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Sometimes, great things come in small packages. But in the case of a certain blue pill, small packages make your package grow. So what’s the deal behind this ‘magic pill’? Read on below to find out!

 

WHAT IS SILDENAFIL?

You may not recognize it by this name, but sildenafil is the generic version of Viagra and Revatio. Both sildenafil and its name-brand counterparts are used to help men dealing with sexual issues like erectile dysfunction (ED) and impotence.

 

If you’d like more information on the ‘rise’ of this ED treatment, check out this article.

 

HOW DOES SILDENAFIL WORK?

Sildenafil relaxes the muscles of the blood vessels, increasing blood flow to particular parts of the body. It can be taken 30 minutes to up to 4 hours before sexual activity, though taking it within an hour is recommended. And no, taking sildenafil will not automatically give you a boner! You need to add sexual stimulation to the mix to get that flag fully raised.

 

Like other ED remedies, sildenafil isn’t a maintenance drug. Also like other ED meds, it won’t cure ED woes permanently. Instead, it’s used on an as-needed basis. The silver lining here is that this means you don’t need to remember to take it every single day.

 

DO I REALLY NEED A PRESCRIPTION?

Like other generics, not all ED medicines are created equal, and non-prescription options are much more likely to not have FDA approval. This means they’re also much more likely to be ineffective or, worse, dangerous.

 

ED is sometimes a symptom of an underlying condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or depression. Going through a doctor for ED treatment will help weed out any other issues that should be checked. Additionally, sildenafil may not be the best option for people on certain medications or with certain conditions. Having to talk to a doctor before you can buy it helps ensure your safety and health. 

 

HOW DO I KNOW IF I CAN TAKE SILDENAFIL?

As mentioned above, a doctor makes this decision. They’ll look at what other medications you take and if you have any conditions to see if there could be any dangerous interactions. 

 

Some people who may not be able to use sildenafil include anyone taking nitrates, which can be found in some medicines for angina/chest pain (eg: nitroglycerin, isosorbide) and in recreational drugs known as ‘poppers’; and anyone taking alpha-blockers. This is because combining sildenafil with these drugs can cause your blood pressure to drop dangerously low.

 

ARE THERE ANY SIDE-EFFECTS?

Many people who take sildenafil as an ED treatment experience no side-effects. That said, there are a few potentially dangerous ones to look out for. These include:

      • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or confusion
      • Sleepiness, weakness, or fainting
      • Shortness of breath
      • Nausea, vomiting, or upset stomach
      • Increased light sensitivity, blurred or sudden loss of vision
      • Tinnitus (ringing of ears) or loss of hearing
      • A painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours

 

If any of these symptoms persist or worsen, or if you experience pain in your chest, jaw, or left arm, stop taking sildenafil and contact a doctor immediately.

 

THERE’S NO SHAME IN TAKING MEDICINE

Nobody wants to feel stressed or anxious when thinking about sex and physical intimacy, and nobody should. Suffering from ED can lead to feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment, and shame. It can also cause stress and alienation in relationships. Furthermore, suffering in silence without communicating with your partner(s) and/or seeking help can worsen the issue. 

 

We understand that there shouldn’t be a stigma around talking about such things. But we also know it can be a tough topic to broach. So if you’re experiencing ED issues and aren’t sure where to turn, know that we’re here to help—discreetly.