Sildenafil helps with erectile dysfunction

The active ingredient sildenafil is used in men to treat erectile dysfunction. The active ingredient became known through the sexual enhancer Viagra®. It makes it easier to achieve an erection – but only if there is sexual stimulation. Otherwise, sildenafil has no effect. As with many other medications, side effects can occur when taking sildenafil. The most common include  headaches , facial flushing, and gastrointestinal discomfort. Find out more about the effects, side effects and dosage of Sildenafil here.

Effect of the potency drug

Sildenafil is primarily used to treat erectile dysfunction ( impotence ). The active ingredient ensures that an  erection can be maintained for longer  . However, it has no lust-enhancing effect and does not cause an erection by itself. Rather, sildenafil improves men’s ability to respond to sexual arousal with an erection. Without sexual stimulation, on the other hand, no erection is triggered.

Like tadalafil or vardenafil, the active ingredient belongs to the group of PDE-5 inhibitors, which have a vasodilating effect. This effect is based on the inhibition of the enzyme phosphodiesterase-5. By inhibiting the enzyme, the blood vessels in the penis relax. This facilitates the flow of blood and the development of an erection.

In addition to being used as a sexual enhancer, Sildenafil has also been approved for the treatment of  pulmonary  hypertension  (pulmonary hypertension) since 2006. Here, too, its vasodilating effect plays a crucial role in the treatment.

Side Effects of Sildenafil

As with most other medications, taking sildenafil is associated with side effects. These are usually mild to moderate and will subside on their own after a while. For a complete list of all side effects of the active ingredient, please refer to the package insert of your medication.

The following symptoms may occur after taking Sildenafil:

  • headache
  • facial flushing
  • Stomach problems such as  nausea , vomiting and  diarrhea
  • Sniffles
  • vision problems
  • dizziness
  • muscle and back pain
  • palpitations
  • hearing impairment
  • a decreased response
  • a permanent erection

In very  rare cases  , a circulatory disorder of the optic nerve head (anterior ischemic optic neuropathy) has been observed after ingestion. This can lead to permanent visual damage or even blindness. It is still unclear whether the disorder is causally related to the intake of the active substance. If you are taking the active substance and you notice a decrease in your vision, notify your doctor immediately and do not take any more tablets.

Dose sildenafil correctly

Sildenafil is available in doses of 25, 50 and 100 milligrams and is administered orally.

  • Ordinary tablets should be swallowed whole with some liquid.
  • Chewable tablets are first chewed and then swallowed.
  • Orodispersible tablets, on the other hand, are placed on the  tongue  and swallowed only after dissolving.

Your doctor will determine how high the dose to be taken should be for you. In addition to the individual effectiveness and tolerability of the medication, underlying diseases also play a role. Irrespective of this, a  daily dose of 100 milligrams  must never be exceeded.

The effect of the tablet begins about  30 to 60 minutes after ingestion. Eating a heavy, greasy meal can delay the onset of action. Once the effect begins, it lasts for about four to five hours.

Contraindications: Caution with coronary heart disease

Sildenafil should not be used concomitantly with drugs containing nitrates and nitric oxide donors (e.g. molsidomine). Otherwise, the effectiveness of these drugs can be significantly increased.

It should also be noted that patients with coronary heart disease should only take the active ingredient after consulting their doctor. For them, the exertion of sexual intercourse can increase the risk of circulatory overload.  It is also contraindicated to take it in the event of severe liver damage or an  allergy to the active substance.

In addition, sildenafil may only be taken with particular caution in the following diseases:  leukemia , gastrointestinal ulcers,  multiple myeloma , sickle cell anemia, blood clotting disorders. You must also consult your doctor before taking if you have a disease or deformity of your penis.

Interactions with other drugs

Taking sildenafil can lead to a number of drug interactions. Primarily affected are active ingredients that are metabolized with the participation of the same enzymes as the sexual enhancer:

  • Ketoconazole
  • itraconazole
  • Erythromycin
  • Cimetidine
  • Ritonavir
  • Saquinavir

Bei gleichzeitiger Einnahme von Alphablockern kann es ebenfalls zu Wechselwirkungen kommen: In einigen Fällen traten Nebenwirkungen wie Benommenheit und Schwindel auf. Dies lässt sich meist jedoch durch einen größeren zeitlichen Abstand zwischen den Einnahmen verhindern.

Generika mit Sildenafil

Bis Juni 2013 war die Produktion von Medikamenten mit Sildenafil patenrechtlich geschützt. Bis dahin war nur das Produkt Viagra® erhältlich. Mittlerweile gibt es eine große Auswahl an Generika mit Sildenafil. Diese können zu einem günstigeren Preis gekauft werden, sind jedoch genau so wirksam.

But regardless of whether it is an original or a generic: What all products have in common is that they require a prescription and can therefore only be taken on  medical advice  . You usually have to bear the costs for treatment with Sildenafil yourself. Statutory health insurance only covers this if the active ingredient is used to treat pulmonary hypertension.

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