Can I Substitute Viagra For Imdur From Time To Time

Question

Asked by Bercy

Can I Substitute Viagra For Imdur From Time To Time

I am a 57 year old male and take imdur sa 30mg and cardizem cd 240mg every morning for variant angina as well as CAD. I also have a pacemaker. I have trouble maintaining an erection, and wonder how I might possibly be able to use viagra. Can I substitute the viagra for the imdur from time to time? Or if I wait 24 hours from the last dosage of Imdur, could I take a viagra pill?

Answer

Bercy,

Thanks for your question.

There are two issues here. The first, as you know, is that you cannot take Viagra while taking nitrates, which in this case is your Imdur. Imdur is a long acting nitrate preparation which dilates blood vessels which helps the heart in many ways. Viagra is also a potent vessel dilator and the two together can drop blood pressure to low levels posing a significant risk to people, especially those with heart disease.

The second issue is stopping your medication (Imdur) for a period of time to allow it to wear off so that you can take the Viagra, therefore avoiding the risk of taking both medications together. This is also very dangerous as it appears that you require the Imdur in addition to the Cardizem CD for treatment of your Coronary Artery Disease. Stopping the Imdur would pose a significant risk in your situation.

The third is substituting the Imdur, which dilates blood vessels, with Viagra which has the same function. This is also dangerous. Viagra was developed initially as cardiac medication to dilate the coronary arteries. As it turned out, it did a poor job dilating these vessels, but was found to work well in the pelvic area, dilating vessels there that help contribute to obtaining and maintaining an erection. So this substitution would not be benefiting your heart.

A fourth issue is your underlying health and the safety of engaging in sexual activity. This is a subject that needs to be addressed with your doctor.

So, the bottom line is: It would be dangerous and pose high risk to stop the Imdur and substitute the Viagra in its place in order to participate in sexual activity, especially with your underlying coronary artery disease requiring two major medications.

I hope this has been helpful.

Martin Cane, M.D.