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How Safe is Sildenafil?

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Sildenafil is the generic drug name for Viagra and Revatio. Considering how many people use the drug on a daily basis, you would assume it is super-safe. But, while authorities consider it safe, the drug causes far more side effects than you realise. The risk of serious side-effects increases with age and underlying health concerns. So, given the demographic taking Sildenafil, it’s surprising we don’t hear more about the downsides of the drug.

Sildenafil And Side Effects

It is still surprising how many side effects in clinical trials fall into the Very Common category. When a side effect is Very Common, it occurs in over 10% of the participants. In addition to Very Common, there are also Common, Uncommon and Rare categories. When you add all the classes and look at the body systems involved, the extent of the side-effects becomes quite frightening.

Most Common Side Effects of Sildenafil

So, what are the Very Common (greater than 10%) and Common (Between 1 & 10%) side-effects of Sildenafil?

  • Heart: Very Common – Over 10% of all users experience flushing.
  • Gut: Very Common side effects are Diarrhoea and Indigestion. Indigestion occurs in 17% of all participants. Common reported side effects include Bloating, Nausea, Vomiting, Dry mouth, Hemorrhoids and Acid Reflux.
  • Eyes: Very Common side effects resulting in abnormal vision occur in 11% of users. Common eye complaints include Visual colour distortion, Visual Impairment, Retinal Haemorrhage, Blurred vision, Temporary loss of vision and Sensitivity to light.
  • Metabolic: Common side effect is fluid retention.
  • Body: Very Common side effect is pain in the extremities. Common adverse reactions are Back pain and muscle pain.
  • Nervous system: Very Common complaint is a Headache. This is the most frequently reported side effect and affects 28% of all users. Common complaints include Dizziness, Tremors, Pins and needles, Burning sensation and Migraine.
  • Lungs: Very Common side effects are nasal Irritation and a Sore throat. 18 % of users experience a sore throat.
  • Skin: Common adverse reactions include Rash, Hair loss, Night sweats and Itchy skin.
  • Blood: Common Side effect associated with Sildenafil is Anaemia.
  • Brain: Common side effect is the onset of Insomnia or Anxiety.

When Not To Use Sildenafil

Although these side effects are disturbing, we need to keep things in perspective. Healthy adults with no underlying medical conditions and are at low risk of side effects. However, underlying medical conditions and medications do increase your chances of experiencing side effects.

There are many contraindications associated with Sildenafil. The most important to stress is Nitrates. Under no circumstances should you ever take Sildenafil with Nitrates. Not only does this advice apply to medications such as Minitran and Isordil that treat Angina. It also applies to recreational drugs like Poppers.

Nitrates and Sildenafil both cause the muscles controlling the size of blood vessels to relax. Relaxing the muscles then lowers your blood pressure. If you combine both drugs, your muscles will relax further and cause a massive drop in blood pressure. When your blood pressure drops too low, your blood will no longer reach the heart. I don’t need to explain the result.

Use Sildenafil With Caution

Before we all panic, remember Sildenafil is globally approved drug and has been taken by over 20 million people worldwide. But, as with many things in life, it doesn’t come without risks.

Think very carefully before you decide to use Sildenafil. In your circumstances, do the benefits outweigh the risks? Although the most common side effects are mild, they may cause lasting damage to your health. Do your research and make sure Sildenafil is the best choice for you. Check with your doctor about possible alternative treatments if you feel the risks are too high.

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