E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork demonstrates why failing to tell your doctor that you're taking erectile dysfunction medication can be fatal.
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The Risks of Erectile Dysfunction Medication Dr. Travis Stork: So guys if you're taking a medication for erectile dysfunction and fail to tell any of your doctor like me about it. That secret could literally kill you, and the reason for that is Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, what they do is they cause your blood vessels to dilate. That dilation allows more blood flow to go into the penis which allows it to become erect. So, the little blue pill, any of those types I've mentioned, they get into your blood stream, and literally, you’ll see those blood vessels there, those are the arteries dilate. And as they dilate, it allows more blood flow. Well, the problem is most people who are on erectile dysfunction drugs are also people who are at risk for heart attacks. You guys remember Jack Nicholson’s character in Something’s Gotta Give? Dr. Drew Ordon: Something’s Gotta Give exactly that he’s wheeled into the emergency room with chest pain right, and they’re asking him about this. He’s like, “No, no, no.” Then it goes, “Why, you have to tell us because -- Dr. Travis Stork: Because if you have chest pain, you go to the ER, and you're given something called Nitroglycerin. Usually, I’ll give someone a sublingual Nitroglycerin for their chest pain. Well, that further dilates the blood vessel. So you know what, if you take Viagra, it may increase the blood vessel a little bit but then I give you nitrates, it increases something called Cyclogen P where all of a sudden, all -- Dr. Jim Sears: This is the blood vessel, right? Dr. Travis Stork: Everyone, I know where your minds are going. This is a blood vessel, and this is important. Dr. Drew Ordon: I saw something like that at the zoo once. Dr. Travis Stork: But, it does. It makes that blood vessel dilate even more, and you can have your severe hypertension, severe dropping your blood pressure, even cardiovascular collapse. Dr. Lisa Masterson: Yeah. Dr. Jim Sears: Wow! Dr. Travis Stork: Potentially death that require resuscitation. It’s an ugly thing to have happen. So tell your doctor if you’ll take Viagra or any other erectile dysfunction drug. Don’t be embarrassed.