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Define Sildenafil Citrate

Define Sildenafil Citrate

Definition

Sildenafil citrate (Viagra) is a medication used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED), or impotence, in men.

Purpose

Viagra treats erectile dysfunction, the inability to achieve and/or maintain an erection of the penis that is adequate for sexual intercourse. Ten to fifteen million men in the United States suffer from ED, and by age 65, up to 25% of men have experienced impotence problems. Erectile dysfunction can be caused by a number of physical and psychological conditions, including diabetes, depression, prostate cancer, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, artherosclerosis, and heart disease. Injuries to the penis that cause nerve, tissue, or vascular damage can trigger impotence. It is also a common side effect of some prescription medications, including antihistamines, antidepressants, antihypertensives, antipsychotics, beta blockers, diuretics, tranquilizers, appetite suppressants, cimetidine (Tagamet), and finasteride (Propecia).

A study of African American and Hispanic men published in 2002 reported that Viagra appears to be equally safe and equally effective across different racial and ethnic groups in the United States.

How should this medicine be used?

Sildenafil comes as a tablet and suspension (liquid; Revatio only) to take by mouth.

If you are taking sildenafil to treat erectile dysfunction, follow your doctor's directions and the guidelines in this paragraph. Take sildenafil as needed before sexual activity. The best time to take sildenafil is about 1 hour before sexual activity, but you can take the medication any time from 4 hours to 30 minutes before sexual activity. Sildenafil usually should not be taken more than once every 24 hours. If you have certain health conditions or are taking certain medications, your doctor may tell you to take sildenafil less often. You can take sildenafil with or without food. However, if you take sildenafil with a high-fat meal, it will take longer for the medication to start to work.

If you are taking sildenafil to treat PAH, follow your doctor's directions and the guidelines in this paragraph. You will probably take sildenafil three times a day with or without food. Take sildenafil at around the same times every day, and space your doses about 4 to 6 hours apart.

Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take sildenafil exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Shake the liquid well for 10 seconds before each use to mix the medication evenly. Use the oral syringe provided with your medication to measure and take your dose. Follow the manufacturer's directions to use and clean the oral syringe. Do not mix the liquid with other medications or add anything to flavor the medication.

If you are taking sildenafil for erectile dysfunction, your doctor will probably start you on an average dose of sildenafil and increase or decrease your dose depending on your response to the medication. Tell your doctor if sildenafil is not working well or if you are experiencing side effects.

If you are taking sildenafil for PAH, you should know that sildenafil controls PAH but does not cure it. Continue to take sildenafil even if you feel well. Do not stop taking sildenafil without talking to your doctor.

Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you are taking sildenafil for erectile dysfunction, you are unlikely to miss a dose since this medication is taken as needed, not on a regular dosing schedule.

If you are taking sildenafil for PAH, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

 

 

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