Sildenafil citrate is the generic name for the prescription drug that is also known as viagra. The drug is an oral therapy that is used to treat erectile dysfunction. Sildenafil citrate works because it is a selective inhibitor of an enzyme that regulates the flow of blood to certain parts of the body. The drug allows the blood vessels in the penis to relax, increasing blood flow and therefore making it easier for a man to get and maintain an erection.
Sildenafil citrate should be taken up to four hours before sexual activity, and it will work to help support erectile function for several hours after it is taken. The drug is usually quite well tolerated, but the dose that is required will depend on the age, weight and overall health of the person taking it. Some people find that a small dose is all that is required. Typically a doctor would suggest a 50mg tablet to begin with, and then adjust the dose up or down as required.
It is not recommended to take sildenafil citrate with alcohol because alcohol can impair your ability to get an erection. You may take it with or without food, but should note that the drug will work more quickly if it is taken on an empty stomach.
Most tablets are designed to be swallowed with a drink of water, but there are some brands that are chewable, and should be chewed before swallowing. Before you take any tablets, be sure to read the label or the instruction leaflet that came with them, and to follow the directions for that specific brand.
If you experience any unpleasant side effects, stop taking sildenafil citrate immediately, and talk to your doctor. They may be able to recommend a different medication that is better tolerated.
Side-effects are rare, but some people experience headaches, dizziness, indigestion, flushing, visual disturbances, or nausea. There are some other very uncommon side-effects, including tinnitus, nose bleeds, and muscle pain, as well as very painful, prolonged erections. Do not ignore chest pain, or a prolonged erection. If you experience those side-effects, seek advice immediately. The good news is that the vast majority of people find that a small dose of sildenafil works very well for them, with no side effects at all. If you take the medication as recommended by your doctor, you should be able to enjoy great results and a happy love life.