If you have erectile dysfunction (ED), which is difficulty getting or keeping an erection, there is treatment and support available that can help, including medicines such as sildenafil.
Sildenafil is a medicine, taken in the form of a tablet, which is used to treat symptoms of ED in men over the age of 18. Sildenafil is also sold under the brand name Viagra. Sildenafil and Viagra contain the same active ingredient and work in the same way.
If you have erectile dysfunction (ED), difficulty getting or keeping an erection, there is treatment and support available that can help, including medicines such as sildenafil.
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Gill Stone - MRPharmS
Sildenafil works by increasing blood flow to the penis. This should help you get and keep an erection for sex or masturbation.
You need to be sexually aroused for sildenafil to work. If you’re not sexually aroused, or your desire for sex is low (libido), then sildenafil may not be effective for you.
If you have a low libido, understanding the cause of this and getting help to increase your libido may change the way you think and feel about sex. This may then help improve your erection problems.
Talk to your doctor if you have low libido. There is support available that may help, including talking to a professional such as a psychologist or counsellor. Your doctor may be able to refer you for counselling, or you can refer yourself through the NHS.
If you’ve decided to take sildenafil to treat your erection problems you should swallow one whole tablet with some water up to four hours before you want to have sex. Don’t take more than one tablet a day.
Remember to read the instructions that come with the medicine carefully, or talk to your GP or a pharmacist if you’re not sure how to take sildenafil. They’ll be able to give you more information and support.
Sildenafil isn’t suitable for everyone, including people with some other health conditions such as heart problems. Talk to your GP or a pharmacist about whether sildenafil is the best treatment option for you.
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It usually takes 30 to 60 minutes for sildenafil to work. Most people take one tablet about an hour before they want to have sex. But everyone is different and for some people it may take more or less time to get an erection after taking sildenafil.
Sildenafil may not work for everyone with erection problems. You might need to try many different treatments or a combination of treatments, for example medicine and counselling, before you find something that works well for you.
Talk to your GP or a pharmacist if you experience any side effects after taking sildenafil. Find out more about all the possible side effects on the NHS website.
If sildenafil isn’t suitable for you, there are other treatment options available that may help. These include:
Sildenafil (Viagra): medicine for erection problems. nhs.uk. Published August 29, 2018. Accessed January 25, 2021.https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/sildenafil-viagra
Sildenafil 50mg film-coated tablets - Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) - (emc). Accessed January 26, 2021.https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/11740/smpc