First generic version of Viagra (sildenafil citrate) approved by the FDA

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The FDA approved the very first generic version of Viagra.

Pennsylvania-based pharmaceutical company Teva will add the drug, sildenafil citrate, for the treatment of erectile dysfunction in men to its list of hundreds of other generic drugs. Teva told CBS News that the drug will go on sale on December 11, 2017.

Sold under the brand name Viagra until now, sildenafil citrate tablets will be available in three strengths: 25 milligram, 50 milligram and 100 milligram tablets, the same strengths Viagra sells.

Erectile dysfunction drugs are big business, with an estimated market of $ 4.3 billion worldwide in 2012. Teva said it has the exclusive rights to generic sildenafil citrate for 180 days.

Erectile dysfunction, also called impotence, is the inability to get and maintain an erection in order to have sex. According to experts at the Mayo Clinic, having occasional erection problems may be normal, but when they persist, it may be a sign of an underlying health problem that requires treatment and a warning signal indicating that heart disease could be a problem.

Risk factors for erectile dysfunction can include age, smoking, being overweight, certain treatments and medications (including antidepressants and high blood pressure medications), stress and other mental health issues, as well as drug and alcohol use.

In the United States, more than 18 million men over the age of 20 are affected by erectile dysfunction, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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