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What Is Sildenafil?

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Chances are you’ve heard of Sildenafil; you just don’t realise it. Sildenafil is the generic name for the drug Viagra and Revatio.

Pfizer discovered the drug in 1989. It was a chance discovery made while researching medications for heart-related chest pain. Europe and the USA approved the drug in 1998, and it is now the most widely used drug for Erectile Dysfunction (ED). Under the brand name Revatio, it is also a treatment for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Since becoming available in the late 90s, over 30 million people have now taken Sildenafil.

How Does It Work?

Known as a PDE-5 inhibitor, it works by blocking the action of the enzyme known as PDE-5. By blocking PDE-5, Sildenafil increases the level of cGMP within smooth muscles. This, in turn, relaxes the muscles and widens blood vessels. The penis, lungs and retina all contain high levels of PDE-5. PDE-5 also exists in blood vessel walls and muscle fibre. The high concentration of PDE-5 in the penis and lungs is why the drug works for treating ED and Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. The widespread distribution of PDE-5 throughout the body also explains why the drug causes so many side effects.

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Side Effects of Sildenafil

There are a surprising number of side effects associated with Sildenafil. Most common complaints are flushing, headaches, diarrhoea, nasal congestion, sore throat and indigestion.

Visual disturbances are also common. This may be because of the high levels of PDE-5 in the retina. Common visual complaints include temporary loss of vision, blurred vision, increased sensitivity to bright lights and abnormal colour perception. It is common for men a blue tinge to their vision after taking Sildenafil. Fortunately, this effect is usually temporary.

What Sildenafil Doesn’t Do

It won’t give you an instant erection. The drug increases blood flow to your penis and makes it easier to maintain an erection. However, to get an erection, you will still need physical or mental stimulation.

Sildenafil doesn’t make your erection last for hours. When you orgasm, you will lose your erection. Although, studies do show that you can achieve a subsequent erection in a shorter time frame if you take the drug.

It doesn’t increase your sex drive. The drug only inhibits PED-5 to lower blood pressure and improve your erection. It does not work on your hormones, that means it won’t increase your libido.

Should I Try It?

If you struggle to maintain an erection, Sildenafil may be able to help. But, ED is a common problem, and the answer isn’t always medication. Also, the inability to maintain an erection can be a sign of more severe health problems such as cardiovascular disease. In this instance, taking Sildenafil could be very dangerous to your health.

While it works on the physical aspects of maintaining an erection, many ED problems are psychological. A drug can’t cure the psychological aspects of your ED. However, it might give you the confidence you need to perform so can still yield the expected result.

There are so many side effects and contraindications associated with the drug; it’s impossible to list them all. So, it’s essential to consult with your doctor before trying Sildenafil. Better safe than sorry!

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