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What is Sildenafil Used For and Related Queries

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Sildenafil, known by its brand name Viagra, treats Erectile Dysfunction (ED) in men or Assigned Men at Birth (AMAB).

ED affects sexual function by making getting and holding an erection challenging. 

Sildenafil is an FDA-approved treatment to treat Erectile Dysfunction.

It is a prescription-based medication and is not available over the counter. 

This article will talk about what is Sildenafil used for, its working, and related queries.

What is Sildenafil used for

As stated earlier, Sildenafil is an FDA-approved medication to treat Erectile Dysfunction in men or AMAB. 

The US Food and Drugs Authority approved Sildenafil to treat ED in 1998. 

It is available under the brand name Viagra and also its Generic version. 

Apart from ED, the FDA also approved Sildenafil (sold under the brand name Revatio) for treating Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) in 2005.

Curious to learn the difference between Revatio and Viagra? Delve into this articleRevatio vs Viagra At A Glance

What else can Sildenafil be used for

Apart from treating ED in men, Sildenafil (Viagra) may be used for other purposes. 

A Pubmed study suggests that Sildenafil may effectively treat Female Sexual Arousal Disorder (FSAD).

This is why some doctors may recommend Sildenafil off-label to treat FSAD.

If you or your partner have difficulty getting aroused, consult a doctor.

Check with them if Sildenafil (Viagra) is effective for your ED symptoms.

Discover the effectiveness and safety of Sildenafil for women in this comprehensive articleSildenafil for Women: Understanding in Detail

How does Sildenafil work to treat ED

sildenafil work to treat EDSource: Henadzi
ED issue

Sildenafil (Viagra) belongs to the class of drugs known as Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors

It functions by blocking the action of the PDE5 enzyme in the penis. 

This PDE5 enzyme makes it challenging to get and maintain an erection by turning the penis soft.

Sildenafil blocks the breakdown of cyclic Guanosine Monophosphate (cGMP), boosting Nitric Oxide (NO) in the penis. 

This action collectively helps improve the blood flow to the penile region.

An improved blood flow helps to get an erection that can last long for sexual intercourse.

For an in-depth exploration of the role of Nitric Oxide in getting an erection, refer to this article: What is Nitric Oxide Erection? Know How it Works and Its Supplements

Recommended Article:
To learn more about the working of Sildenafil in detail, read How does Sildenafil Work: An Informational Guide For You

How to use Sildenafil for best results

sildenafil medicationSource: Getty_images
Pills effect

Like most medicines, you need to follow certain precautions when taking Sildenafil (Viagra).

These measures are essential to ensure safety and get the medicine’s best results. 

It may include when to take Sildenafil or foods to avoid when taking this medicine.

Let’s talk about all such measures in detail here.

Fun Fact
Pfizer originally produced Sildenafil to treat Angina (chest pain) and other cardiovascular conditions. It was patented under the brand name Viagra.

Take Sildenafil at least 30 minutes before sexual activity

Sildenafil begins to work in about 30 to 60 mins after taking it. 

For the same reason, take it about an hour before having sexual intercourse. 

If you take the pill immediately before sex, it might not be effective. Always take it in advance or as your doctor prescribes. 

The time Sildenafil takes to show results depends on your metabolism and diet.

But do not take Sildenafil more than four hours before having sex. Medicine’s full effects last only for four hours.

Explore the duration of action of Sildenafil in depth by reading this articleHow Long Does Sildenafil Last and Related Queries

Avoid high-fat meals

According to, taking foods high in fat before Sildenafil (Viagra) affects its potency. 

High-fat meals slow down the absorption rate of Sildenafil in your body. 

Limited absorption prevents the medicine from delivering its complete benefits.

You may take food items less in fats but completely avoid oily and processed foods. 

These include snacks like chips, cheese, burgers, fries, and red meat. 

Doctors advise that you eat light and healthy meals before taking Viagra for the best results.

Quit/ avoid smoking and alcohol

According to a Pharmaceutics study, smoking cigarettes and similar substances affects the efficiency of Sildenafil. 

Nicotine works precisely opposite to Sildenafil and decreases blood flow to the penis. 

This action affects your ability to get and maintain an erection

Alcohol also inhibits the working of Sildenafil and can cause a few side effects. 

Studies indicate taking excessive Alcohol with Sildenafil is more likely to cause side effects like nausea, flushing, and headaches.

Ensure that you’re aware of the potential side effects

As with most medicines, Sildenafil comes with a few side effects. 

Depending on their severity, these side effects may range from common to rare. 

Some of the common side effects of Sildenafil (Viagra) include:

  • Body/ muscle pain
  • Dizziness
  • Flushing
  • Headache
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea

In rare cases, one may experience allergic reactions or Pripiasm (prolonged and painful erection lasting more than four hours). 

Sildenafil may have interactions with your current medicines or an underlying medical condition. 

You must disclose your complete medical history to your doctor before taking Sildenafil.

If your symptoms persist or your condition worsens, consult a physician.

Concerned about the safety of Sildenafil as an ED medication? Find the answers you seek in this articleUnveiling the Truth: Is Sildenafil Safe for Your Health?


Now that you know what is Sildenafil used for, it’s essential to use it right. 

When taken cautiously, it is less likely to cause significant side effects.

Taking Sildenafil (Viagra) as directed by your physician may help reduce your risk of side effects. 

If your problem persists, consult your doctor and take the necessary measures.

Cyclic Guanosine Monophosphate is a penile enzyme that regulates the activity of calcium channels and relaxes the penile muscles.
Phosphodiesterase type 5 is an enzyme in the penis that turns it soft soon after ejaculation.
Off-label use: When a doctor recommends a non-approved medicine to treat a condition, it is termed off-label use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Apart from ED, what else can Sildenafil be used for?

Sildenafil is used to treat Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH).
The brand name Revatio which contains Sildenafil, is an FDA-approved medicine for PAH.

What are the common side effects of Sildenafil?

One may get common side effects after taking Sildenafil, including Nausea, headache, and dizziness.
Some individuals may also experience muscle pain and indigestion. In rare cases, one can get problems with vision.
If your condition persists or your symptoms worsen, seek medical help.

Is Sildenafil an FDA-approved medication?

Yes. Sildenafil was approved by FDA in 1998 to treat Erectile Dysfunction in men or AMAB. 
In 2005, Sildenafil containing Revatio was also approved by FDA to treat Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.

Can women take Sildenafil?

The Food and Drugs Authority does not recommend using Sildenafil in women. 
However, some doctors may recommend Sildenafil off-label for women with low libido. 
It might be effective in treating symptoms of Sexual dysfunction in females.

When should you take Sildenafil?

You should take Sildenafil as directed by your doctor. 
Take it before or after food, but avoid high-fat meals. 
Do not take more than one Sildenafil pill in a day if taken for ED.

Where can I buy Sildenafil pills?

Sildenafil is a popular ED medicine and is available at leading medicine shops, chemists, and online drug stores.
You should always buy Sildenafil and other ED medications from authentic sources only.
It will keep you safe and avoid any unwanted side effects.

Cheap Medicine Shop only refers to credible, authoritative sources for our content. If you’re curious about how we ensure the integrity of our content, we encourage you to read our Content Information Policy.

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Photo of author Janet Fudge
Jim Carson is a highly skilled and dedicated medical writer passionate about advancing medical practice. With years of experience in the field of medical sciences, Jim has made significant contributions to various studies aimed at improving healthcare outcomes. He currently writes for, providing expert insights and knowledge on various topics. Jim's expertise extends to various areas, including drug interactions, dosages, side effects, and best practices for medication use. In Los Angeles, Jim lives with his loving wife, children, and beloved pets. He deeply values spending time with his family and cherishes their presence. When he's not writing, Jim enjoys watching football games and staying updated with the latest sports news. Jim's writing shines through his commitment to advancing medical practice and improving healthcare outcomes. Readers can trust Jim's articles to be informative, accurate, and reliable, making him a trusted pharmaceutical information source for the website's audience.
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