Sildenafil, known to most as Viagra but also available as a generically produced cheaper variant of the drug under numerous names, is a medicine that belongs to the class of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5).
This drug is mainly used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction – therefore the inability to achieve or maintain an erection even following adequate stimulation. In fact, it helps to relax the blood vessels in the penis, allowing a greater flow of blood when sexually stimulated thus allowing an erection.
In case of erectile dysfunction, it is recommended to take about 45 minutes before sexual intercourse and preferably on an empty stomach. The effect of sildenafil lasts about 4/6 hours, the time after which the penis returns to a rest condition.
In addition to being used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction, sildenafil is used in the treatment of pulmonary hypertension. Research has shown that this drug, when taken in low doses, is able to dilate the pulmonary arteries and block the progression of pulmonary symptoms.
In many European countries as well as in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the Viagra patent (whose active ingredient is, precisely, sildenafil) expired in June 2013, a factor that allowed the sale of equivalent medicines containing the same principle.
Currently, there are more than 12 alternatives available on the market to the more well-known Viagra which have the name of the active ingredient and provide the consumer with the same therapeutic effect at a decidedly lower cost: for the purchase of a pack of four 50 mg tablets, the sildenafil price has decreased by almost 90%.
How does sildenafil work?
A dose of sildenafil should be assumed before sexual activity is planned. The 50 mg sildenafil dosage is usually recommended by specialists for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. We recommend taking about an hour before sexual intercourse as needed. It is important to follow the directions given by the doctor without exceeding the indicated quantity, in order to avoid possible side effects.
The recommended maintenance dose will be established based on the patient’s individual response, and can vary from 25 mg to 100 mg, to be taken from 30 minutes to 4 hours before sexual intercourse depending on needs and dosage.
Sildenafil blocks phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) and helps to release nitric oxide, a substance that promotes the flow of blood. Since PDE5 is mostly found in the spongeous bodies located in the penis, it is there that the drug’s action is perceived the most. The dilated blood vessels absorb and retain the maximal amount of blood, which results in the ability to achieve and maintain firm and hard erections.
What conditions are required for sildenafil to work? First of all, the user has to be sexually stimulated for sildenafil-containing pill to yield any measurable benefits. But many patients actually state that they experience the improved flow of blood in the genitals shortly after ingesting the drug, so even minor and unintentional stimulation of the penis can result in its turgor.
Sildenafil works best and quickest when taken on an empty stomach or after a fairly light meal. It is also known that the medication has an accumulated effect and the response towards the drug improves with prolonged use.
Sildenafil is a prescription drug that is contraindicated in men with heart, stomach, liver or kidney problems, as well as some other health conditions. Remember that it should always be a doctor who appoints the medication and correct dose of any ED drug.