What Is Sildenafil and How It Works?
You may be wondering “What is Sildenafil” – when in actual fact you might already have heard of this miracle drug under a different name.
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Sildenafil is the original, and undoubtedly, the most popular medication for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. You may be wondering “What is Sildenafil” – when in actual fact you might already have heard of this miracle drug under a different name.
What Is Sildenafil?
You may have heard of this ED medication and are now wondering “What does it do?” Put simply, Sildenafil citrate is the generic name for Viagra. It belongs to a group of drugs known as PDE5 inhibitors. Other PDE5 inhibitors:
These drugs have a number of uses, but are best used for helping relax certain muscles located within the blood vessel walls of the pelvic region. When these walls are relaxed, the capacity of blood blow is increased. Although sildenafil was originally developed in order to treat pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure) in men and women, some men reported the welcome side effect of being able to maintain an erection where previously they had issues. Because of these positive properties, the medicine was eventually marketed as an ED medication.
What about Female Sildenafil? Can Women Take Sildenafil?
In recent years, the popularity of sildenafil without prescription among young adults has increased. The reasons behind this recreational use is attributed to the idea that sildenafil works to increase libido or improve performance for men and for women. Although scientifically verified information is limited, anecdotal evidence suggests that it can be used at doses of between 20mg and 50mg in order for male and for female prolonging of an orgasm.
Some scientists have theorized that the tablets may actually have a similar effect in women and may be useful for females currently using certain antidepressants as a means to increase libido (a common side effect of SSRI antidepressant use is loss of sexual appetite).
For women looking for over the counter, or OTC, Sildenafil, the good news is that there are no specific male or female oriented pills. Although the jury is still out there (some skeptics say Sildenafil does not work as a female sexual stimulant), it’s a fact that many women do regularly use the drug as part of their sexual regimen.
If you’re a woman considering trying Sildenafil to spice things up in the bedroom, it’s perhaps a good idea to read anecdotal evidence and testimonies online, as well as consulting your doctor to ensure taking the drug is safe.
Mechanism of Action
In technical terms, sildenafil citrate acts as a vasoactive agent to increase blood flow to the penis. It does this by elevating the levels of cGMP (cyclic guanosine monophosphate). In order to raise the levels of cGMP, it stops PDE5 (phosphodiesterase type 5) from breaking it down.
PDE5 is commonly found in the erectile tissue of the penis, although it exists in other areas of the body such as the retina. By suppressing it (and therefore increasing cGMP) this facilitates easier maintenance of an erection.
How to Use Sildenafil
There are certain health care precautions which should be taken before self-administering sildenafil or any other PDE-5 inhibitor. Those who are currently using nitrate drugs for chest or heart problems, such as nitroglycerin or isosorbide mononitrate, should avoid the use of sildenafil or at least consult a doctor or qualified medical professional before use. Like any medicine, users should not take them without advice.
Certain recreational drugs also contain nitrates, like “poppers”. Combining sildenafil with nitrates can cause sudden and serious decreases in blood pressure, which can lead to serious heath complications.
In order to ensure that sildenafil is safe to take, if you suffer from any of the following issues you should mention these to your physician:
- arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat);
- heart disease or coronary heart disease;
- physical deformities of the penis;
- a recent history of heart attacks or stroke;
- problems with your retina;
- blood cell disorders like leukemia, sickle cell anemia or multiple myeloma;
- bleeding disorders (including stomach ulcers);
- low or high blood pressure.
How Long Does It Take to Work?
Sildenafil citrate generally begins to work for the majority of people within half an hour after ingesting it. However, before taking the drug it is important to realize that regardless of whether you take a 100 mg, 50 mg, 200 mg or 150 mg tab, the drug on its own will not simply cause an erection to happen – Sildenafil must be taken in combination with sexual stimulation.
How To Take Sildenafil
So now you’re aware of “how long does it take to work”, you may be wondering whether there’s a way to speed up the drug in order to get into the action more quickly. Unfortunately there’s no way to make sildenafil work quicker, although if you want it to “kick in” as quick as possible and last in your system for longer you should attempt to take it under optimal conditions.
Sildenafil should be taken on an empty stomach if possible, as food and fatty acids may interfere with the breakdown of the drug in the stomach. If you must eat, try to have a low-fat meal as higher fat content will delay the absorption of sildenafil – this will result in a more slow-burning experience with a longer half life (last in the body for longer).
How Long Sildenafil Lasts in Your System
How long sildenafil lasts will depend on how large a dose you take and your personal physiology and current circumstances. The effects of the drug, on average, last for approximately five hours. Of course, before assuming the drug it’s important to understand that this does not mean you will maintain an erection for an entire five hours. Sildenafil simply improves the body’s ability to get erect if you become sexually stimulated. If the drug is not working, you should try to take it next day. If it’s not working again, visit a doctor.
Alcohol and Sildenafil
Alcohol has a negative effect on penis function, as it actually decrease the amount of blood which stays in the penis, and this ultimately makes it more difficult to maintain an erection. Those with serious problems maintaining an erection should try to avoid alcohol altogether.
In addition to this, sildenafil and alcohol have a tendency to interact with one another. Both substances lower the blood pressure, and when combined can cause dizziness, fainting, headaches, light-headedness and palpitations. Although a moderate amount of alcohol shouldn’t cause too much of an issue, it certainly won’t help your sexual performance.
With this in mind, doctors recommend that only a small amount of alcohol (2-3 units) should be taken in conjunction with erectile dysfunction medication – this means that a glass or two of wine or perhaps a pint of beer is acceptable, but just be wary not to overdo things.
What Is The Use Limit On Sildenafil?
It is important not to overdose on sildenafil, as this can cause a multitude of unpleasant side effects. Some of the most common symptoms of sildenafil include blurry vision, headaches, irregular heart rhythms, chain pains and more.
Another painful side effect of taking too much sildenafil is priapism. This is an often painful condition where the penis becomes engorged with blood and in serious cases can actually cause long-term damage to the penile tissues.
However, the half-life of sildenafil is relatively short, and it is generally safe to take another dose of the drug once the effects of the original dose have worn off. When initially taking the drug, it may take you one or two doses to discover what the optimal amount is, based on your physiology. For example, a larger male in his late 60s may require a larger dose in comparison to a smaller male of a younger age in relatively good health.
Not everybody experiences negative side effects when taking Sildenafil, although the most common complaint is a mild headache. In one study, the following percentages of patients reported these side effects:
Where Can I Buy OTC Sildenafil?
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