What Is Sildenafil?
Sildenafil is a medicine that majorly contributes to treat male sexual function problems. It is believed to be an effective short-term cure for erectile dysfunction and a long-term remedy for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. It is a phosphodiesterase-5 enzyme (PDE-5) inhibitor and must only be taken after being medically prescribed. It is proved to be an effective drug for two-third of men, and hence is widely prescribed too!

How does Sildenafil heal various issues?

Erectile Dysfunction (ED):

ED is known to be a condition when a man faces impotence or inability to achieve or keep an erection while indulging in intercourse. 

To treat erectile dysfunction, it is a trusted and effective drug as it increases blood flow to the penis during sexual stimulations. The sudden blood influx leads to erection, thereby curing the man’s erectile dysfunction. 

Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH):

In layman’s terms, pulmonary hypertension is essentially a condition of high blood pressure in the lungs. The increased blood pressure in the vessels of the lungs is due to the obstruction in the small lung arteries. This further could even be due to many reasons. The person suffering couldn’t necessarily be a male.

The drug helps heal PAH by relaxing and widening the blood vessels inside the lungs to allow easy blood flow for pulmonary artery hypertension.

What symptoms does a person show who has erectile dysfunction?

The symptoms for ED are as follows:

  • Trouble in starting to achieve an erection.
  • Trouble keeping an erection while sexual activity.
  • Reduction in sexual desires.

A person must visit a doctor if he faces delayed or premature ejaculation along with other sexual issues. This must also be done if the person has the above symptoms and suffers from diabetes, heart disease, or other diseases like ED.

What symptoms does a person with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension show?

The one who faces the following symptoms might be prone to PAH:

  • Shortness of breath.
  • Fainting 
  • Dizziness.
  • Color of the skin and lips turning bluish.
  • Chest pain 
  • Pressure sensations.
  • Fatigue.
  • Swollen ankles, legs, and abdomen.

Are there any side effects of Sildenafil?

Just like other drugs, Sildenafil, too, has some side effects. They are as follows:

Common side effects

  • Headache.
  • Heartburn 
  • Flushing.
  • Muscle aches, numbness, tickling or burning in the arms, feet, legs, and hands.
  • Changes in color vision
  • Sensitivity to light.
  • Difficulty in getting asleep or staying asleep.
  • Nose bleeding.
  • Diarrhoea.

Severe side-effects

  • Severe loss of vision suddenly.
  • Sudden loss or decrease of hearing.
  • Ringing in ears.
  • Chest pain.
  • Worsening breath shortness.
  • Painful erection.
  • Erection lasting for long hours.
  • Rashes.
  • Fainting, lightheadedness, or sudden dizziness.
  • Burning and itchy sensation during urination.

How long does Sildenafil take to work?

Sildenafil is available in a tablet, to be taken by mouth, and could be injected into a vein. For erectile dysfunction, it’s in the form of a tablet, whereas for PAH, it’s mainly of the latter type.

It generally takes 30-60 minutes for Sildenafil to work in the case of Erectile dysfunction. Consuming it won’t lead to a regular erectile. One must need to be aroused for the drug to work. Preferably, one must consume it at least 4 hours before the sexual activity.

Are there any disease interactions with Sildenafil?

There are namely nine disease interactions of Sildenafil as follows:

  • Retinitis Pigmentosa
  • Pulmonary Diseases
  • Renal dysfunction.
  • Liver diseases.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Priapism.
  • Alcoholism.
  • Seizure disorders.

What drugs should not be taken with Sildenafil?

Sildenafil couldn’t be consumed with riociguat (Adempas), as well as nitrates. The latter is usually found in chest pain medicines. If Sildenafil reacts with any form of nitrate drugs, it might lead to severe blood pressure drop, fainting, and even a heart attack or stroke.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when a person stops taking Sildenafil?

There might be severe complications stopping Sildenafil, like hearing loss, headaches, heartburn, and other issues.

Sildenafil for PAH must never be discontinued, even if the person feels absolutely fine. He must ask the doctor for the same! Even for ED, it could be stopped but not without asking the doctor. 

Can children consume this drug?

Children are forbidden to take this drug. However, in few cases of pulmonary hypertension, they are prescribed to consume Sildenafil. In such a case, this drug is found out to be the best cure!

What happens on missing a Sildenafil dose?

On missing a dose, never give a double dose. It could be continued from the next dose.

What will it lead to if it’s overdosed?

Sildenafil overdosage might lead to prolonged erection for hours, or even painful erections and stiffness, also known as priapism. Overdose can significantly lead to nausea, irregular heartbeat, or chest pains too.

What is the optimum dose of Sildenafil consumption?

The dosage is different for different patients. However, the optimum prescribed single dose for ED is 50 mg up till 65 years of age, and people older than them must consume 25 mg! 

For treating PAH, the optimum dose is 5-20 mg single dose, to be taken three times a day for adults. In the case of children, the dose must be decided by the doctors themselves!

A gap of 4 to 6 hours is advised to be kept between two doses.

Does Sildenafil affect fertility?

Unfortunately, consuming it might negatively impact one’s fertility. Sildenafil, for treating Erectile Dysfunction, can significantly cause sperm damage but in rare cases.

Who could take up this drug?

Men above 18 years of age could only take Sildenafil for Erectile Dysfunction treatment. Women and children must not consume it.

On the flip side, adults, whether male or female, over 18 years could consume Sildenafil to treat PAH. However, consulting a doctor before starting to consume the Sildenafil dose is very necessary.

Does alcohol affect adversely with a Sildenafil dose?

Consuming moderate amounts of alcohol seems not to harm while being on Sildenafil dose. Alcohol doesn’t have any risks but must be taken in the limit, being precautional.

What foodstuffs must be avoided with Sildenafil?

Avoid eating high-fat components food like fried food or red meat. On the days one plans to take up the Sildenafil dose, he must not consume a fatty meal. That might slow down the drug’s effectiveness and performance. 

Can women take up this medicine?

Women can consume Sildenafil for the treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. However, they must first consult their doctors for the same, as this is a long-term dose and couldn’t be stopped! However, doctors generally do not prescribe it for breastfeeding or childbearing women!

How long can one stay for Sildenafil?

Sildenafil lasts for hours and peaks generally within half an hour. Hence, it is suggested to take up the dose at least 30 to 60 minutes before intercourse, preferably 4 hours before the same! Well, one must go as per the directions of the doctor.

How much duration does it take Sildenafil to peak?

The peak concentration of Sildenafil reaches in about half an hour.

Does it suit people with diabetes?

Yes, of course. Diabetic patients have no harm in consuming Sildenafil. It is safe and effective for diabetic patients who have erectile dysfunction!