Uses, side effects and more


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Sildenafil is an erectile dysfunction (ED) drug. It is the active ingredient in the brand name drug Viagra. The generic version of Viagra also uses the name sildenafil.

This article takes a closer look at sildenafil, erectile dysfunction, and how the drug works to alleviate the condition.

Sildenafil is a popular treatment for erectile dysfunction. The main ingredient in sildenafil is sildenafil citrate. Inactive ingredients include:

  • microcrystalline cellulose
  • anhydrous dibasic calcium phosphate
  • croscarmellose sodium
  • magnesium stearate
  • hypromellose
  • titanium dioxide
  • lactose
  • triacetin
  • artificial colors

Viagra is only a branded option that contains sildenafil. Other products may use different inactive ingredients.

Revatio is another branded option that contains sildenafil. In addition to treating ED, Revatio also treats pulmonary hypertension (PH). PH involves high blood pressure in the right side of the heart and the arteries of the lungs.

A person who wants to use sildenafil for erectile dysfunction should contact a doctor, as the drug is only available by prescription in the United States.

People with erectile dysfunction have difficulty getting or maintaining an erection. It’s a generalized state, but a lot of people find it hard to discuss it.

Some risk factors for erectile dysfunction include:

  • be older
  • have certain medical conditions or problems
  • have mental health issues
  • have excess weight
  • smoking
  • take certain medications

OF can sometimes be a sign of an underlying disease. That is why people should contact a doctor if they are having difficulty getting or maintaining an erection.

Some conditions that can have ED as a sign include:

When a pharmaceutical company develops a new drug, it may have exclusivity for a specified period of time. This can sometimes be up to 20 years. Once this period of exclusivity has elapsed, competitors are free to market generic versions of a drug.

Generic versions must contain the same active ingredients as the brand name drug. The active ingredient is the part of a drug that makes it effective against whatever it treats.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows differences in inactive ingredients, but drug companies must prove that they don’t interfere with the drug’s effectiveness or function.

Viagra is the branded version of sildenafil. Since its exclusivity period expired in April 2020, generic versions of sildenafil have been available from alternative pharmaceutical companies which generally offer more affordable prices.

One noticeable difference between Viagra (brand name) and sildenafil (generic) is the appearance of the pill. While Viagra pills are blue, sildenafil pills are white. Both drugs are safe and effective.

Sildenafil belongs to a class of drugs called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. They inhibit phosphodiesterase enzymes, which break down molecules that relax muscle tissue. This allows increased blood flow, causing an erection.

Sildenafil does not cure erectile dysfunction. However, it can help treat the symptoms of the disease.

The pills are available in strengths of 25 milligrams (mg), 50 mg, and 100 mg. People usually take 50 mg tablets about 1 hour before sex. Regardless of the dosage, a person should not take sildenafil more than once a day.

The medicine works quickly and its effects usually last about 1 hour. It is important to note that sildenafil does not instantly produce an erection. A person must be sexually aroused for the medicine to work. Sildenafil also does not affect libido.

Regarding the safety of sildenafil, a 4 year study have found that long-term use of the drug is generally safe. People are more likely to experience side effects from the medicine if they take more than the recommended amount.

Side effects

Some common side effects of sildenafil include:

  • headache
  • rinsing
  • gastrointestinal distress
  • nausea
  • muscle aches
  • dizziness
  • Rashes

Other warnings

It is possible to take too much sildenafil. If a person overdoses this medication, they should contact Poison Control at 800-222-1222 or go to the emergency room.

It is important to note that sildenafil is not a contraceptive, so it does not prevent pregnancy. In addition, it does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

Sildenafil dosage adjustments may be necessary in adults over 65 years of age.

Below is a list of some of the best erectile dysfunction treatments to consider.

Please note that the author of this article has not tried any of these products. All information presented here is purely research-based.

  • Roman offers online support for erectile dysfunction and other health issues. It has a team of trained healthcare professionals who review a person’s medical information. The company also has a licensed pharmacy and offers generic and branded drugs. Learn more about Roman here.
  • BlueChew offers chewable sildenafil tablets, which some people may prefer. The company has a medical team that ensures that people receive the appropriate treatment. Learn more about BlueChew.
  • his offers sildenafil pills and other ED options that a person can explore. The company connects people with licensed healthcare professionals who make sure they receive treatment that’s right for them. Learn more about him here.

If a person cannot take sildenafil, wants to avoid it, or wants to try something else, there is other options to treat ED.

Other PDE5 inhibitors include:

  • avanafil (Stendra)
  • tadalafil (Cialis)
  • vardenafil (Levitra)

Other treatment options include:

  • erectile dysfunction pumps
  • penile implants
  • penile injections
  • prescription testosterone

People may also consider making lifestyle changes to help manage symptoms of erectile dysfunction. These may include:

Poor mental health can also contribute to ED. Anxiety and stress related to sex, for example, can make it harder for a person to get or maintain an erection. Talking with a mental health professional can help.

A person should contact a doctor for a prescription for sildenafil because the drug is not available over the counter.

It is essential for a person to speak to a doctor if they are taking other medications, as these can interact with sildenafil. Drugs that can negatively interact with sildenafil include those for blood pressure.

A person using sildenafil who experiences any of the following side effects should contact a doctor immediately:

Some other potential side effects associated with sildenafil include low blood pressure and hearing loss.

Sildenafil is the generic version of the brand name drug Viagra. Sildenafil is an effective erectile dysfunction drug that is available at a fraction of the cost of Viagra.

Despite its generic drug status, it is just as safe and effective as Viagra. However, like Viagra, there are potential side effects and drug interactions associated with its use.

People with erectile dysfunction should see a doctor to discuss their treatment options.


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