The history of Sildenafil and its development

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Written By Julie Ingram
history of sildenafil

Sildenafil, popularly known as Viagra, has changed Erectile Dysfunction (ED) treatment for men. It began as a heart drug but became a popular choice for sexual health. 

This article explores Sildenafil’s history, benefits, and buying guide. We discuss Pfizer’s role, controversies, and the future of reproductive medicine. 

Learn about Sildenafil’s impact and use of Sildenafil for the treatment of other diseases.

History of Sildenafil and its approval for treating Erectile Dysfunction

Sildenafil’s story began in the late 1980s. One of the leading pharmacies in the world – Pfizer, was working on heart medication to treat Angina when Sildenafil was accidentally discovered. 

During the research, scientists created a new compound UK-92480 ( the chemical name for Sildenafil). They tested it on people with Angina, but many people reported an unexpected side effect. i.e., improved erections. 

This side effect led to further studies on the drug’s ability to treat Erectile Dysfunction.

In 1998, the FDA approved Sildenafil as the first Erectile Dysfunction drug. 

Pfizer started selling it under the brand name of Viagra. Today, the sexual lives of millions of men or Assigned Males at Birth (AMAB) benefit from Sildenafil.

Ever wondered if Viagra and Sildenafil are the same thing? They are, but there are some differences worth knowing. Check out this articleSildenafil vs Viagra: Unveiling the Differences

The role of Pfizer in developing and marketing Sildenafil

Pfizer played an essential role in the development and marketing of Sildenafil. The company invested significant resources and expertise in developing the drug.

The development of Sildenafil as an ED treatment took many years. It was a multi-stage process that included extensive clinical trials and regulatory approval.

Pfizer spent a lot of money researching and making Sildenafil, leading to the first ED medicine.

One of the key factors in Pfizer’s success with Sildenafil was its marketing strategy. The company launched a marketing campaign that targeted both healthcare professionals and consumers. 

It emphasized the safety and effectiveness of Sildenafil for the treatment of ED.

Pfizer patented the drug in 1998. This patent prevented generic competitors from entering the market for many years.

Today, Viagra containing Sildenafil is one of Pfizer’s flagship products. It is generating billions of dollars in annual revenue and helping millions.

Did you know that Viagra is also known as the “little blue pill.” Discover the reasons behind this in our articleWhat is the Blue Pill: A Solution for Erectile Dysfunction

Controversies and challenges in the development of Sildenafil

Sildenafil and ViagraSource: pixelshot
Man holding Sildenafil pill

The development of Sildenafil was not without controversies and challenges. During the drug trials, some participants reported side effects. These reports raised some concerns regarding its safety.

However, despite these reports, the FDA found it safe for most people if carefully prescribed by a doctor. After thorough diligence, in 1998 FDA approved the drug for ED treatment.

Due to some controversies, Pfizer faced some marketing and distribution challenges. Even though the FDA approved Sildenafil, no one was ready to buy it. 

Most people were hesitant to seek treatment for ED. They were not ready to accept that they had ED due to social stigma and embarrassment.

Pfizer had to invest heavily in marketing and education campaigns to make people aware of Sildenafil as a safe treatment for ED.

As per FDA, it is completely safe to use Sildenafil if prescribed by a doctor. A doctor will prescribe it, depending on your health and medical history.

Sildenafil and the future of reproductive health

Since its discovery in the 1980s, Sildenafil has helped millions to get better sexual health and quality of life. To this date, Sildenafil is still the most prescribed medicine.

Other innovative treatments are being developed and tested to improve sexual health. 

One area of focus is the development of new treatments for Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD). 

FSD is a condition that can impact sexual desire, arousal, and orgasm in women.

FSD is a common condition, but no FDA-approved treatments are currently available. However, doctors prescribe Sildenafil for women as an off-label treatment.

Another innovation in sexual medicine is using technology to improve sexual health. Wearable devices and mobile apps are being developed to track sexual health.

Better technology will provide data for better treatment. For example, a device that monitors genital blood flow will help to track the treatment’s effectiveness.

Further advances in genomic medicine could lead to more targeted and effective treatments.

Use of Sildenafil For Other Diseases

While Sildenafil or Viagra was initially developed as an ED treatment, it has other uses too. Sildenafil relaxes blood vessels which makes the blood flow easier. 

Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, or PAH, is a rare but life-threatening condition. People with PAH have narrow or blocked blood vessels in the lungs. The use of Sildenafil relaxes the blood vessels, which improves the blood flow.

For an in-depth exploration of the topic, refer to this articleExplore the Versatile Uses of Sildenafil in Medical Treatments

Sildenafil should only be used for ED or PAH treatment with a doctor’s prescription. Using it without a doctor’s prescription can be life-threatening.


Pfizer originally developed Sildenafil for treating Angina. During trials, they found it treats Erectile Dysfunction (ED) effectively. 

Pfizer started selling it under the brand name Viagra.

The marketing campaigns helped overcome the stigma around ED. They promoted the drug’s safety and effectiveness. 

Despite early controversies and challenges, Sildenafil has become a flagship product for Pfizer. 

The future of sexual medicine includes treatments for FSD and utilizing technology. The use of technology will help to track and improve sexual health.

Along with treating ED, Sildenafil is also effective in treating Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. It treats PAH by relaxing the lung’s blood vessels.

Nowadays, various medicines for treating ED are available in the market. Discover how they compare to Sildenafil in this articleSildenafil and Alternatives: A Detailed Comparison of ED Treatment Options

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  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Is Sildenafil only used for Erectile Dysfunction treatment?

    Sildenafil not only treats ED, but it also treats Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH). It treats PAH by relaxing blood vessels and improving blood flow in the lungs.

    Are there any side effects of using Sildenafil?

    Yes, There are mild side effects of Sildenafil. But if you take it according to the doctor’s advice, you can avoid these adverse effects.  
    Side effects of Sildenafil include headaches, flushing, nasal congestion, and indigestion. These effects are temporary and need minimal to no medical attention. 
    Always consult a doctor if they cause you any concerns.

    Can women use Sildenafil for sexual dysfunction?

    No, Currently, Sildenafil is not approved for treating Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD). However, doctors prescribe Sildenafil off-label to treat female sexual dysfunction.
    Lovegra is one of the medicines containing Sildenafil that is prescribed by doctors for FSD.

    How long does it take for Sildenafil to start working?

    Sildenafil starts working within 30-60 minutes after consumption. The effects of Sildenafil can last for up to 4 hours. Some food and habits like smoking, alcohol, or a high-fat diet can affect its time and efficacy.

    Can I take Sildenafil with other medications?

    Yes, You can take it with other medication if your doctor approves it. Sildenafil can interact with certain medications, such as Nitrates, leading to adverse effects.

    How can I buy Sildenafil safely online?

    To buy Sildenafil safely online, choose a reputable and licensed online pharmacy like FordailyMedicine. Ensure that the website has a secure checkout process. Also, always consult your doctor before purchasing any medication.

    Is there a generic version of Sildenafil available?

    Yes, generic Sildenafil is available at a lower cost compared to the brand name Viagra. The generic version has the same effect and quality as the branded one. Examples of generic versions include Cenforce, Kamagra, Suhagra, etc.