Sildenafil is approved to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) in men. With ED, you have trouble getting and keeping an erection that’s firm enough to allow you to have sex.
What causes an erection?
When you’re sexually aroused, either through sexual thoughts or touch, your brain sends messages to your penis. These messages cause certain chemicals to be released in your penis.
One of these chemicals, called cyclic GMP, relaxes and widens certain blood vessels in your penis. Cyclic GMP also relaxes the muscles around the erectile tissue in your penis that’s called the corpus cavernosum. These actions allow blood to flow into the corpus cavernosum, which causes your penis to get hard and become erect.
What happens with ED?
ED can occur if you have certain problems that affect your body’s ability to have an erection. The condition can result from problems with messages being sent from your brain. ED can also result from problems with blood flow into your penis.
What does Sildenafil do for ED?
Sildenafil works to treat ED by helping you have and maintain an erection. The drug does this by improving blood flow into your penis when you’re sexually aroused.
Sildenafil is a type of drug called a phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor. It works by inhibiting (blocking) the action of an enzyme called PDE5. (An enzyme is a protein that helps chemical reactions to happen inside your body.)
Normally, an erection goes away when PDE5 breaks down the cyclic GMP in your penis. But Sildenafil blocks the action of PDE5, so it allows cyclic GMP to keep working for a longer period of time than usual. This action improves blood flow to your penis and helps you to have and keep an erection.
Does Sildenafil increase a man’s sex drive?
No, Sildenafil doesn’t directly increase your sex drive. And it doesn’t make you sexually aroused. However, some men find that if Sildenafil works to treat their erectile problem, it also increases their sexual confidence. And this may lead to an increased sex drive.
How can I tell if Sildenafil’s not working?
Sildenafil may not work for everyone, and it may not work every time you take it.
If you’re sexually aroused, Sildenafil should work to help you have or keep an erection within 30 minutes to 2 hours. But if you don’t get an erection within 4 hours after taking a dose, Sildenafil didn’t work for you this time.
If the drug doesn’t work for you, you shouldn’t take another dose until at least 24 hours later. And talk with your doctor if you feel Sildenafil isn’t helping to treat your ED. They may recommend that you try a different medication for your ED.
How can I get Sildenafil to work?
It’s important to remember that Sildenafil only works if you’re already sexually aroused. Arousal may involve having sexual thoughts, looking at sexual images, masturbating, or engaging in foreplay.
But if you feel anxious, nervous, depressed, or stressed, your body may not respond well to sexual stimulation. If this is the case, try to relax, make yourself comfortable, and take your time. In addition, it’s best to avoid drinking a lot of alcohol. This is because consuming large amounts of alcohol can make it more difficult for you to get an erection.
If you’re having trouble getting an erection, even while using Sildenafil, talk with your doctor.
Is Sildenafil a blood thinner?
No, Sildenafil isn’t a blood thinner. Instead, it belongs to a class of drugs called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. (A class of drugs describes a group of medications that work in a similar way.) Sildenafil works by inhibiting (blocking) the action of a certain enzyme in your body.
Since Sildenafil has been released onto the market, there have been a few reports of bleeding in people who’ve taken the drug. However, there’s no evidence that Sildenafil caused these bleeding problems.
It’s not known if Sildenafil is safe for use by people with a bleeding problem. If you have any bleeding problems, talk with your doctor about whether Sildenafil is safe for you.
Sildenafil's popularity with young adults has increased over the years. Sildenafil's trade name, Viagra, is widely recognized in popular culture, and the drug's association with treating erectile dysfunction has led to its recreational use. The reasons behind such use include the belief that the drug increases libido, improves sexual performance, or permanently increases penis size. Studies on the effects of viagra when used recreationally are limited, but suggest it has little effect when used by those not suffering from erectile dysfunction. In one study, a 25-mg dose was shown to cause no significant change in erectile quality, but did reduce the postejaculatory refractory time. This study also noted a significant placebo effect in the control group.
Unprescribed recreational use of sildenafil and other PDE5 inhibitors is noted as particularly high among users of illegal drugs. Sildenafil is sometimes used to counteract the effects of other substances, often illicit. Some users mix it with methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy), other stimulants, or opiates in an attempt to compensate for the common side effect of erectile dysfunction, a combination known as "sextasy", "rockin' and rollin'" or "trail mix". Mixing with amyl nitrite is particularly dangerous and potentially fatal.
In studies with healthy volunteers of single doses up to 800 mg, adverse reactions were similar to those seen at lower doses but incidence rates and severities were increased.
In cases of overdose, standard supportive measures should be adopted as required. Renal dialysis is not expected to accelerate clearance as sildenafil is highly bound to plasma proteins and it is not eliminated in the urine.