06-10-2020 Your prescriptions

The Truth About Generic Viagra (Sildenafil)

Patients seeking treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED) have more options than ever before when it comes to prescription medications. The manufacturer of the popular ED drug, Viagra, has also in recent years launched its own generic version containing the active ingredient, sildenafil. Teva Pharmaceuticals now also manufacturers the generic sildenafil along with several other companies like Aurobindo and Cambia. Here are eight things you should know if you or a loved one are considering taking Viagra’s generic counterpart.

1) Sildenafil Was First Developed to Treat Angina

Sildenafil was created in the 1980s to treat chest pain caused by a lack of adequate blood flow to the heart, known as angina. It wasn’t until a number of male patients began to report an interesting side effect – stronger erections – that the medication was discovered to be a viable treatment for ED.

2) Sildenafil Works Just Like Viagra

As mentioned, the drug sildenafil helps to increase/improve blood flow. Sildenafil belongs to a class of medications called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) that are often used to treat conditions worsened by restricted blood flow such as pulmonary hypertension. PDE5 inhibitors boost the impact of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide stimulates other constituents to calm the smooth muscles of the penis, allowing blood inflow and erection to take place. PDE5 inhibitors boost the impact of nitric oxide. This eases the soft muscles of the blood vessels that supply the penis and increases the flow of blood needed to facilitate an erection.

3) Sildenafil Doesn’t Actually Increase Sex Drive

Some men are disappointed to learn that taking Viagra or sildenafil doesn’t boost their libido – and that’s because it’s not intended to.1 Patients taking Viagra or sildenafil should temper their expectations and understand that an ED medication is not a “quick-fix” solution. ED medications are not intended to address underling sexual issues such as premature ejaculation, anorgasmia, or decreased libido.

4) Sildenafil Does Have Side Effects

Side effects for sildenafil are the same as those commonly associated with Viagra. Because the drug works by increasing the levels of nitric oxide in the body, blood flow changes can result in headaches.2 Limiting caffeine and increasing water intake can be helping in reducing this issue. Other possible side effects include the following3:

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Flushing
  • Upset stomach
  • Muscle or back pain
  • Vision changes such as sensitivity to light or blurred vision
  • Rarely, sudden decrease or loss of hearing / ringing in the ears
  • Rarely, painful or prolonged erection lasting more than 4 hours
  • Rarely, serious allergic reaction which may cause rash, itching/swelling, or trouble breathing

5) Viagra is Still Often Counterfeited

According to an article posted by Drugs.com, surveys have found that ED drugs account for nearly 80% of illegal medicine confiscations annually.4 Even more shocking is the ingredients that have been discovered to be contained in counterfeited versions of Viagra. Rat poison, drywall, amphetamines and even blue ink used to replicate the blue color of the brand name Viagra pill have been reported to be contained in the confiscated fakes. Always obtain your medications from a trusted pharmacy to avoid these counterfeit drugs.

6) How to Tell if it’s Viagra or Sildenafil

The brand name medication, Viagra always comes in a small, four-sided blue pill imprinted with the manufacturer’s name—Pfizer.5 Dosages for Viagra come in 25, 50, or 100 mg. Because sildenafil is now manufactured by several different companies, the pills are usually white, but do vary in shape and color. Always consult your pharmacist or doctor if you have questions about your medication or are unsure of which specific medication you’ve been prescribed.

7) Drug and Food Interactions with Sildenafil

Check Drugs.com for the complete list of 283 medications known to interact with sildenafil. Two known food and beverage interactions with sildenafil exist and are considered moderate.6 They are alcohol (ethanol) and grapefruits or grapefruit juices.

8) Save with Viagra and Sildenafil Coupons

America’s Pharmacy offers free Rx coupons you can use at your own trusted pharmacy to save on Viagra, sildenafil, and other prescription medications. Save on prescriptions by using our Rx coupon finder tool.

Sources

1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/will-a-pill-really-help-your-sex-life

2. https://www.newsgram.com/generic-sildenafil-50mg-good-as-viagra/

3. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-7418/sildenafil

4. https://www.drugs.com/slideshow/viagra-interesting-facts-1117

5. https://www.drugs.com/viagra-images.html

6. https://www.healthline.com/health/sildenafil-oral-tablet#interactions