Sildenafil, Viagra and Erectile Dysfunction. The Hard Facts.

Treatments ● December 2018

In 30 Seconds

  • Sildenafil is the active ingredient in Viagra.
  • Sildenafil works by stopping the PDE5A enzyme, which results in a relaxation of blood vessels and the maintenance of an erection.
  • Most men under the age of 65 take a dose of 50mg, but this is subject to doctor approval.

Who doesn’t want great sex? Luckily, things are ahem, looking up when it comes to maintaining the kind of award-winning erection that you (and your partner) deserve. Because of the pressure on us to be constantly up for it, no wonder the inability to obtain – or maintain – an erection can cause emotional distress. But don’t worry. A: It happens to us all. And B: We have the solution.

When it comes to popping a pill, Sildenafil is the classic. And many of us are relieved that it’s now as easy to access as just clicking a button. Want to know more?

Here’s our easy guide:

Because of the pressure on us to be constantly up for it, no wonder the inability to obtain – or maintain – an erection can cause emotional distress. But don’t worry. It happens to us all.

The Facts

  • Erectile dysfunction (ED) is common. According to stats, mild and moderate ED affects approximately 10% of men per decade of life.1 So 30% of men in their 30s, 40% of men in their 40s, 50% of men in their 50s and so on.
  • Viagra/Sildenafil is an inhibitor that basically works by stopping the activity of an enzyme called PDE5A (phosphodiesterase 5 enzyme) in the penis. This results in the relaxation of blood vessels. This then causes you to get and maintain an erection.
  • Viagra was introduced onto the market back in 1998.2
  • Sildenafil/Viagra is an archetypical PDE5 inhibitor. It works by boosting the nitric oxide-based biochemical mechanism in erectile tissues, while reducing the activity of the PDE5A enzyme, and stopping it working too fast.3
  • The increased upstream release of nitric oxide from nerve endings results in an increase of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (CGMP) levels. This relaxes the smooth muscle in the penis and compresses the penile emissary veins.
  • The combo of the above restricts the blood flow back to the heart. This results in sexual excitation that leads to the penis becoming erect. Et voilá – desired result obtained.
  • Did you know: Viagra/Sildenafil is also used in both men and women to treat symptoms of pulmonary arterial hypertension — a type of high blood pressure that occurs between the heart and the lungs.4

How Much Do I Take?

  • Viagra/Sildenafil prescriptions usually start with doses in the mid-range, as side effects tend to be dose-dependent. So play it safe. Men usually start with the 50mg dose, if they’re under 65. If that doesn’t work (or is only partially effective) you can increase the dose to 100mg. If you suffer from side effects, it can be reduced to 25mg.5
  • Viagra/Sildenafil is most effective when taken on an empty stomach one hour before sex. It has a potency period of around four hours.6
  • Now, we know the best sex happens spontaneously. If you’re in a long-term relationship you’ll probably know the signs that sex is on the cards. If it’s a one-night-stand or casual hook up, then probably best to just excuse yourself and pop to the loo once you know things are getting steamy. Viagra/Sildenafil alone is unlikely to give you an erection. Instead, it’s there to help things along when you already feel sexual stimulation.
  • Men of age 65 years and older should take 25mg as a single dose, no more than once a day, one hour before sex. The drug may be taken between 30 minutes and 4 hours before sex, according to adjustments recommended by your doctor.7
  • For ED, Viagra/Sildenafil usually begins to work within 30 minutes of taking it and for up to 4 hours. It’s potency significantly reduces after 2 hours.8
Viagra alone is unlikely to give you an erection. Instead, it’s there to help things along when you already feel sexual stimulation.

What About The Side Effects?

  • Ocular side effects include “changes in color perception, blurred vision, changes in light perception, transient ERG changes, conjunctival hyperaemia, ocular pain, and photophobia”, according to scientific research into Viagra.9
  • Headaches, flushing, indigestion, diarrhoea, stuffy nose, nausea, dizziness, rashes and stomach discomfort after meals are also side effects of Viagra.10
  • Other common side effects include muscle aches and pains, rashes, feeling flushed, and stuffy or runny nose.11
You also may like