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Viagra is a medication used to treat erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension. It is unclear if it is effective for treating sexual dysfunction in women. It is taken by mouth or injection into a vein. Viagra works to treat erectile dysfunction by helping you have and maintain an erection. The drug does this by improving blood flow into your penis when you’re sexually aroused. Viagra contains sildenafil citrate  a  type of drug called a phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor. It works by inhibiting (blocking) the action of an enzyme called PDE5.

However, Viagra is one of the most counterfeited drugs in the world. Counterfeit medicine is fake medicine. It may be contaminated or contain the wrong or no active ingredient. They could have the right active ingredient but at the wrong dose. Counterfeit drugs are illegal and may be harmful to your health. Many consumers may not know that the medicines they’ve purchased are counterfeits.

Research has estimated that up to 2.5 million men in Europe are exposed to illicit sildenafil, suggesting that there may be as many illegal as legal users of sildenafil. Analysis of the contents of fake PDE5is shows inconsistent doses of active pharmaceutical ingredients (from 0% to > 200% of labelled dose), contaminants (including talcum powder, commercial paint and printer ink) and alternative ingredients that are potentially hazardous. In one analysis, only 10.1% of samples were within 10% of the labelled tablet strength. Estimates place the proportion of counterfeit medications sold over the Internet from 44% to 90%. Of men who purchase prescription-only medication for erectile dysfunction without a prescription, 67% do so using the Internet. Counterfeit PDE5is pose direct and indirect risks to health, including circumvention of the healthcare system.

Recently a shipment with thousands of fake Viagra pills was seized before it could arrive at a Michigan residence, officials say. The shipment of 15,000 tablets marked as Viagra 100 mg tablets also included various brands of honey mixed with Sildenafil, the medication used to treat erectile dysfunction, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The pills could have sold for more than $1 million if real, officials said

What have been found in counterfeit VIAGRA:

  • Amphetamines, also known as “speed”

 

  • Metronidazole, a powerful antibiotic that could cause an allergic reaction, diarrhea, or vomiting

 

  • Too much active ingredient (or not enough), which may cause you harm

 

  • Binding agents, such as drywall, that prevent the tablet from breaking down in your system

The primary danger in taking a counterfeit medicine is that you are putting something into your body that not only may not help your current condition, but more alarmingly could result in harmful effects to your overall health.

What do fake Viagra pills look like

What do fake Viagra pills look like?

Text. As demonstrated by the image above, there are some key differences regarding the style of the text between real and counterfeit Viagra. The ‘f’ of the Pfizer text engraved into real Viagra doesn’t thin out until near the top of the letter, above the fork.   On the other hand, the ‘f’ of counterfeit Viagra tends to thin out much lower down as depicted by the position of the arrow, below the fork.

Furthermore, be sure to look at the text on the back of the tablet. There you should find the characters ‘VGR’, followed by the strength of the tablet, engraved into the pill. If the characters are missing, this is a sure-fire way of confirming the tablet is a fake. Even if they are present, examine the characters closely. The leg of the letter ‘G’ on real Viagra tablets should be short, whereas the leg on fake tablets is much longer and protrudes further into the ‘G’.

 

Colour.  Viagra tablets should always be light blue, with no colour variation at all on either side. Counterfeit Viagra tablets can have one face that is darker than the other, even though the colour difference is often very slight in such cases.

 

Strength. The standard strengths of Viagra tablets are 25mg, 50mg and 100mg. Any Viagra tablets with strengths that deviate from those listed are counterfeit.

 

Expiration Date. Real Viagra will have a valid expiry date that is clear and easy to read. On the other hand, counterfeit Viagra may lack an expiry date, or it may be obscured by the print on the tablet packaging.

 

No Patient Information Leaflet. Pfizer provides a Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) with every box of Viagra to ensure that any individual wishing to use the product knows how to do so safely. Any Viagra box that does not contain a PIL is therefore likely to be fake.

 

No Prescription Required. Although in many countries Viagra and other  Sildenafil brands are available without prescription. It is crucially important that a qualified doctor performs the required medical checks and ensures that Viagra is safe for the patient to take. For example, Viagra should not be taken by an individual who is already taking nitrate drugs, such as Isosorbide. This is due to the risk of the drug combination causing low blood pressure. In countries where restrictions apply, doctors and pharmacists are therefore needed to identify any potentially harmful interactions and ensure the patient doesn’t have any medical conditions that may be worsened by Viagra. As aforementioned, a prescription must then be processed before Viagra can be supplied. If the seller doesn’t indicate that a prescription is required, then the Viagra they are selling is highly likely to be counterfeit.

Even using the indicators listed above, it can be enormously difficult to identify any clear differences between fake and real Viagra. The sheer amount of fake Viagra produced means that some will have a similar, possibly even identical, appearance to the real product. Perhaps the most important step that you can take to ensure you obtain legitimate Viagra is buying from a trusted seller.

 

What is the most important information I should know about VIAGRA?

Viagra can cause your blood pressure to drop suddenly to an unsafe level if it is taken with certain other medicines. Do not take Viagra if you take any other medicines called “nitrates.” Nitrates are used to treat chest pain (angina). A sudden drop in blood pressure can cause you to feel dizzy, faint, or have a heart attack or stroke.

Do not take Viagra if you take medicines called guanylate cyclase stimulators which include:

Riociguat (Adempas®) a medicine that treats pulmonary arterial hypertension and chronic-thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension.Tell all your healthcare providers that you take Viagra. If you need emergency medical care for a heart problem, it will be important for your healthcare provider to know when you last took Viagra.

Stop sexual activity and get medical help right away if you get symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, or nausea during sex.

Sexual activity can put an extra strain on your heart, especially if your heart is already weak from a heart attack or heart disease. Ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough to handle the extra strain of having sex. Viagra does not protect you or your partner from getting sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV—the virus that causes AIDS.

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