It’s a big problem — and it’s growing even bigger.

Social media users are being bombarded with advertisements for easy access to erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra and Cialis, along with affordable generics — and men hoping to improve their sexual performance are taking their chances.

That’s a hard no, Cleveland Clinic urologist Raevti Bole, MD warns.

Just because these medications are easier than ever to access doesn’t mean you should fall for the hype.

Recreational use of the drugs can carry significant risks, the pro warns.

Here’s why.

Viagra, Cialis and their generic equivalents are what are known as phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors.

They open up your blood vessels and can be used in a variety of ways, including the treatment of pulmonary hypertension, or urinary problems.

These days, they’re most famous for being so-called magic cures for erectile dysfunction, or ED. Popping a pill leads to increased blood flow, which means better erections that last longer.

And that’s where the problem comes in, according to Dr. Bole — if you can get an erection at all, one that’s good enough to allow penetration, you most likely don’t have ED, and you probably don’t need drugs.

Not that that’s stopping men from popping unnecessary, and sometimes expensive pills.

Reasons why, according to the doc, include compensating for alcohol or drug use, allowing for longer sessions, or multiple sessions, and boosting confidence.

And some men are even using the drugs for non-sex purposes — like improving their stamina in the gym.

To all of the above, the pros say a big nope — with one surprising caveat.

“PDE5 medications can increase oxygen levels and heart function in people who have cardiac risk factors or cardiac disease,” says Dr. Bole. “For people who are healthy, there’s no good evidence that the medications significantly improve athletic abilities in a standard, sea-level environment.”

Mentioning the altitude is no accident — that’s because research has shown that taking sildenafil, which is marketed as Viagra, can improve performance at high altitudes, like on Mt. Everest.

For most of us, however, that’s not an issue.

Here are the risks of recreational Viagra and Cialis use

1. If you’re taking other drugs, there could be dangerous interactions

Because PDE5 inhibitors lower your blood pressure, mixing them with other drugs that do the same thing could be life-thretening, Dr. Bole warns.

Even if you go through another source to secure the medication, talk to your doctor about it first — and make sure to talk to them about supplements and other recreational drugs you might be using.

Common double-ups that people might not know are dangerous include amyl nitrate, used frequently during sex and known better as “poppers,” nitroglycerine, used for chest pain and heart-related issues, and certain blood pressure medications.

2. Side effects are common when taking ED drugs

While these are normally mild, they can be annoying — or worrying, if you don’t know what to expect.

For example, many users will get headaches — and they won’t always be mild. There’s also acid reflux, facial flushing, muscle aces, stuffy nose and changes in vision to watch out for.

Also be aware of the risk of what’s known as priapism — an erection that won’t go away for hours, which can be quite painful.

“Luckily, it is quite rare when using oral ED medications,” Dr. Bole said. “But if this happens to you, seek emergency medical care immediately.”

3. You can become psychologically dependent on a drug you don’t need

One risk of using Viagra or Cialis to boost your confidence is that you might begin to worry about having sex without popping a pill.

“If you are having severe performance anxiety that’s affecting your erections, I recommend talking to your healthcare provider or a sex therapist,” said Dr. Bole.

“A medical professional can discuss your worries about sex; help you set personalized and realistic expectations; and develop strategies to improve your confidence without relying on medication alone.”

4. You cannot trust many of the suppliers

From quick telehealth appointments geared to getting you a prescription you then fill directly with the supplier to online sellers and even gas station counters, drugs and supplements are everywhere these days.

But do you know who you’re buying from? The FDA warns against some common, so-called dietary supplements that may contain PDE5 inhibitors, found as close by as your corner bodega. Skip it, warns the agency.

5. Association with high-risk behaviors

Another thing you shouldn’t mix Viagra and Cialis use with? Alcohol or drugs. One reason is, you could find yourself less inhibited, and more likely to indulge in behaviors that could leave you with a sexually transmitted infection, or an STI.

“Using ED medications to enhance your sexual performance when you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs can lead you to make choices that harm your sexual and overall health,” Dr. Bole stressed.

Talk to your doctor before using Viagra or Cialis

Whether you really need it or just want to use it recreationally, you should be in contact with your healthcare professional first.

And there’s one really good reason why, beyond safety — decline in erectile function could be masking a much larger health problem, like diabetes, heart and blood pressure issues, or even low testosterone, the experts say.

“Some patients may feel reluctant or embarrassed to talk about their sex life,” said Dr. Bole. “But we have these conversations all the time with patients. You are not alone. Our role is to help you understand the risks versus benefits and provide guidance without judgment.”

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