Despite the presence of Viagra in mainstream media, there is still a lack of understanding around what the drug is – most notably, how the drug helps those afflicted with erectile dysfunction (ED) and whether there are any alternatives.

Generally speaking, Viagra treats ED by increasing blood flow to the penis to allow for a more sustained erection. But Viagra is not the only drug to do this. In fact, Sildenafil (also known as generic Viagra) is a popular alternative.

It is for this reason that we are covering the difference between Viagra and Sildenafil here. Join us as we explore how each of them addresses ED.

How does Viagra work?

For an erection to occur, the nerves in your penis need to be stimulated. When stimulated, the muscles around two cylinder-shaped chambers alongside your penis (corpus cavernosa), relax and allow blood to flow in.

When you suffer from ED, your nerves fail to communicate with your brain and therefore the chambers will not allow the blood to flow in. Viagra overrides the nerves by relaxing the walls of your blood vessels and opening the corpus cavernosa.

The drug, taken orally, will start working after approximately 30-60 minutes. However, it will require you to feel sexually aroused in order to get an erection. If it does not work, you may not have waited long enough (or even waited too long) to try and have sex.

How does Sildenafil work?

Sildenafil works in much the same way, the only real difference is that Sildenafil is the non-branded version of the medication. Both these drugs can be aided by maintaining a healthy weight and cutting back on the amount of alcohol you intake.

Interestingly, because of the drug's reaction to blood flow, Sildenafil is also used to help treat pulmonary hypertension or high blood pressure in the blood vessels supporting the lungs. It is for this reason that it is dangerous to take ED medication if you also take nitrates.

The combination can cause a dangerous fall in your blood pressure, which is why it is incredibly important to contact your doctor or a medical expert ahead of taking any new medication. Provided all is well in the initial stages, though, Sildenafil may be safe to use as a long-term solution.

Is there a difference in the active ingredient?

The chemical that specifically relaxes the blood vessels is called Sildenafil citrate. Because both Viagra and Sildenafil contain the same ingredient, they have a near-identical effect on the individual that takes it.

Pfizer, the manufacturer of Sildenafil citrate, was the first to develop the drug and subsequently branded it as Viagra. When their patent expired, other manufacturers were able to develop their own version, resulting in Sildenafil as we know it today. To be considered a legitimate form of generic Viagra, any potential alternative must contain the same dosage of Sildenafil citrate.

While the two are considered equal in every measure, some men will swear by Viagra over Sildenafil. It may be worth varying your medication if you notice diminishing returns.

Who can take ED medication?

Only males over the age of 18 are able to take Sildenafil Citrate for ED. Sildenafil can be taken by adults and children aged 1 and over for pulmonary hypertension.

However, there are groups of individuals who should not take the medication. They include those who:

  • Have had an allergic reaction to Sildenafil or any medicines in the past
  • Are taking nitrates for chest pain
  • Have a serious heart or liver problem
  • Have recently had a stroke or heart attack
  • Have low blood pressure 

 

Similarly, there are a number of conditions you should assess with your doctor prior to taking ED medication, including:

  • Sickle cell anemia, leukemia or multiple myeloma
  • Penis deformity
  • Any underlying heart problem
  • Stomach ulcer or hemophilia

 While the drug can be purchased over the counter, this does not change its potency or how it reacts with pre-existing conditions. The usual dosage is 50mg, although you can increase this to 100mg or decrease this to 25mg depending on its effect. Either way, you should not be taking it more than twice a day.

Are there any side effects?

Yes, and due to sharing an active ingredient, the same side effects occur in both Viagra and Sildenafil. They are:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion
  • Blurred vision
  • Blocked nose
  • Dizziness

 

Generally, the above are harmless and will ease without intervention. If they do not, however, inform your doctor as soon as possible and ask for an alternative solution. If you start to develop more serious side effects like chest pains or seizures, then it is important that you call a doctor straight away.

Similarly, contact your doctor if you experience a prolonged, painful erection that lasts more than four hours.

Consult an expert before choosing your ED medication

While ED medication is widely available online, there are a number of unsavory sites touting miracle cures that simply do not work. That is why, at Medix, we offer a range of proven solutions – all discreetly delivered to your door.

We understand the sensitive nature of erectile dysfunction and appreciate how debilitating it can be for some sufferers. However, we value your safety above all else, which is why we ask that customers consult their doctor first if they are unsure of the effects of Sildenafil or Viagra on their health.

Our customer support team can walk you through the medication options we have available. Get in touch by calling 1-866-500-6633 (toll-free phone number) or +44 1438 500111 (international phone number). Alternatively, you can request a callback.