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What is Sildenafil?
Sildenafil is the generic version of Viagra and is used to treat men that suffer with achieving and maintaining an erection long enough for intercourse. It belongs to a group of medicines known as phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5) and these medicines work by relaxing the blood vessels in the penis, allowing blood to flow in and create the right pressure to maintain an erection. This only works when there is sexual arousal.
How is it used? How long does it take to work?
Sildenafil comes in three strengths; 25mg, 50mg and 100mg. It can be confusing to decide which strength to start with especially if you’ve never taken it before. The recommended normal dose One 50mg tablet 30-60 minutes before anticipated sexual activity.
For most men, 50mg will be sufficient, however if you realise that it’s not giving you the desired effect then you can always increase to the 100mg tablets.
If you find that you are experiencing unwanted side effects at 50mg but still getting the desired effect then you can reduce to the 25mg tablet. 25mg is usually enough to have the desired effect without the adverse effects.
If Sildenafil turns out to be unsuitable for you then there are alternative treatments that may work better. These can be found in the Erectile Dysfunction area on this website.
It is important to note that taking more than the daily max of 100mg will not increase its effectiveness, it will only lead to a higher chance of side effects.
How long does it last?
Sildenafil was the first of it’s kind to be brought to market and its effects can last up to four hours. Some newer medicines such as Tadalafil last longer however Sildenafil still has the most evidence behind it to prove it’s activity and side effects. Taking a dose does not mean that you will have a constant erection for four hours. It just improves your ability to have and maintain one.
Are Viagra and Sildenafil the same?
Viagra was the first brand to use the active ingredient sildenafil. The research and clinical trials were carried out by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, who manufactures and markets Sildenafil. The patent for the active ingredient has since expired and therefore Sildenafil is now available as a generic item. Viagra and generic Sildenafil are the same active treatment and are clinically equivalent, however the generic medicine is considerably more cost effective to buy.
Can I buy Sildenafil over the counter?
Sildenafil is available over the counter at some UK pharmacies under a patient group direction or as a 50mg only tablet sold as “Viagra Connect”. Both of these options however are generally more expensive than going via a registered online pharmacy.
- Lifestyle – Quite often our lifestyle choices can impact our sexual health. Obesity, alcohol and smoking can affect the ability to achieve and sustain an erection.
- Narrowing Blood Vessels – Health conditions such as Diabetes, High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol can all lead to narrowed vessels, leading to an insufficient blood supply to the penis.
- Medicinal - There are some medications which may be prescribed to you by your doctor that can cause ED as a side effect. These include medications for depression, prostate illness, psychotic illness and some heart medication.
- Nerve Problems – Some conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis which affect the nervous system in the body can also lead to ED.
- Psychological Conditions – Not all causes are physical in nature, sometimes it can be associated with the mental health of the person. Anxiety and stress can affect libido, therefore affecting the ability to sustain an erection. (NHS)
The recommended starting dose is 50 mg. This may be adjusted in response to lack of effect (increase to 100mg) or experience of side-effects (decrease to 25mg).
You should not take SILDENAFIL more than once a day. You should take VIAGRA about one hour before you plan to have sex. Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water.
SILDENAFIL will only help you to get an erection if you are sexually stimulated.
The amount of time SILDENAFIL takes to work varies from person to person, but it normally takes between half an hour and one hour. You may find that SILDENAFIL takes longer to work if you take it with a heavy meal.
If SILDENAFIL does not help you to get an erection, or if your erection does not last long enough for you to complete sexual intercourse you should tell your doctor.
For a full list of side effects CLICK HERE
If you take more SILDENAFIL than you should:
You may experience an increase in side effects and their severity. Doses above 100 mg do not increase the efficacy but you may experience more side effects. Contact your doctor if you take more tablets than you should. If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your doctor, pharmacist or nurse
Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects although not everybody gets them.
Very common (may affect more than 1 in 10 people):
Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people):
nausea, facial flushing, hot flush (symptoms include a sudden feeling of heat in your upper body), indigestion, colour tinge to vision, blurred vision, visual disturbance, stuffy nose and dizziness.
Reporting of side effects
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse
Find out more on the patient information leaflet
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