Sildenafil for erectile dysfunction

What Is Sildenafil and How Does It Work?

If you’re dealing with ED, you have enough on your plate without the added stress and confusion of decoding your treatment options. As much as we love the internet, there’s just too much out there to make sense of what’s available to you. The &BAM Learn tab is all about being the go-to guy you wish you had, only without all the awkward questions and cringe-worthy search history. With that said, you’ve probably Googled the treatment options out there to uh, help you out, and you’ve probably found heaps of jargon that looks like some lost Ewokese dialect. If so, you’re at the right place. Let’s decode Sildenafil. We’re talking about what it is, how it works, and its side effects.

What Is Sildenafil?

Sildenafil is that little blue pill you probably know as Viagra, although it can come in liquid and injection form as well. It’s a PDE5 inhibitor (phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor), which in understandable English means it helps open your blood vessels improving blood flow. This has beneficial effects on your sex life, but it could also be a life-saving treatment for something else; Sildenafil was initially developed as treatment for high blood pressure, and it can still be bought for that purpose under the name Revatio.

Sildenafil was FDA-approved for treating Erectile Dysfunction back in 1998, ironically when floppy disks were still a thing. So having been declared safe and effective to use for over 23 years, we’re happy to recommend it as an ED treatment worth considering.

How Does Sildenafil Treat ED?

Sildenafil’s role in treating hypertension and its reputation as an ED medication go hand in hand because of how it works. Being a PDE5 inhibitor, it blocks the action of the enzyme PDE5. This enzyme can make it difficult to get an erection by breaking down a specific compound your body needs to relax the muscles controlling blood pressure. Sildenafil stops PDE5 from putting a damper on that compound, enabling it to do its job better and improve blood flow.

You may be asking yourself, what does this have to do with erectile dysfunction?
Erections happen all thanks to a rush of blood into the penis. If too much PDE5 is involved, the blood vessels in the penis can’t relax enough to let sufficient blood in to cause an erection. Hence you battle to get or sustain an erection firm enough for sex.

Sildenafil combats this by helping the right muscles relax, letting in enough blood to get hard and stay hard.

How Do You Take Sildenafil For ED?

When it comes to ED, you’ll probably be taking the tablet form of Sildenafil. To use it correctly, read the pamphlet that comes with the medication, and follow the directions given to you by your doctor.

Sildenafil is most effective taken 1 hour before sex and must be taken at least 30 minutes before but no longer than 4 hours before sex. Do not take Sildenafil for ED more than once a day.

Sildenafil may interact with fatty foods and other medications you take, so be sure to discuss potential interactions with your doctor. If you’re with &BAM, you can disclose your other medications in your online consult.

Sildenafil Side Effects

Sildenafil is a pharmaceutically developed drug. And like most drugs, it comes with its own risks. Side effects may not affect everyone, and they may vary in their severity, but the risk is still there. It’s up to you if the risk is worth the benefit. And if after using the drug you decide the side effects aren’t worth it, you can talk with your doctor to discuss different dosages, different forms, or even alternative treatments.

ED is a personal issue, and that’s why we offer personalised treatment plans. That said, it’s always best going ahead fully equipped with the knowledge you need. Here are the side effects of Sildenafil as an ED treatment:

  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Flushing (when your face gets red and/or warm)
  • Blurry vision, or vision loss
  • Nosebleeds
  • A runny nose
  • Sudden hearing loss, or ears ringing
  • A sore throat
  • Respiratory infection
  • Bronchitis
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abnormally long-lasting erections
  • Low blood pressure (Which causes dizziness, blurry vision, fainting, light-headedness, and weakness)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Heart attack, stroke, and irregular heart rate

Keep in mind that mild side effects are fairly normal and should disappear after a while. If any side effects are severe, persist, or are unbearable, stop taking Sildenafil and seek medical attention. If you experience sudden vision loss, sudden hearing loss, chest pain, shortness of breath, or an erection lasting over 4 hours, stop taking the medication and seek medical treatment.  

In Conclusion

Sildenafil is one of the most well-known ED medications for good reason. It works and it’s largely safe to use. It’s normal to have your reservations when seeking ED treatment, but it helps to know how they work, and to know all the options available to you. Nervous about getting your mojo back? Complete a stress-free online consult and get started on a treatment plan tailored to you.


The articles published by &BAM are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. If you have any medical questions or concerns, you should contact your doctor.