Sildenafil Citrate – dosage, side effects, interactions, how to take

Generic Name: Sildenafil
Brand Name: Viagra

Sildenafil Citrate, often just called sildenafil, is a medication designed to help people who have difficulties with erectile dysfunction, which is a condition where a man finds it hard to achieve or maintain an erection suitable for sexual activity.

This medication is also used to treat a serious heart and lung condition known as pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Sildenafil belongs to a group of medicines known as phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors.

Here’s what that means: When a man is sexually aroused, a chemical called nitric oxide is released into his penis.

This triggers another chemical to be produced, called cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). cGMP helps to relax the smooth muscles in the penis, which increases blood flow and leads to an erection.

However, another substance in the body called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) breaks down cGMP.

If too much PDE5 is present, it can cut short the erection by breaking down cGMP too quickly.

As a PDE5 inhibitor, Sildenafil works by blocking this breakdown, allowing cGMP to work for longer, and thus helping to sustain an erection.

In short, Sildenafil is a generic form of Viagra, which aids men in obtaining and sustaining a robust erection during sexual engagement.

Tablets containing Sildenafil Citrate are frequently referred to as “blue pills.”

It’s important to note that Sildenafil does not cause sexual arousal or an erection on its own. It simply helps to maintain an erection once a man is already sexually aroused.

How does Sildenafil work

Sildenafil is a type of medicine known as a Phosphodiesterase Type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor. Here’s what that means in simpler terms:

When a man becomes sexually aroused, the body’s natural reaction is to increase blood flow to the penis, leading to an erection. Sildenafil works by helping this process.

It relaxes the muscles in the blood vessels of the penis, allowing for better blood flow.

Sildenafil structure

You see, there’s this substance called PDE5 in our bodies that can interfere with getting an erection. It’s the reason why the penis might not stay firm for as long as desired.

What Sildenafil does is limit the action of this PDE5, which in turn makes it easier to get and keep an erection.

So, in a nutshell, Sildenafil, often referred to as “blue pills,” assists in maintaining a strong erection by enhancing blood flow to the penis and limiting the action of the substance that might cause the penis to lose its firmness.

What’s the best dosage of Sildenafil

The dosage of Sildenafil, which is commonly used to treat Erectile Dysfunction, is determined based on how severe the condition is. It’s crucial to follow the exact instructions given by your healthcare provider.

Typically, you’d take a Sildenafil pill about 30 minutes to 1 hour before engaging in sexual activity. The effects of the medicine can last for up to 4 hours after you take it.

There are various strengths of Sildenafil available, and the one that’s right for you would depend on factors like your age, your overall health, and the severity of your ED.

Sildenafil comes in several forms including standard tablets, chewable pills, and an oral jelly.

It’s recommended to take Sildenafil only once per day. You can take it with or without food, but keep in mind that a high-fat meal might slow down the time it takes for the medicine to start working.

In some cases, Sildenafil is combined with another medication called Dapoxetine to also help with Premature Ejaculation.

Who can take Sildenafil Citrate

Sildenafil Citrate pills are designed to be used safely by men aged 18 years and older who are experiencing problems with Erectile Dysfunction. The right dosage can vary from person to person.

It’s important to note that these ED treatment pills are not recommended for women or children.

However, for women experiencing similar issues, there is a medication known as Lovegra that could be an appropriate alternative.

Side effects of Sildenafil Citrate

While Sildenafil Citrate is generally safe and effective for most men dealing with Erectile Dysfunction (ED), it’s important to be aware that there can be some side effects. Here are some potential side effects you might experience:

Headaches: This is one of the most common side effects. It usually goes away on its own, but if it persists, it would be wise to consult with your doctor.

Flushing: Some people may experience a warm, red, or tingly feeling in their face, neck, or chest area.

Stomach Upset: This could include nausea, indigestion, or diarrhea. It’s generally mild, but if it’s causing significant discomfort, you should let your doctor know.

Dizziness: This can sometimes happen, especially when standing up too quickly. It’s important to take things slowly when getting up from a sitting or lying position.

Changes in Vision: Some men report changes in their vision, such as blurriness or color distortions. This is rare, but if it happens, you should stop taking the medication and contact your doctor right away.

Nosebleeds: This is less common, but if it happens frequently, you should consult your doctor.

Insomnia: Difficulty sleeping can sometimes occur.

Muscle Pain: Some men may experience back or muscle pain.

Remember, everyone’s body reacts differently to medication, and not everyone will experience these side effects.

If you do experience any side effects that are severe or persist for a longer period, it’s important to contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Rare Side Effects

These rare side effects occur in less than 1 in 1000 people. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms like 

  • Seizures
  • Prolonged or painful erection 

How to reduce the side effects of Sildenafil

Dealing with the side effects of Sildenafil Citrate can be challenging.

However, there are several steps you can take to reduce these side effects, ensuring your experience with the medication is as comfortable as possible.

Stay Hydrated: Make sure to drink plenty of water. This can help reduce headaches and flush the medication through your system.

Avoid Alcohol: Drinking alcohol can worsen certain side effects like dizziness and flushing. It’s best to avoid alcohol when you’re taking Sildenafil.

Eat Before You Take the Pill: Taking Sildenafil on an empty stomach can increase the chances of experiencing side effects. It’s a good idea to eat a light meal before taking your medication, but try to avoid high-fat meals as they can delay the drug’s effectiveness.

Stand Up Slowly: If dizziness is a problem, try to stand up slowly to help your body adjust and reduce the risk of feeling lightheaded.

Talk to Your Doctor About Dosage: If side effects persist, it might be a good idea to discuss your dosage with your healthcare provider. They might suggest adjusting the dose or trying a different ED medication.

Rest and Relax: If you’re experiencing insomnia, consider creating a calming bedtime routine to help your body relax and prepare for sleep.

Remember, if you’re experiencing severe or persistent side effects, it’s important to contact your healthcare provider immediately.

They can provide you with more personalized advice based on your health history and current condition.

For Nausea and Vomiting, you can administer Vomistop to get relief.

Sildenafil Interactions

Sildenafil can interact with other substances, including other drugs, certain diseases, and even food and beverages.

It’s essential to understand these interactions to use the medication safely and effectively.

Drug Interactions

Sildenafil can interact with other medications, which can alter how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. Some drugs that may interact with Sildenafil include:

Nitrates: These are often prescribed for chest pain. Combining them with Sildenafil can cause a serious drop in blood pressure.

Alpha-blockers: Used for high blood pressure or an enlarged prostate, these can interact with Sildenafil, causing blood pressure to drop too low.

Other ED medications: Combining Sildenafil with other ED medications isn’t recommended as it can increase the risk of side effects.

Always tell your healthcare provider about all the medications you’re currently taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, and herbal supplements.

Disease Interactions

Certain medical conditions can affect how Sildenafil works in your body. These include:

Heart problems: If you have heart disease or heart rhythm problems, using Sildenafil can put extra strain on your heart.

High or low blood pressure: Sildenafil can further lower or raise blood pressure levels.

Liver or kidney disease: These conditions can slow down the breakdown of Sildenafil, causing it to stay in your body longer.

Always inform your healthcare provider about your medical history before starting Sildenafil.

Food and Beverage Interactions

What you eat and drink can also affect how Sildenafil works:

Alcohol: Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of Sildenafil, like dizziness and flushing.

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice: These can interfere with Sildenafil and lead to unwanted side effects.

High-fat meals: Eating a meal high in fat right before taking Sildenafil can delay the medication’s absorption, making it less effective.

Always communicate openly with your healthcare provider about all aspects of your health and lifestyle. This way, they can provide the best guidance on safely using Sildenafil.

Sildenafil warnings and precautions

When considering Sildenafil for the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction, there are some important cautions to keep in mind:

  • If you have a known allergy to Sildenafil, it’s crucial not to take this medication. An allergic reaction could cause serious health complications.
  • It’s wise to steer clear of smoking and drinking alcohol while using Sildenafil. These substances can interact with the medicine and potentially increase side effects.
  • Sildenafil may cause feelings of dizziness. To ensure your safety, it’s recommended to avoid activities that require alertness, such as driving or operating heavy machinery, until you know how the medication affects you.

Remember, these precautions are in place to help you use Sildenafil safely and effectively.

Pros and Cons of Sildenafil

Pros Cons
It is a first-choice medication for treating Impotence in men. People who have suffered a stroke or heart attack in the last six months cannot take this medicine. 
Sildenafil does not need to be used daily to be effective; take it only when needed.People who do not follow the proper prescription may experience side effects. 
It is an endothelial-friendly medicine and has led to fewer heart attacks and better erection.
It starts working under 30 minutes to 1 hour of intake. 
It is a much cheaper and equally effective alternative to Viagra. 

How to store Sildenafil

Sildenafil should be stored under specific conditions to maintain its effectiveness:

Keep Sildenafil at room temperature between 20 to 25°C (68 to 77°F). Extreme cold or hot temperatures can potentially affect the medication’s effectiveness.

Store the medication in a safe place where children and pets cannot reach it.

Keep Sildenafil in its original container, and store it in a dry place. Avoid places with high humidity like bathrooms. Also, direct light can degrade the medication, so don’t store it in direct sunlight.

Do not store in the bathroom or kitchen because the heat and moisture in these areas can degrade the medication.

Remember, proper storage of medication is crucial for its effectiveness.

Always check the expiry date of the medication and do not consume it after it has passed its expiry date.

Salts similar to Sildenafil Citrate

There are several other drugs that work similarly to Sildenafil Citrate in treating erectile dysfunction.

They belong to the same class of medications called Phosphodiesterase Type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. Here are a few examples:

Tadalafil (Cialis): Tadalafil works similarly to Sildenafil, but its effects can last for up to 36 hours, much longer than Sildenafil. This longer duration of action often gives it the nickname “the weekend pill.”

Vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn): Vardenafil also works similarly to Sildenafil, but it might be slightly more effective in treating men who have erectile dysfunction related to diabetes.

Avanafil (Stendra): Avanafil is another PDE5 inhibitor. It is known for having a rapid onset of action, as it can work in as little as 15 minutes.

Other Products with Similar Salts

Frequently Asked Questions

Men suffering from erectile dysfunction often have various questions about Sildenafil citrate (commonly known as Viagra) before deciding to purchase and use the medication.

Here are some common questions:

What happens when you take Sildenafil?

Sildenafil relaxes the muscles of blood vessels in the penile region. Hence, increasing the blood flow and helping men get and maintain an erection. Sildenafil starts working after 30 minutes to 1 hour of intake.

Is it OK to take Sildenafil every day?

Yes, if your doctor has prescribed a daily dose of Sildenafil, you can take it daily. Sildenafil is an FDA-approved drug for treating Erectile Dysfunction and is safe to consume daily.

Is Sildenafil as good as Viagra?

Yes, generic Viagra, also known as Sildenafil, works similarly to Viagra but at a cheaper cost. It may appear different, but it is still an effective ED medication.

What happens if you take Sildenafil with alcohol?

Sildenafil can decrease blood pressure, and combining it with alcohol may increase this effect. You may be more likely to experience dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting, flushing, headache, and heart palpitations.

What happens if you take 2 Sildenafil?

You should always take Sildenafil according to your doctor’s recommendations. An overdose of the ED tablets can induce severe headaches, low blood pressure, and orthostasis (blood pressure drop when standing), which can lead to fainting. Higher dosages can also cause Priapism, a painful erection lasting more than 4 hours.

How long does it take for Sildenafil to take effect?

Sildenafil generally starts working for Erectile Dysfunction within 30 minutes after consumption. It works for up to 4 hours, while its action is usually reduced after 2 hours.

Can you buy the blue pill over the counter in the USA?

No, Sildenafil and other ED medications are prescription-based medicines. Hence, they are not available over the counter in the US. 

Should you take Sildenafil if you don’t need it?

Over 80% of men with ED may get an erection after taking the ED medicine. Millions of men who have taken these medications appropriately and safely have experienced a positive response. However, you don’t need them if you don’t have ED.

Do you build a tolerance for Sildenafil?

No, when taken as directed, Sildenafil stays effective and retains its potency.

What happens if a woman takes Sildenafil?

Sildenafil is an FDA-approved drug only to be used in men. The medicine might cause severe blood flow through the genital region, low blood pressure, and other side effects in women. Hence, it should not be consumed by women.

Will Sildenafil cure my erectile dysfunction?

Sildenafil does not cure ED but it can help manage the symptoms. It’s important to understand that it’s a treatment, not a cure, and does not address the underlying causes of ED.

Does health insurance cover Sildenafil?

This varies by insurance plan. Some insurance plans may cover Sildenafil, but others may not. It’s best to check with your insurance provider.

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