Treats erectile dysfunction (trouble having an erection). Helps a man have an erection or have a better erection of his penis during sex. Also treats a lung condition called pulmonary arterial hypertension in both men and women.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to sildenafil, or if you are using a nitrate medicine, often used to treat angina (chest pain). Nitrate medicines include nitroglycerin, isosorbide, Imdur®, Nitro-Bid®, Nitrostat®, Nitro-Dur®, Transderm Nitro®, Nitrol® Ointment, and Nitrolingual® Spray. Some illegal ("street") drugs called "poppers" also contain nitrates.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.The usual schedule is to take this medicine about 60 minutes (1 hour) before having sex.
- Do not use this medicine more than one time a day. Always allow at least 24 hours between doses. In some cases, your doctor might tell you not to use this medicine more than once every three days (72 hours).
- You may take this medicine with or without food.
- It is best to not eat a high-fat meal before using this medicine, because it may take longer for the medicine to work.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are using medicine to treat prostate problems or high blood pressure. This includes amlodipine, doxazosin, tamsulosin, terazosin, Cardura®, Flomax®, Minipress®, Norvasc®, or Uroxatral®. Tell your doctor if you are also using cimetidine (Tagamet®), rifampin (Rimactane®), an antibiotic (such as erythromycin, EES®, or Erytab®), medicine to treat HIV or AIDS (such as ritonavir, saquinavir, indinavir, Crixivan®, Kaletra®, or Norvir®), or medicine to treat fungus infections (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole, Nizoral®, or Sporanox®).
- Your doctor needs to know if you are also using any other medicine that might cause low blood pressure, because sildenafil might also lower your blood pressure. If your blood pressure gets too low, you might faint or have other health problems.
- Tell your doctor about all other treatments you are using for erectile dysfunction.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have diabetes, high cholesterol, liver disease, kidney disease, a stomach ulcer, problems with the retina in your eyes (retinitis pigmentosa), or if your penis has an abnormal shape. Also tell your doctor if you are currently on bosentan therapy.
- Your doctor needs to know if you have heart disease, a bleeding disorder, or problems related to your blood cells. This includes valve problems, uneven heartbeats, high or low blood pressure, chest pain, heart failure, sickle cell anemia, or cancer of the blood (leukemia or multiple myeloma). Also tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has a heart condition called "long QT syndrome."
- Tell your doctor if you have ever had chest pain during sex. Make sure your doctor knows if you have had a stroke or heart attack within the past 3 to 6 months. Your doctor should also know if you smoke or if you are over 50 years old.
- If you do not have an erection or if you are unhappy with your erection after taking this medicine, tell your doctor. This medicine will not cause an erection unless you are sexually stimulated.
- This medicine will not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV or AIDS). This medicine will not prevent pregnancy and should not be used as a form of birth control. If this is a concern for you or your partner, talk with your doctor.
- This medicine may cause the penis to become erect at unwanted times, or to stay erect for longer than needed. If you have an erection that lasts longer than 4 hours, call your doctor right away or go to an emergency room.
- Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes, or if you have sudden decrease in hearing or loss of hearing accompanied by dizziness and ringing in the ears. You may already be having a serious side effect from this medicine.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
- Change in how much or how often you urinate, or painful urination.
- Chest pain, especially if it spreads to your jaw or arm.
- Erection that is painful or lasts longer than 4 hours.
- Fast, slow, or uneven heartbeat.
- Fever, or sudden increase in body temperature.
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
- Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.
- Sudden changes in your vision or changes in how you see colors (especially blue or green).
- Sudden decrease in hearing or hearing loss, ringing in the ears, or dizziness.
- Sudden or severe headache.
- Trouble breathing.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Joint or muscle pain.
- Skin rash.
- Stuffy or runny nose.
- Tiredness or weakness.
- Trouble sleeping, feeling anxious.
- Upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, or indigestion.
- Warmth or redness in your face, neck, arms, or upper chest.