Sildenafil and mental health: Effects on Mood and Anxiety

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Written By Julie Ingram
sildenafil and mental health

Sildenafil, known by its brand name Viagra, is a drug for treating Erectile Dysfunction (ED). 

ED is a common problem that affects 40% of men or Assigned Male At Birth (AMAB).

Sildenafil was discovered by Pfizer in 1988. It treats ED by relaxing blood vessels and increasing blood flow to the penis. 

Sildenafil is not a mood or anxiety medication. However, it can indirectly affect these aspects of mental health.

This article will discuss the impact of Sildenafil on mental health and its side effects. It will also discuss how to manage the psychological effects of Sildenafil.

Beyond its primary use for managing ED, Sildenafil is also used to treat other medical conditions. Check this article for detailsExplore the Versatile Uses of Sildenafil in Medical Treatments

Sildenafil’s impact on mental health

Men or AMAB who take Sildenafil (Viagra) are usually stressed about their performance.

Sildenafil can improve sexual performance and reduce the performance anxiety. This can contribute to a more positive mood and alleviated Anxiety levels.

While Sildenafil is generally well-tolerated, it can have side effects. Most of these are physical, such as headaches, flushing, and upset stomach. 

However, some men might experience psychological side effects like increased Anxiety or mood swings. Most of these effects are temporary and subside as the body adjusts to the medication. 

There are also a few serious side effects of Sildenafil. However, they are very rare.

Please note that most side effects can be avoided by consulting a doctor before using Sildenafil.

Serious side effects of Sildenafil

Serious side effects of Sildenafil happen mostly due to improper use.

Improper use includes using Sildenafil recreationally or taking it without a prescription

A 2022 study found Psychotic disorders as a rare but severe side effect of Sildenafil. This study emphasizes that it is important to monitor for such effects.

Only a few studies are available about how Sildenafil causes Psychosis.

In another study, it was reported that Sildenafil might cause neurological or psychological disturbances. In rare cases, it might cause loss of consciousness or aggressive behavior.

Another 2004 study found that Sildenafil may cause Bipolar disorder. 

These side effects are extremely rare. Most healthcare professionals consider Sildenafil safe and effective.

For an in-depth exploration of this topic, refer to this articleUnveiling the Benefits and Risks of Sildenafil for ED

Quick Checkout:
Understand the side effects, manage them effectively, and embrace the benefits of Sildenafil now.

Other psychological effects of Sildenafil

Pressure and stress associated with sexual performance can also impact mental health.

Sildenafil (Viagra) can cause psychological dependence if misused. It may lead to feelings of guilt.

Psychological problems are uncommon in men who use the medication to treat ED. These effects are mostly noted in people who buy and use Sildenafil recreationally or without a prescription.

Ever come across the term “psychological ED”? Get insights by checking out this articlePsychological ED: Link Between Mind and Erectile Dysfunction

Manage the psychological effects of Sildenafil

Counseling sessionSource: Gustavo_Fring_from_Pexels
Counseling session

If you’re experiencing psychological side effects from Sildenafil, there are several ways you can manage them.

Try to maintain open communication with your partner. Discuss what you’re experiencing. This can help alleviate any misunderstandings or concerns. It can provide you with much-needed support.

Seek help from a mental health professional. They can provide strategies to manage anxiety and mood swings and offer support as you adjust to the medication.

You can also take Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It can help you manage your reactions to situations, including those related to sexual performance. 

This article aims to educate about Sildenafil’s possible mental effects and how to manage them. However, it doesn’t replace professional medical advice. Always consult a doctor before using Sildenafil or any new medication.


Sildenafil, also known as Viagra, is a medicine for treating ED. ED is a common problem affecting 40% of men or AMAB in the US.

Sildenafil can directly or indirectly affect mental health. Its effect on mental health is less studied and not well documented. 

Men or AMAB with ED are usually stressed about sexual performance. Sildenafil can improve sexual performance and lower this anxiety.

Most side effects of Sildenafil are temporary and mild. However, some rare and severe side effects are also noted. 

Common side effect includes mood changes, anxiety, and sleep disturbance. 

Rare side effects include Psychosis, Bipolar disorder, and aggressive behavior.

More research is needed to understand Sildenafil and mental health better.

Remember that Sildenafil is a prescription-based medicine. If you are unsure about getting one from a doctor for an ED medicine, refer to this articleHow to get a Sildenafil Prescription: Your Ultimate Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Sildenafil Exacerbate Pre-existing Mental Health Conditions?

No concrete evidence suggests that Sildenafil exacerbates pre-existing mental health conditions. However, as with any medication, individual reactions can vary. 
Some men might experience increased anxiety or mood swings, especially when starting the medication.

Can Sildenafil cause anxiety or mood changes?

It’s uncommon, but some people report mood changes or increased anxiety after taking Sildenafil. However, these symptoms may be related to psychological pressure and stress.

What should I do if I experience psychological side effects after taking Sildenafil?

If you notice any mood changes or increased anxiety, talk to your doctor. Your doctor will guide you to manage these effects.

Can I use Sildenafil if I am already on treatment for a mental health condition?

If you are on treatment for a mental health condition, discuss it with your psychiatrist before taking Sildenafil. They can help assess the potential risk. There may be a need for adjustment in your Sildenafil doses and treatment plan.

How rare is sildenafil-induced Psychosis?

Sildenafil-induced Psychosis is extremely rare. However, it’s essential to be aware of the possibility. Report any unusual psychological symptoms to your healthcare provider promptly.

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