Sildenafil Citrate

Brand names of sildenafil citrate

  • Viagra

Sildenafil citrate is a prescription drug belonging to the class of medications known as phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. This medication works by helping in augmenting the flow of blood into the penis during sexual intercourse. In effect, using this drug helps men to attain as well as maintain penile erection. Sildenafil citrate is available commercially from 1998 and since then the drug has been primarily used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED).

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Things you need to tell your physician before taking sildenafil citrate

As in the instance of starting any new drug, you ought to adopt a number of precautions before you begin treatment with sildenafil citrate. Prior to commencing treatment with sildenafil citrate tell to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any allergic reactions to the medication or have any other types of allergies. Sildenafil citrate may enclose certain inactive elements that may result in allergic reactions or other health problems. Therefore, if you are not certain about the ingredients of this medication, talk to your pharmacist for further details in this regard.

Before you start taking sildenafil citrate it is important to tell your doctor or pharmacist regarding your entire medical history, particularly if you have or had ever had high blood pressure (hypertension), sickle cell disease, a history of painful or prolonged erections (a condition known as priapism), any acute loss of body water or dehydration, any heart ailments, for instance a heart attack or abnormal heartbeat during the last six months, any stroke during the last six months, chest pain (angina), heart failure, aortic stenosis (anomalous narrowing of the aorta), liver ailment, kidney disease, low blood pressure, pulmonary edema (accumulation of fluid in the lungs), idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis (IHSS), and/ or any trouble with the shape of the penis, for instance angulation, Peyronie's disease and/ or fibrosis/ scarring.

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People taking sildenafil citrate may feel dizzy or experience vision problems. Hence, it is advisable that they should not undertake any task that requires alertness, for instance driving a vehicle or operating any machinery, till they are certain regarding the effect of the medication on them and also till they are sure that they can accomplish these tasks safely. At the same time, men taking sildenafil citrate ought to restrict their consumption of alcoholic drinks.

Elderly men using sildenafil citrate ought to exercise additional caution since they are more susceptible to the effects of this medication. Usually, the doctor may start with a low dose of this medication for elderly men.

In the event people taking sildenafil citrate need to undergo any surgery or even dental operation, they should tell their surgeon/ dentist about all the prescription, non-prescription (over-the-counter) drugs, herbal products, vitamins, nutritional substances and/ or minerals that they are taking currently. They should especially tell their doctor that they are taking sildenafil citrate.

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It is important to note that this drug is generally not prescribed for women. Yet, pregnant women should use sildenafil citrate only when it is absolutely necessary for their medical condition. In fact, women wanting to use this medication ought to consult their doctor regarding the benefits and risks of using it. It is yet to be ascertained whether sildenafil citrate passes on to breast milk. Hence, new mothers wanting to use this medication for any of their medical condition should consult their doctor prior to breast feeding.


Sildenafil citrate is primarily used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotency among men, which may happen in association with other health conditions like any vascular ailment, atherosclerosis or various circulatory disorders, kidney ailments, diabetes, neurological ailments or injury, hormonal anomalies, acute cases of depression and/ or other psychological problems.

How to use sildenafil citrate

Before you start using sildenafil citrate as well as every time you get a refill of the prescription, cautiously read the instructions in the Patient Information Booklet available with your pharmacist. In case you are unable to understand any part of the instructions or have any queries regarding the use of the medication, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Sildenafil citrate is an oral medication available in the form of tablets. In order to treat erectile dysfunction (ED), take this medication when required or according to the instructions of your doctor. It is best to take sildenafil citrate no less than 30 minutes, but not more than four hours, prior to engaging in sexual intercourse. In fact, it has been found that taking the medication one hour before the sexual activity is most effective. Never take more than one tablet of this medication within 24 hours.

Unless the doctor advises otherwise, people taking sildenafil citrate should avoid consuming grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice during the treatment period. In addition, taking any meal rich in fat content may also delay the time for the medication to start working. The dosage of sildenafil citrate entirely depends on the medical condition of the patient, his response to the therapy and different other medication taken by him. For further details regarding the use of this medication, you ought to consult your doctor or pharmacist.

How sildenafil citrate works

The prescription drug sildenafil citrate works by selectively inhibiting the action of an enzyme called phosphodiesterase type 5, which is known to break down a substance that actually unwinds the smooth muscles and allows blood to flow to swell up the columns of the erectile tissues in the penis. However, different from other therapies for erectile dysfunction (ED), which cause penile erection with or devoid of any sexual stimulation, sildenafil citrate permits the patient to naturally respond to sexual arousal.

Side effects

  • rarely, a painful or prolonged erection
  • cardiac arrhythmias
  • transient ischemic attack
  • heart attack
  • cerebral hemorrhage
Less common
  • vision abnormalities
  • diarrhea
  • nasal congestion
  • blood in the urine
  • bloodshot or burning eyes

Possible interactions

The prescription drug sildenafil citrate is known to interact with a number of other medications, especially herbal products, and/ or minerals. In addition, this medication also results in adverse after-effects when taken concurrently with certain foods and beverages. Hence, it is advisable to talk to your doctor regarding the side effects and potential interactions of this medication.

It has been found that using herbs like ma huang (ephedra), St. John's wort and/ or cola while undergoing treatment with sildenafil citrate may cause undesirable heart stimulation. As taking sildenafil citrate and St. John's wort simultaneously may result in sun sensitivity, it is advised not to use this combination. People taking sildenafil citrate should avoid taking grapefruit juice since it may prove to be a CYP3A4 inhibitor. Precisely speaking, consumption of grapefruit juice may turn out to slow down the enzyme that removes sildenafil from the body. It is advisable not to combine the usage of these two since it may result in toxicity.

People undergoing treatment with sildenafil citrate ought to restrict on their consumption of alcoholic beverages. Drinking too much alcohol may make the medicine ineffective or dull its effect. Smoking marijuana while taking sildenafil citrate may also prove to be counter-productive, since cannabinoids, the active element present in marijuana has the potential to work as an inhibitor of the main enzyme (CYP3A4) that gets rid of sildenafil from the body. Hence, it is advisable not to use this medication and smoke marijuana simultaneously.

Taking sildenafil citrate is likely to enhance the sensitivity of the patient's eyes to sunlight. When such people have to go outdoors in the sun, they should wear protective clothes, sunglasses and use sunscreen. It is advisable that you talk to your doctor about adopting these protective measures.


In case you want to stop taking sildenafil citrate, it is advisable that you consult your doctor regarding the results from taking this drug. Never discontinue this medication without prior consultation with your doctor.

Storage instructions

Sildenafil citrate should always be stored at room temperature and at a place which is away from light and moisture. Never ever store this medication in your bathroom, which is mostly damp. In addition, it is important to keep all medication beyond the reach of children and pets.

When the medication becomes outdated or is no longer needed discard it in a proper and safe manner. Unless instructed otherwise, never dispose of the medication by flushing it down the toilet or pouring it in the drain. If required talk to your pharmacist or the neighbourhood disposal firm regarding the disposal of the unwanted medications.


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