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How Does Sildenafil Work?

  • By: Dr Sophia Miller
  • Jun 24, 2021
How Does Sildenafil Work?

Sildenafil is the generic version of Viagra which is a popular medication used to treat erectile dysfunction, or ED. Although this PDE5 inhibitor was initially found to be effective for men, medical research studies have also found evidence for the effectiveness in women. Sildenafil works by inhibiting an enzyme called phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE5). It subsequently enhances genital blood flow, thereby improving a person's overall sexual well-being.

This mechanism of action also helps to relieve hypertension and even reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness, as shown in studies. We will be covering all there is to know about this ground-breaking compound which has become widely available since the recent expiry of Pfizers patent. If you are looking for information like: how quickly sildenafil works, how long sildenafil works or how sildenafil works for women, read ahead.  

How Does Sildenafil Work on Men?

Erection problems are generally the result of abnormalities of blood vessels, which result in reduced blood supply to the penis. When an erection takes place under normal circumstances, the penis fills with blood, giving it the rigidity that is required for sexual intercourse. If there are any problems with blood flow to the penis, erection problems can occur. Various health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure can cause damage to blood vessels, resulting in reduced blood flow. In addition, lifestyle choices such as smoking and being overweight can cause damage to blood vessels, resulting in reduced penile blood supply.

Research has shown that men treated with sildenafil 100 mg typically experience significantly improved erectile function with few sildenafil side effects. By inhibiting PDE5, this medication boosts nitric oxide levels in the body. Nitric oxide is an essential molecule that is produced by the endothelium, which is the lining of blood vessels. Nitric oxide causes blood vessels to expand, thereby increasing blood flow to the penile region and strengthening erections.

How Does Sildenafil Work to Treat ED?

When an erection happens, the arteries that supply blood to the two spongy rods which span the length of the penis (corpora cavernosa) relax and expand. As a result, the penis fills with blood, causing it to become enlarged and rigid. Although this PDE5 inhibitor has no direct effect on the corpora cavernosa, it does boost the effect of nitric oxide, which indirectly enhances erectile function.

The endothelium is highly responsive to conditions inside blood vessels and is quick to react to any changes that may happen. For example, when the endothelium senses healthy conditions like exercise, it releases higher levels of nitric oxide. This causes blood vessels to expand and this helps keep blood flowing efficiently throughout the body. The active ingredient in Viagra also works on the nitric oxide pathway, improving blood flow to the penis by dilating blood vessels.

In clinical studies, this erectile dysfunction medication has been shown to work for both organic and psychogenic ED cases. Organic ED is usually the result of atherosclerosis, or hardening of blood vessels, which is often caused by physical health conditions like high cholesterol. The hardening, or narrowing of blood vessels, disrupts healthy penile blood flow and the main ingredient in Viagra counteracts this by expanding blood vessels.

It is important to note that a sildenafil dosage will have no effect on erections in the absence of sexual stimulation. This medication is only activated if there is sexual arousal, so there will not be a persistent or unwanted erection. Psychogenic ED is a sexual health issue that is generally the result of emotional issues like anxiety or depression. Sexual performance anxiety is a common type of psychogenic ED that happens when a man becomes overly anxious or worried about his sexual performance.

An anxious mental state can trigger the release of stress hormones like adrenaline. This tends to cause blood vessels to become narrower, making it difficult for an erection to form. PDE5 inhibitors like Viagra allow blood vessels to relax and dilate, making it easier for blood to flow into the penis and form a strong erection.

How Long Until Sildenafil Works

Tablet forms of this medication can be felt in as little as 30 to 60 minutes but biological traits like height, age, and weight can also play a role in how fast sildenafil works. For example, larger people may need to wait longer for the medication to take effect. This is due to there being more blood in the body and the medication taking longer to reach the correct concentration for the effects to be felt.

Other factors that can affect how quickly sildenafil works include underlying medical conditions and any medications or foods that are being taken. For example, people with liver or kidney problems may need to wait longer for this medication to work. Similarly, taking this medication with others, such as nitrates, can increase the risk of side effects so this should be avoided at all costs. 

Another thing that can affect how fast sildenafil works is the form of the dosage. Alternative dosage forms, such as oral jellies, can take as little as 15 minutes. If the medication does not begin to work after the labelled onset time, users should avoid taking more of it, as this could result in adverse effects. It is important to talk to a healthcare provider about how quickly sildenafil works if the effects are not felt in one hour.

How Long Sildenafil Works For

The effects of this medication, typically last for 4 to 6 hours. However, the length of time it works can vary depending on a number of factors.

These include:

  • The dose that is taken
  • If the medication is taken on an empty stomach or with food

Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice can also affect the duration of how sildenafil works. Grapefruit contains compounds that can interact with the livers metabolic rate of this medication and can make it last longer. However, this can also increase the risk of adverse effects.

Some of the most common side effects of Viagra include:

  • Headache
  • Flushing
  • Upset stomach
  • Stuffy nose
  • Blurred vision

Less common side effects can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Heartburn
  • Muscle pain
  • Prolonged erection (priapism)

If people experience any side effects that are bothersome or do not go away, speak to a licensed healthcare professional for help and advice. It is important to note that this is not a comprehensive list of all the possible side effects, however, a full list is available via the medications information leaflet on our website.

How Does Sildenafil Work on Women?

Female sexual interest/arousal disorder (FSIAD) is characterized by a considerable reduction in sexual desire, or difficulty responding physically to sexual stimulation. Both emotional issues like performance anxiety and physical factors such as menopausal status can be the cause of FSIAD. FSIAD is often distressing for a person and it can lead to relationship problems, reduced self-esteem and decreased overall quality of life.

In keeping with how this medication works for men, it also has a similar effect on women. Women using this PDE5 inhibitor can expect enhanced blood flow to the vaginal region. As a result, this medication improves sexual arousal, sensitivity, orgasmic function and overall satisfaction. There are numerous positive sildenafil reviews by women who have used this medication for sexual arousal issues.

How Does Sildenafil Work to Treat FSIAD?

The safety and efficacy of sildenafil for women was assessed in a clinical trial that lasted 12 weeks. Altogether, 202 postmenopausal women with sexual arousal difficulties were involved in the research. Half the women were given a 50 mg dose of sildenafil which could be adjusted to 100 mg or 25 mg, if necessary. The other half received an inactive placebo treatment so the difference of effects could be compared.

The Female Intervention Efficacy Index (FIEI) questionnaire was used in the study to measure outcomes. This questionnaire evaluates various aspects of female sexual responses and the efficacy of interventions such as this PDE5 inhibitor. The two main questions used to determine results were:

  • Question 2 - improvement in genital sensation during stimulation or intercourse
  • Question 4 - improvement in overall satisfaction with sexual activity

Women with an accompanying condition called hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) did not benefit significantly from treatment. However, women with sexual arousal problems who were treated with the active ingredient in Viagra experienced remarkable improvements in both questions 2 and 4. This medication was found to be effective among women with sexual arousal problems. It was well tolerated among study participants and side effects were mild or moderate, affecting a small percentage of individuals. Many women with FSAID have problems with genital blood flow and this effective PDE5 inhibitor can be used to regain a satisfying sex life.

Buy Sildenafil to See How it Works for Your Sex Life!

Sexual health issues like ED and FSIAD often take a toll on a couple but the good news is that these conditions can be treated safely and effectively. You can purchase sildenafil online with just a few clicks of the mouse and the medication will be delivered within a matter of a few business days. Our online pharmacy stocks the best medications for sexual dysfunctions and can arrange discreet delivery via a recorded service which can be tracked over the internet in real time.

Erectile dysfunction pills like generic Viagra are now affordable so place an order today and buy sildenafil to spice up your sex life.

Dr Sophia Miller
Medically Review by:

Dr Sophia Miller

Dr Sophia Miller was born in New York City, USA. As a young woman, she was always interested in science, specifically; chemistry and she was determined to pursue a career in the field.

Checked: 15th March 2023
Review Due: March 2024

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