In this session, we will be discussing the consumer medication information for sildenafil, trade name ViagraTM.

What it’s for & How to take

Sildenafil is used to treat erectile dysfunction, sometimes called ED. While taking this medication, if there is no sexual stimulation, there will be little to no effect. If there is sexual stimulation, there will be an increased likelihood of having an erection.

Take sildenafil between 30 minutes to 4 hours before sexual activity. Best results are when you take this medication one hour before sexual activity. Do not take sildenafil with a fatty meal because it will decrease the results.

Do not take more than one tablet in 24 hours. If this medication does not work for you, talk with your doctor. Sildenafil is available in different doses, and your dose may need to be changed.

Warnings & Cautions

  • Sildenafil does not protect you against any sexually transmitted disease.
  • In the very unlikely event that you experience a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 hours or more, get medical help right away to avoid permanent problems.
  • Avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while taking sildenafil. Grapefruit may increase the level of this medication in your body and cause dangerous side effects.
  • Very rarely, a sudden loss of eyesight in one or both eyes may occur while taking sildenafil. Your chances of this happening are greater if you have diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, high blood pressure, or a certain type of eye diseases. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about this.
  • The elderly may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medication, especially the dizziness or lightheadedness. The chances of loss of balance and falling are increased.
  • This medication may make you dizzy, drowsy, or blur your vision. Do not drive or do any activity that requires focus and attention until you are sure you can do them safely. For best response, limit alcoholic beverages while taking sildenafil.
  • This medication is usually not used in women. Do not take this medication if you are pregnant or breastfeeding without complete consultation with your doctor regarding the risks and benefits of this use.

Interactions & Side Effects

  • Tell your pharmacist or doctor all your medication allergies so they may determine if sildenafil is safe for you to take.
  • Avoid dangerous drug interactions. Do not take sildenafil if you take nitrate chest pain medications like nitroglycerin or isosorbide. This combination may cause a serious drop in blood pressure. Tell your pharmacist or doctor all the other medication you are taking, including over the counter supplements, even if you don’t take them very often.
  • Ask your doctor if this medication is safe to take with your current health conditions. Tell your doctor if you have diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, high blood pressure, any vision problems or any other medical conditions.
  • While taking sildenafil you may feel some dizziness, flushing in your face, neck or chest, maybe a headache, and possibly an upset stomach or diarrhea. If these or any other unwanted side effects persist, contact your doctor or pharmacist to talk about it with them.
  • Call your doctor right away if you have any sudden vision changes, increased swelling in your feet or hands, increased ringing in your ears, any hearing problems, or any change in heartbeat.
  • Call emergency 911 if you have any symptoms of a heart attack such as chest and left arm pain, shortness of breath and sweating or if you have symptoms of a stroke such as weakness on one side of your body, slurred speech, sudden vision changes, and confusion.

If you have any questions about what you have heard, contact your pharmacist or doctor. This session does not include all the potential interactions or side effects that this medication may cause. Ask your pharmacist how your medication should be stored and how you should dispose of it when you are done taking it. Do not share your medication with anyone, ever. Remember, this is not meant to replace your counseling session with your pharmacist. In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Updated 7/20