Sildenafil is a prescription used to treat male sexual function problems called impotence or erectile dysfunction (ED). ED is the incapability to keep and get an erection firm enough for sex. Having erection trouble from time to time is not fundamentally a cause for concern. If ED is an ongoing issue, it may cause stress and affect your self-confidence. It may also contribute to relationship problems. Problems keeping or getting an erection can also be a sign of an underlying health complication. That it needs treatment and a risk factor for heart attack. Impotence or erectile dysfunction symptoms might include:
- Reduced sexual desire
- Trouble keeping an erection
- Trouble getting an erection
ED may result from a problem with any of these. Male sexual arousal is a complex process that involves the hormones, brain, nerves, emotions, muscle, or blood vessels. Similarly, stress and mental health concerns can cause or worsen ED. Sometimes a combination of psychological and physical issues causes this kind of condition.
Sildenafil is in the class of medications called phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors. In combination with sexual stimulation, this drug increases blood flow to the penis to help a man get and keep an erection. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medication. Sildenafil comes as a tablet for oral use. Each tablet is available in the dosage strength of 20 mg.
How does Sildenafil work?
Sildenafil helps you get and maintain an erection by helping more blood get into your penis when you are sexually aroused.
An erection is created by a compound chain of actions that involves the nervous system. The release of chemical messengers within the tissues of the penis as well. One of the couriers released when you are aroused is called cyclic GMP. It relaxes and widens the blood vessels in the penis. Wherein, it allows more blood to enter. This causes the penis to get hard and erect.
Cyclic GMP is normally broken down by an enzyme in the body called phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE5). Sildenafil stops this enzyme from breaking down the cyclic GMP. It allows the blood vessels in the penis to stay dilated for longer. In which, it improves blood flow to the penis and helps produce and maintain an erection.
Sildenafil will only work once the messenger responsible for producing an erection starts to be produced. Therefore, you have to be sexually aroused for Sildenafil to create and keep an erection. You should be able to get an erection 25 minutes to an hour after taking this drug. It is if you’re stimulated. You should still be able to get an erection for up to five hours after raking a dose.
How to use Sildenafil?
Mostly for men, they start to take one 50 mg tablet. You should take a dose about an hour before you plan to have sex. You can take Sildenafil either with or without food. But be aware that if you take it with or after a meal, it will take longer to start working. Your tablet should be swallowed whole with a full glass of water. Do not break, crush, or chew it. Do not take this drug more than once in 24 hours.
You might need to take Sildenafil on a few different occasions before it starts to work for you. If you’ve tried taking it several times and still haven’t been able to get a hard enough erection, consult your doctor. Do not increase your dose without the consent of your doctor. Continue to take this drug until the full prescription is done even if symptoms disappear. Let your doctor know if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse.
What are the side effects of Sildenafil?
Possible side effects:
- Stuffy nose
- Flushing (warmth or redness in your face, chest, or neck)
- Memory problems
- Back pain
- Upset stomach
- Faint feeling
- Low blood pressure
- Shortness of breath
Call your doctor right away if these occur:
- Ringing in your ears or sudden hearing loss
- Severe shortness of breath
- Cough with foamy mucus
- Swelling in your hands, feet, or ankles
- A light-headed feeling like you might pass out
Stop taking this drug and call for emergency medical help if you experience this:
- Vision changes or sudden vision loss
- Erection is painful or lasts longer than 4 hours
- Heart attack symptoms (pain spreading to your shoulder or jaw, chest pain or pressure, and nausea)
Things to remember while having this treatment:
- Sildenafil makes you feel dizzy or may affect your vision. Therefore, it may affect your capability to drive operate machinery or drive safely. Do not drive until you know how this drug affects you and you are sure it won’t affect your performance.
- It is best to avoid drinking alcohol while having this drug. Drinking alcohol can lessen your ability to get an erection and it might make the medicine less effective. As Sildenafil can also make some people feel dizzy, this could be made worse if you drink alcohol.
- While taking this medication, avoid drinking grapefruit juice. It may increase the level of the drug in your blood and it also increases the risks of side effects.
- This should not be taken by people who have conditions in which sexual activity is not advisable. It includes severe heart failure or unstable angina.
- For people with low blood pressure, severe liver problems, hereditary degeneration of the back of the eyeball, and who have had a heart or stroke, this drug should not be recommended.
- If you ever had an allergic reaction to this drug, do not use this. Tell your doctor as well if you have any allergies.
- Inform your doctor if you have any current medications including that of vitamins or herbal supplements.
- This is not licensed to use anyone under 18 years of age.
- If you have a medical history of dehydration, chest pain, liver or kidney disease, high blood pressure, or sudden decreased vision, tell to your doctor before using this medicine.
- Store this at room temperature away from the reach of children.