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The Blue Pill (Sildenafil)

  The Blue Pill (Sildenafil)

Sildenafil is a medication that belongs to a group of medicines called phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. It is widely used to treat erectile dysfunction in men. Sildenafil is also used to improve the ability to exercise in adults with pulmonary arterial hypertension.

What is Sildenafil?

In general term, Sildenafil is a medication, widely used to treat erectile dysfunction or impotence (an inability to get or keep an erection) in men. Another use of Sildenafil is to improve the ability to exercise in adults with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). This drug treats erectile dysfunction by increasing the blood flow to the penis during intercourse. However, Sildenafil also treats PAH by relaxing the blood vessels in the lungs to allow blood to flow smoothly. You can easily avail Sildenafil in various forms like tablets, chewable tablets, or oral jelly.

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How does Sildenafil work?

Sildenafil is a phosphodiesterase5 enzyme inhibitor that works by relaxing and dilating the blood vessels in the lungs and also controls the blood flow in the penis.

Don’t use Sildenafil if:

  • You are allergic to Sildenafil or any of the other ingredients of this medicine
  • You have pulmonary veno-occlusive disease (PVOD)
  • You are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed
  • You are taking nitrates in any form 
  • You have a heart disease or any other cardiac problems
  • You have diabetes 
  • You have kidney problems or are suffering from severe bladder infection
  • You take other medicines that contain Sildenafil or PDE5 inhibitors like Tadalafil or Vardenafil

How to take Sildenafil?

Never try to alter the doses without the physician’s consent. You can take the drug by swallowing the tablet with a glass of water. Make sure you don’t break or crush the tablet. Moreover, you can take Sildenafil if you are on a well balanced calorie controlled diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

When to take Sildenafil?

Typically, Sildenafil must be taken once a day and an hour before sexual activity. But, always consult your doctor before taking the medicine.

What should you do if you forget a dose?

If erectile dysfunction is the cause for taking Sildenafil, then you may likely to miss a dose, as this medication is taken when needed because it’s not in your regular dosing schedule.

In addition, if you are taking Sildenafil for PAH, make sure to cover up the missed dose as soon as you remember it. In case, you are close to the next dose, skip the missed one and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not ever try to make up for a missed one by taking a double dose.

What if you overdose Sildenafil?

Overdosing Sildenafil may put you in a troublesome situation. You may require urgent medical help in this case. In case you overdose the drug, rush to the nearest healthcare center or call your doctor immediately.

What are the side effects?

Side-effects are common with every medicine, and same applies for Sildenafil. Below are some of the side-effects that are common while taking Sildenafil:

  • Headache
  • Numbness, burning sensation, or tingling in the arms, hands, feet, or legs
  • Muscle aches
  • Nosebleeds
  • Heartburn
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Diarrhea
  • Having difficulty in identifying the difference between blue and green
  • Sensitivity to light 

You need to visit your doctor if these symptoms don’t go away.

Apart from the above-mentioned side effects, there are various other complications that can be severe. In case you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • Blurred vision
  • Sudden severe loss of vision 
  • Loss of hearing
  • Fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Ringing in ears
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Itching or burning during urination
  • Worsening shortness of breath
  • Painful erection or erection that lasts longer than 4 hours
  • Rash

Possible drug interactions:

There are various drugs that can interact with Sildenafil. Make sure to discuss all the medications you are taking or planning to take. Below are some of the following drugs that may interact with Sildenafil:

  • Other impotence drugs like Vardenafil, Avanafil, Tadalafil
  • Blood Pressure drugs such as Amlodipine, Diltiazem, Quinidine, or others
  • Antibiotics like Clarithromycin or Erythromycin 
  • Hepatitis C drugs like Boceprevir or Telaprevir
  • Antidepressants
  • HIV Drugs such as Ritonavir
  • Antifungal medication such as Itraconazole

Apart from these medications ask your doctor to provide you the whole list of drugs need to be avoided while taking Sildenafil.

Important things to be taken care of:

  • Follow the doctor’s recommendations
  • Don’t ever use the expired drugs
  • Never alter the drug dose
  • Don’t let anyone to take your medication
  • Avoid a high fat diet and alcohol