Sildenafil is a medication used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). It works by increasing blood flow to the penis and lungs, respectively, which helps to achieve and maintain an erection and improve exercise capacity in PAH patients.
Sildenafil belongs to a class of drugs known as phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors, which work by blocking the breakdown of a substance called cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) in the body. cGMP is responsible for relaxing the smooth muscle cells in the penis and lungs, and increased levels of cGMP lead to improved blood flow and relaxation.
Source: Gross GJ. Evidence for Pleiotropic Effects of Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) Inhibitors: Emerging Concepts in Cancer and Cardiovascular Medicine. Circulation Research. 2011 Apr 29;108(9):1040–1.
PDE5 Inhibitor Sildenafil: Treating Erectile Dysfunction
Sildenafil for ED: A 50 mg dose is recommended to be taken 30 minutes before sexual activity, with or without food, but avoiding a heavy or fatty meal. It requires sexual stimulation to work and is not an aphrodisiac.
Side Effects: Common side effects include headache, flushing, indigestion, nasal congestion, and visual changes. Rare serious side effects may include sudden hearing loss, prolonged erection, and vision changes.
Warnings: Sildenafil may interact with nitrates and alpha-blockers and should not be taken with these drugs. It is not recommended for individuals with low blood pressure, severe liver/kidney problems, or a history of heart attack or stroke.
Conclusion: Sildenafil is effective for ED and PAH but should be used as directed and with caution for potential interactions and side effects. Consult a healthcare provider before starting treatment.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions related to medication or treatment.