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Pay as you grow Erection pill Viagra now available without prescription

Hundreds have RISEN to the occasion by flocking to pharmacies around the country to snap up the magic little blue pills.

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Our man Eugene with a pack of over-the-counter Viagra

Our man Eugene with a pack of over-the-counter Viagra

Our man Eugene with a pack of over-the-counter Viagra

It's the answer to many a man's prayer - readily buyable, over-the-counter Viagra.

Numerous lads have been given a LIFT at the news that Viagra can now be bought in Ireland without a prescription.

Hundreds have RISEN to the occasion by flocking to pharmacies around the country to snap up the magic little blue pills.

While some have EXPLODED with joy that they can finally get their hands on the wonder drug without having to see a doctor, others have been left DEFLATED at being charged over double the normal price.

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The easy access Viagra cost €25 for four

The easy access Viagra cost €25 for four

The easy access Viagra cost €25 for four

Consumers in Ireland this week have been able to buy erectile dysfunction tablets without prescriptions for the first time - it has been accessible in a similar fashion in the UK for several years and men with impotence problems have used it as a lifeline.

Pharmacists will assess if customers are safe to take Viagra Connect in a similar way to how strong painkillers are sold.

At least two independent pharmacies we tried in Dublin on Friday did not yet have the drug in stock and were awaiting deliveries.

"I know that Lloyds have started to sell it, as have Boots," said a female pharmacist in Murray's on Talbot Street.

A male assistant in Active Life Pharmacy, also on Talbot Street, told us: "You have to have a prescription to buy Viagra in Ireland."

He was immediately corrected by an older pharmacist in the store.

"The Government have deregulated sale and we are now allowed to sell it," he told us. "It's the actual real Pfizer brand, not a generic one."

Consultation

We then ventured to a Boots outlet, where a female assistant advised us to go upstairs to their branch in the Jervis Centre as they had not got it in stock.

She was overheard by a male pharmacist who announced: "Actually we have it here - we just got it in today."

He told our man that he would see him in a minute or two in a nearby 'consultation room', where the two adjourned to a table and two chairs.

Anyone buying the drug in a chemist will have to undergo such a procedure, as the pharmacist has to make sure the patient knows what's involved.

A Boots leaflet advises: "Viagra Connect contains 50mg Sildenafil which relaxes blood vessels to help increase blood flow to the penis. By doing so, this can help a man get and maintain a hard enough erection for sex once he has been sexually aroused. It will not give you an instant erection and can take between 30 minutes to an hour to work."

"It arrived in just this week and we started selling it today," confirmed the young pharmacist.

He had a form, which contained numerous medical questions.

"We have a few questions to make sure you are healthy and fit to take it," he noted. Do you have any cardiovascular problems, any health problems of any note? Do you ever feel breathless or have any chest pains?

"Have you had a heart attack or stroke before, no heart problems or heart rhythm. Do you take any medicine? Over the counter even? No medical condition, allergies or anything like that?"

He added: "Basically, what is involved is that anyone who takes Viagra, its available over the counter but they are advised to have a check-up with their doctor within six months, because ideally one shouldn't really need to take Viagra because it can be a sign of a cardiovascular problem.

"Like a circulation problem. Lots of men do need it, but I suppose it shouldn't ideally be needed, so it can be a sign of blood pressure problems, or circulation problems. So it's OK to take it now, but it's recommended to have a check-up with your GP within six months."

Dangerous

Asked why it's freely available here now, he replied: "I suppose it has been available in the UK for years and it's not a very dangerous medicine to take. The one thing is the fact that you do need it could be a sign there is a cardiovascular or circulation problem."

He then enquired whether our man had ever taken it before.

"What you do is, they either come in a four pack or an eight pack, and they are a little bit more expensive to get over the counter," he added. "A four pack would cost €25. If you had a prescription it would be about a tenner, but it would cost you €50 or €60 to get a prescription from a doctor, so it does save a bit of money."

Bizarrely, he asked: "Do you take grapefruit juice?" (on further reading it can cause blood levels to rise, which can trigger headaches and flushing).

He said patients are given an advisory leaflet with the medicine.

"You take the tablet one hour before you have intercourse and it can take 30 minutes to work, so you need to plan ahead a little bit. You can take it with or without food. It may take longer if you've eaten a big meal," ," he advised.

The polite pharmacist then proceeded to dosage.

"One per day is the maximum," he noted. "If one tablet doesn't work, you may need to take another one. But that could be a sign of cardiovascular problems."

He said most men don't have side effects, but some do get headaches, flushing in the face, stomach discomfort, nasal congestions, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision.

"If you notice anything particularly bad, chest pain, or breaking out in a rash, stop taking them and let us know or go to your doctor," he stressed.

Lifestyle

He said lifestyle could help.

"Losing weight, stopping smoking, exercise, controlling alcohol, can all be beneficial," he pointed out.

Asked if women can take it, he replied: "No it's just for men, it doesn't do anything for women."

The dosage level available over the counter is 50mg. The 100mg version has still to be prescribed by a doctor.

"50mg would usually be the starter one any-ways," he observed. "See how it goes. If you want the 100mg you'd have to go to your doctor."

He then handed over a small card, which he tore off the form.

"Keep it in your wallet and if you do need us again it saves going through the whole consultation again," he concluded.

With that, our reporter paid for his packet and left the pharmacy, clutching the prized packet of diamond-shaped tablets which boasted on its front "Helps you get and keep an erection".

While taking a selfie picture on the street outside, with one of the first packets in Ireland bought in such a way, two curious young men passing momentarily looked over their shoulders.

"Condoms?," chuckled one of them. When told it was Viagra you can buy over the counter they both laughed loudly. "Best of luck later," one of them chortled.

The freer availability here is set to thwart a thriving black market in the supply of the pills, with social media and apps full of hawkers selling the tablets, while others have been importing them illegally by post.

Pfizer originally discovered Sildenafil 1989 while looking for a treatment for heart-related chest pain.

Sildenafil acts by preventing the action of a chemical in the body, which helps to relax blood vessels and improve the flow of blood to the penis following sexual stimulation.

The drug was approved for medical use in the United States and Europe in 1998 and is now a common drug. One of the major producers of it is Ireland, with a large Pfizer plant in Co. Cork meeting demand.

In 2017, the drug became available as a generic medication after final patents by Pfizer expired.

Damage

Rare but serious side effects include a prolonged erection that can lead to damage to the penis, vision problems, and hearing loss.

The Irish Pharmacy Union has welcomed the freer availability of the drug.

"Erectile dysfunction drugs are among the medicines most often bought online, and purchasing them in this way from unregulated sources can pose a major health risk to consumers," said a spokesperson.

"They sometimes contain none of the active ingredient, or sometimes too much or too little of some ingredients, which are also of questionable quality.

"There are also other risk factors that people may not fully consider when purchasing medication online, including the importance of risk assessments.

"Your local community pharmacist is a medicines expert, who will ensure that any medicine you get from them is suitable for you and won't react with any other medications you are taking," the spokesperson added.


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