday.

The famous little blue pill has officially been on the market for 15 years. Successful advertising campaigns have helped make Viagra one of the most well known pharmaceuticals in history. According to the Viagra’s website, 25 million men have taken the drug to alleviate sexual problems.

Men Turn to Their Doctor

Aside from the medical benefits, University of British Columbia professor Barbara Mintzes says Viagra has turned the once taboo topic of impotence into a common conversation.

“The positive side of that is that there isn’t this sort of implication that it’s sort of a personal failure on a man’s part if he has a sexual problem,” she told CBC News.

The Downside of Viagra

Viagra was approved by the FDA to treat erectile dysfunction in 1998. Since that time, millions of men have filled a prescription for the pill. Critics worry the drug is over-prescribed.

“For the people who are uncomfortable, they immediately reach for the prescription pad,” Dr. Guy Grenier told CBC News. “When we’ve got that sort of quick immediate answer, we end up with people getting the wrong treatment.”

Grenier worries doctors aren’t looking at other issues that could cause problems in the bedroom.

“A lot of sexual performance issues have nothing to do with blood flow,” Grenier said. “They have to do with relationships issues, or animosity, or attraction, or communication — all kinds of things.”

Viagra’s History

Reports indicate Viagra holds 45% of the ED market, with Cialis a close second.

Reports indicate Viagra holds 45% of the ED market, with Cialis a close second.

Viagra’s blood-pumping abilities were actually discovered by mistake back in the 90s. Pfizer was originally testing Viagra to treat heart problems, when an unknown side effect was discovered. Experts changed the plans and started trials for erectile dysfunction.

CNN has put together a timeline that explores Viagra’s history. Check it out here.

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