Sildenafil is a common erectile dysfunction medicine used by men to help them get and maintain an erection. Sildenafil is available in 3 strengths: 25mg, 50mg and 100mg. Most men will initially be prescribed Sildenafil 50mg, but Sildenafil 100mg will be more suitable for others. In this post, we look at which strength may suit you best and what to do if you don’t notice any beneficial effects from Sildenafil. 

Treating erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a very common disorder that many men will experience. ED is often associated with older men, although recent evidence suggests it’s becoming more common in younger men under the age of 40. 

ED can be caused by psychological factors such as stress, relationship problems, and depression. However, the most common cause is blood vessel problems caused by diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. For this reason, you should be checked by your doctor if you’re experiencing erection problems for the first time.

Sildenafil citrate is usually the first choice ED medicine prescribed to patients. The NHS allows generic sildenafil to be prescribed, whereas most other erection treatments can only be prescribed if you have specific health problems like diabetes and MS. The branded version of sildenafil, Viagra, is not usually prescribed by the NHS.

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Sildenafil 50 mg for erectile dysfunction

Sildenafil 50mg is the strength that most men will be prescribed first. This is the most common Sildenafil dose prescribed to men with ED problems.

One study found 82% of men with ED could get an erection after one dose of Viagra 50 mg, which contains the active ingredient sildenafil. Other clinical trials found that 74% of men noticed an improved erection with one Sildenafil 50mg dose.

If Sildenafil 50 mg tablets help you get an erection, you should notice an effect within 30 minutes, although it may take longer for some men. Taking the tablet with a meal can also slow the effect, so ideally take your dose on an empty stomach. Remember, you need to be sexually aroused for sildenafil to work.

Some men may not notice an effect from Sildenafil 50mg the first time they try it. Doctors usually advise you to try it on several occasions (only one dose can be taken in a 24 hour period) to see if it works for you. If sildenafil 50mg is not effective for you, your doctor will likely prescribe sildenafil 100mg. 

Sildenafil 50mg can be bought over the counter as the brand Viagra Connect 50 mg.

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Sildenafil 100 mg for erectile dysfunction

Sildenafil tablets 100mg are the highest strength of the treatment available. Usually, you will be prescribed these if you’ve tried the 50mg strength and found that it had no effect, or didn’t improve your erections enough. 

Sildenafil 100mg is the most effective dosage. In clinical trials, 82% of men taking sildenafil 100mg saw an improvement in their erections compared to 74% of men with the 50mg dose.

Sildenafil 100mg has the greatest risk of causing side effects because it’s the highest strength. Common side effects include headaches, nausea, flushing and nasal congestion. If you experienced severe or bothersome side effects with the lower dose of 50mg, you should avoid the 100mg strength because the side effects will likely be more severe. In this case, it may be best to try sildenafil 25 mg tablets instead.

You should try sildenafil 100mg on several occasions before concluding that it doesn’t work for you. 100mg is the maximum safe dose and you should never try to take more or to ‘double up’ on sildenafil 100mg tablets.

Unlike the 50mg strength, you cannot buy Viagra 100mg or sildenafil 100mg, in the UK, over the counter.

What if Sildenafil 100 mg doesn’t work for me?

Some doctors suggest trying an ED medication on 12 separate occasions to see if it works for you. If you still find that sildenafil 100mg doesn’t work for you, then you should try a different ED medication. You may find that your body responds better to a different ED medicine and a different medication may greatly improve your erection problems.

There are several alternatives that you can try to see if they work for you. Popular alternatives include tadalafil, vardenafil and Spedra. These all belong to the same family of drugs as sildenafil and are all oral medicines. 

Another possible treatment is Vitaros cream, which is applied directly to the tip of the penis. To find out more about alternative ED treatments, visit our online ED clinic.

For some men, their erectile dysfunction can be a result of psychological problems. Some men in this situation may benefit from counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or sex therapy to help them with issues such as anxiety and depression.

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