GENERIC NAME(S): SILDENAFIL CITRATE
Sildenafil is used to treat male sexual function problems (impotence or erectile dysfunction -ED). In combination with sexual stimulation, sildenafil works by increasing blood flow to the penis to help a man get and keep an erection.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
Sildenafil is also available in other brands and strengths for treating high blood pressure in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension ). Do not take this medication with any other product that contains sildenafil or other similar medications for erectile dysfunction -ED or pulmonary hypertension (such as tadalafil, vardenafil).
How to use Viagra
Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start taking sildenafil and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
To treat erectile dysfunction -ED, take this drug by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually as needed. Take sildenafil at least 30 minutes, but no more than 4 hours, before sexual activity (1 hour before is the most effective). Do not take more than once daily.
A high-fat meal may delay how quickly the drug begins to work.
The dosage is based on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other medications you may be taking. Be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve.
Dizziness. headache. flushing, or stomach upset may occur. Vision changes such as increased sensitivity to light, blurred vision. or trouble telling blue and green colors apart may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Sexual activity may put extra strain on your heart. especially if you have heart problems. If you have heart problems and experience any of these serious side effects while having sex. stop and get medical help right away: severe dizziness, fainting. chest/jaw/left arm pain, nausea .
Rarely, sudden decreased vision. including permanent blindness, in one or both eyes (NAION) may occur. If this serious problem occurs, stop taking sildenafil and get medical help right away. You have a slightly greater chance of developing NAION if you have heart disease. diabetes. high cholesterol. certain other eye problems (“crowded disk”), high blood pressure. if you are over 50, or if you smoke.
Rarely, a sudden decrease or loss of hearing, sometimes with ringing in the ears and dizziness, may occur. Stop taking sildenafil and get medical help right away if these effects occur.
In the rare event you have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours, stop using this drug and get medical help right away, or permanent problems could occur.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction. including: rash. itching /swelling (especially of the face/tongue /throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing .
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking sildenafil, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: heart problems (such as heart attack or life-threatening irregular heartbeat in the past 6 months, chest pain/angina, heart failure), stroke in the past 6 months, kidney disease, liver disease, high or low blood pressure. a severe loss of body water (dehydration), penis conditions (such as angulation, fibrosis/scarring, Peyronie’s disease ), history of painful/prolonged erection (priapism), conditions that may increase the risk of priapism (such as sickle cell anemia. leukemia, multiple myeloma ), eye problems (such as retinitis pigmentosa. sudden decreased vision, NAION).
This drug may make you dizzy or cause vision problems. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
This brand of the drug is usually not used in women. During pregnancy, sildenafil should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s approval.
A product that may interact with this drug is: riociguat.
Sildenafil can cause a serious drop in your blood pressure when used with nitrates. A serious drop in blood pressure can lead to dizziness, fainting, and rarely heart attack or stroke. Do not use sildenafil with any of the following: certain drugs used to treat chest pain/angina (nitrates such as nitroglycerin, isosorbide), recreational drugs called “poppers” containing amyl nitrate, amyl nitrite, or butyl nitrite.
If you are also taking an alpha blocker medication (such as doxazosin, tamsulosin) to treat an enlarged prostate/BPH or high blood pressure, your blood pressure may get too low which can lead to dizziness or fainting. Your doctor may start treatment with a lower dose of sildenafil to minimize your risk of low blood pressure.
Other medications can affect the removal of sildenafil from your body, which may affect how sildenafil works. Examples include azole antifungals (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole), macrolide antibiotics (such as clarithromycin, erythromycin), HIV protease inhibitors (such as ritonavir, saquinavir), hepatitis C virus protease inhibitors (such as boceprevir, telaprevir), mifepristone, rifampin, among others.
Do not take this medication with any other product that contains sildenafil or other similar medications for erectile dysfunction-ED or pulmonary hypertension (such as tadalafil, vardenafil).
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include severe dizziness, fainting, painful/prolonged erection.
Do not share this medication with others.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised October 2015. Copyright(c) 2015 First Databank, Inc.
7 Common Side Effects of Erectile Dysfunction Medication
Erectile Dysfunction Medications
Erectile Dysfunction (ED), can make your sex life become non-existent. Also called impotence, ED occurs when nerves in the penis can no longer stimulate blood flow to develop an erection. This is a common occurrence that increases with age, but erectile dysfunction medications may be able to help the condition. The most well-known ED medications include:
- Cialis (tadalafil)
- Viagra (sildenafil)
- Levitra (vardenafil)
These prescription drugs increase nitric oxide to stimulate blood flow upon sexual arousal. While ED meds can be lifesavers in the bedroom, there are some common side effects to learn about before asking for a prescription.
Headaches are the most common side effect associated with erectile dysfunction medications. Nitric oxide helps increase blood flow to the penis to create an erection, but this sudden change in blood flow can cause a headache. It is important to know that headaches are common with all forms of ED medications, so switching brands wonвЂ™t necessarily alleviate such symptoms. If your headaches are severe, talk to your doctor about methods you can use to prevent them.
Body Aches and Pains
Taking medicine can be a pain, and this may be especially the case when treating erectile dysfunction. Some patients experience muscle aches and general body aches, while others report lower back pain. According to the Mayo Clinic. Cialis is the primary culprit of such side effects out of all ED medications. Over-the-counter pain medication can help alleviate aches and pains, but make sure you ask a doctor before use.
Your ED medications can also cause uncomfortable gastrointestinal ailments. The most common are indigestion and diarrhea. Over-the-counter medicines can help alleviate minor problems, but you may also consider making dietary changes to reduce upset stomach and gastrointestinal issues. Drinking water instead of caffeine, alcohol, and juice may help.
An increase in nitric oxide can cause dizziness in some men. This side effect is more prominent with the medication Levitra, according to the Patient Education Institute. While generally mild, dizziness can still cause discomfort during everyday activities. In rare cases, dizziness can lead to fainting, which may become a serious health issue. Remember that while dizziness is a common side effect, fainting is not.
ED medications can change the way you see things вЂ“ literally. Certain brands can temporarily alter your eyesight, and even cause blue vision. The Mayo Clinic reports that blue vision symptoms are related to individuals who take Levitra or Viagra.
A complete loss of vision, or changes that donвЂ™t go away, can signify a more serious issue with your ED medication. Seek emergency medical care. ED drugs arenвЂ™t recommended if you have a retinal disorder.
Flushing causes redness of the skin. Flushing can develop on the face, but may spread to virtually any part of your body. Unlike blushing, flushing looks more like a rash. The symptoms can be as mild as blotchy skin, or even as severe as rashes. According to the Mayo Clinic. flushing is most common with Levitra and Viagra. You may find flushing an occasional symptom of impotence drugs, and it may worsen when you:
- eat hot or spicy foods
- drink alcohol
- are outside in warm temperatures
Congestion and Runny Nose
Congestion and Runny Nose
One of the last things you would expect of an ED medication is congestion and a runny, stuffy nose. Still, this is a common symptom you should watch out for when taking these prescription drugs. The Patient Education Institute reports that such side effects are linked to Levitra and Viagra. In most cases, symptoms of congestion will subside without a need for treatment.
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Erectile Dysfunction Health Center
13 Common Sex-Drive Killers
What Are the Differences Between These Drugs?
Cialis, Levitra, Staxyn, Stendra, and Viagra work similarly. There are subtle differences in how long the drug works and how quickly it works.
Levitra works a little longer than Viagra. They both take effect in about 30 minutes. With Levitra, the effects last for about 5 hours. With Viagra, they last about 4 hours.
Cialis works much longer — up to 36 hours in some cases. Stendra can start doing its thing in as little as 15 minutes, and its effects last up to 6 hours.
Staxyn dissolves in your mouth. It contains the same active ingredient as Levitra, but it should not replace Levitra. It also can begin working in about 15 minutes.
If One of These DoesnвЂ™t Help Me, Can I Try Another?
Yes. But because these drugs work the same way, youвЂ™re likely to have similar results.
What Precautions Should I Take Before Trying One of These Drugs?
There are situations where these drugs may not be safe. Before you take them, tell your doctor:
- If you are allergic to any drugs, including other ED medications.
- About any prescription or nonprescription medications you take and any herbal and dietary supplements .
- If you are scheduled for surgery, even dental surgery.
- If you take nitroglycerin or a similar medicine for chest pain. The combination of ED medication and these drugs can cause dangerously low blood pressure .
- If you take alpha-blockers for blood pressure or prostate problems. These can lower your blood pressure when taken with ED pills. You should not start on Staxyn unless your doctor has prescribed you Levitra before.
Always follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. Also make sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain anything you donвЂ™t understand. Take these drugs exactly as directed.