Sildenafil (generic Viagra)

Sildenafil is a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction in men. It uses the same active ingredient as Viagra and is used by more than 20 million men worldwide. It operates by relaxing the blood vessels in the penis, allowing more blood to flow in and resulting in an erection.

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Like any other prescription medication you must consult a doctor before using it.

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Advice on taking Sildenafil

Sildenafil is available in three dosages, 25mg, 50mg and 100mg and this enables men with different levels of impotence to use a dosage that is suitable for them and their condition. The medication is taken orally and the recommended starting dose is 50mg if a man has not taken Sildenafil before.

Men that take Sildenafil may experience some mild to moderate side effects that will be short lived. These side effects include facial flushing, headaches and feelings of nausea. Less common complaints include blurry vision, upset stomach, nasal congestion and in very rare cases vertigo, loss of hearing and changes in vision.

How to take Sildenafil

Sildenafil is an oral medication, used to treat erectile dysfunction, and a single tablet should be taken approximately 30 - 60 minutes prior to sexual intercourse. Sildenafil can last up to 4 hours and a must only be used once in a 24 hour period.

Possible Side Effects

Like all medicines, Sildenafil can cause side effects although not everybody gets them. The side effects reported in association with the use of Sildenafil are usually mild to moderate and of a short duration.

If you have chest pains during or after intercourse:

  • Get in a semi-sitting position and try to relax
  • Do not use nitrates to treat your chest pain
  • Contact your doctor immediately

All medicines including Sildenafil can cause allergic reactions. You should contact a doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms after taking Sildenafil :

  • sudden wheeziness
  • difficulty in breathing or dizziness
  • swelling of the eyelids, face, lips or throat

Prolonged and sometimes painful erections have been reported after taking Sildenafil. If you have an erection which lasts for more than 4 hours, you should contact a doctor immediately.

If you experience a sudden decrease or loss of vision, stop taking Sildenafil and contact your doctor immediately.

A very common side effect (likely to occur in more than 1 in 10 patients) is headache.

Common side effects (likely to occur in 1 to 10 patients in 100):

  • facial flushing
  • indigestion
  • effects on vision (including colour tinge to vision
  • light sensitivity
  • blurred vision or reduced sharpness of vision) stuffy nose and dizziness

Uncommon side effects (likely to occur in 1 to 10 patients in 1000) include:

  • vomiting,
  • skin rash,
  • bleeding at the back of the eye,
  • bloodshot eyes/red eyes,
  • eye pain
  • double vision
  • abnormal sensation in the eye
  • irregular or rapid heartbeat
  • muscle pain
  • feeling sleepy
  • reduced sense of touch
  • vertigo
  • ringing in the ears
  • nausea
  • dry mouth
  • chest pain and feeling tired

Rare side effects (likely to occur in 1 to 10 patients in 10000) include: high blood pressure, low blood pressure, fainting, stroke, nosebleed and sudden decrease or loss of hearing.

Additional side effects of Sildenafil reported from post-marketing experience include: pounding heartbeat, chest pain, sudden death, heart attack or temporary decreased blood flow to parts of the brain.

Most, but not all, of these men had heart problems before taking this medicine. It is not possible to determine whether these events were directly related to Sildenafil. Cases of convulsions or seizures and serious skin reactions characterised by rash, blisters, peeling skin and pain which require immediate medical attention have also been reported.

If you experience any side effects as a result of taking Sildenafil you should consult your doctor.