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Sildenafil Bnf

Sildenafil Bnf

Sildenafil for erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (sometimes called impotence) means that you cannot get or maintain a proper erection. There are several causes, the most common being due to a narrowing of the arteries that take blood to the penis.

Sildenafil works by preventing the action of a chemical in your body, called phosphodiesterase type-5. This helps to widen (relax) blood vessels and improves the flow of blood to the penis following sexual stimulation. This helps to maintain an erection.

Sildenafil is available on prescription. Non-branded (generic) tablets of sildenafil are available on the NHS, but the brand Viagra® can only be prescribed on the NHS for men with erectile dysfunction resulting from certain medical conditions.

Sildenafil can also be bought over the counter from pharmacies in certain circumstances. Ask your pharmacist for advice on whether this option is suitable for you.

How to take sildenafil for erectile dysfunction

Before you take sildenafil, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about the tablets and will provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking them.

Take sildenafil exactly as your doctor tells you to. It is intended to be taken before sexual activity - it is NOT for continuous daily use. You should take one tablet about an hour before you plan to have sex, although it may still be effective up to five hours after taking the tablet. You can take the tablet either before or after food but, if you have just eaten a large meal, it may take longer for it to work.

There are three strengths of sildenafil tablets: 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg. It is likely that you will be given the 50 mg strength tablet to begin with, but this may be changed subsequently depending upon how you react. Each time you collect a prescription, check to make sure it contains the strength of tablet you are expecting.

If you have been supplied with a brand of tablet called Nipatra®, these are chewable tablets. Chew the tablet before you swallow it.

How to store sildenafil

Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.

Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

Erectile dysfunction

On 1st August 2014, new legislation was introduced that removed the restrictions on the prescribing of generic sildenafil for the management of erectile dysfunction. Please see BNSSG Generic Sildenafil Briefing.

Prescriptions for generic sildenafil no longer need to be endorsed SLS

Other drug treatments (including branded sildenafil – Viagra®) for erectile dysfunction may only be prescribed by a GP at NHS expense under certain criteria set by the Department of Health (See BNF section 7.4.5). These drugs are therefore only GREEN when used in accordance with these criteria (and endorsed 'SLS'). Note that the DH require that prescribing in cases of severe distress should only take place in specialist centres, and in these circumstances the drugs are RED.

Sildenafil and tadalafil are RED when used for pulmonary arterial hypertension (See BNF section 2.5.1).

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