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Viagra Goes Vertical

Viagra Goes Vertical

Fitness
By Josh Dinar
posted: 08/09/2000

Viagra, the miracle drug from Pfizer, has gotten plenty of well-deserved air time since it hit the market last year. It has helped more than 30 million people, and according to experts, there's little or no extra precaution that goes along with the drug if you're planning a romantic ski getaway. "In fact," says Dr. Richard Kogan, a psychiatrist and sex therapist with a private practice in New York City, "depending on the cause of Viagra use, both the psychological and physical aspects of a ski vacation may actually decrease the need for the drug." Kogan explains that those who use the drug as a cure for "performance anxiety" may find that the exhilaration of increased physical activity and the removal of one's daily schedule on a ski trip allows for a much easier transition into sex. "Viagra helps the hydraulic aspect of sex," says Kogan, "but so much of it is psychological. No schedules and increased exercise-that can be very conducive to physical intimacy."

While there's no evidence that altitude, exercise or even moderate alcohol consumption will directly influence the health of a person on the drug any more than it would a non-user, there are a couple of side effects relevant to skiing. The most common of these are headache and mild indigestion, according to Pam Gemmel, a spokesperson for Pfizer. If you know you're susceptible to the effects of altitude, you can expect a little extra discomfort if you're on Viagra. Gemmel also cites a rare (less than 3 percent of participants in clinical trials) side effect that tends to make users more sensitive to light. While the sensitivity is considered "mild and transient," you might want to pack some darker lenses for your goggles, as the glare off the snow could be bothersome.

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