Erection problems are common, especially in men over the age of 40. It can often be caused by problems like anxiety and stress but sometimes it may be an indication of more serious problems like cardiovascular disease. If you’re noticing erection problems for the first time, you should speak to your GP for advice.
One medicine your doctor may prescribe is Sildenafil, a common erectile dysfunction medication. Sildenafil tablets contain the active ingredient Sildenafil citrate, the same ingredient in the well-known medicine Viagra. It increases blood flow to the penis, which helps men get and maintain an erection when aroused.
Sildenafil should be taken around one hour before sex. It can start to work within 30-60 minutes but if you take it with food it can take longer to work. Sildenafil belongs to a group of drugs called PDE5 inhibitors.
When prescribing you Sildenafil for the first time, your doctor will likely prescribe Sildenafil 50mg. This is the preferred starting dose for most men and it means that the dose can be increased or decreased if you find it too strong or too weak.
For most men, Sildenafil 50 mg should be effective. Studies have shown that the 50mg strength improved erections in 74% of men. If this strength is effective for you, then you should continue to use this strength as there is no need for you to take the higher strength of 100mg.
Sildenafil citrate 100mg is the highest strength of Sildenafil. This is prescribed if the lower strength tablets are not effective for you. Studies have shown that the 100mg strength tablets are effective at improving erections in 82% of patients, compared to 74% of patients with the 50mg strength.
Side effects can be higher with the higher strength so it may not be suitable for men who had severe side effects with the 50mg or 25mg strength tablets. If the Sildenafil 100mg strength is not effective for you, your doctor may try a different ED medicine like Tadalafil or Vardenafil.
This is the lowest available strength of Sildenafil and is usually used if the 50mg strength is too strong for you (for example, it gives you unpleasant side effects). It may also be prescribed for men with kidney or liver problems that may be affected by higher strengths.
Studies have shown that the 25mg strength is effective at improving erections in 62% of men. This is lower than the 50mg strength (74%) and the 100mg strength (82%). However, if you find the 25mg strength is effective at improving your erections, there is no need to take a higher strength.
What if Sildenafil doesn’t work for me?
With any dose of Sildenafil, the first dose may not improve erection problems. If you don’t see an effect, the usual advice is to try at least 5 doses (separately, on different days) to see if another dose has an effect. If there is still no effect after trying Sildenafil on 5 separate occasions, you should speak to your doctor to increase the dose or to switch to a different ED medicine.
Taking Sildenafil with food can have an impact on how quickly it works. Sildenafil should start to work within 30-60minutes of taking a dose, but taking it with food can delay how soon it works by up to an hour. Ideally, you should take your dose without food around an hour before sex.
Another factor that can affect how well Sildenafil works is drinking alcohol with it. Alcohol and Sildenafil can be taken together, but drinking alcohol can make it harder to get or maintain an erection. If you find alcohol makes it harder to get an erection, you should ideally avoid drinking alcohol when taking Sildenafil.
You can read our posts about how long Viagra takes to work and how long Viagra lasts to find out more information about Sildenafil. You can also read the patient information leaflet for more information.
What are the other options?
Although Viagra and Sildenafil are the most well known ED medicines, they are not the only effective treatments that your doctor can prescribe. Another popular ED medicine is Tadalafil. This is the generic form of the brand Cialis.
Tadalafil has some advantages over Sildenafil because it can start to work sooner than Sildenafil and can improve erections up to 36 hours after a dose. A lower dose of tadalafil can also be taken every day, rather than when required, by men who frequently have sex.
Another ED medicine is Vardenafil. This works similarly to Sildenafil but may start to work slightly sooner than Sildenafil. However, the effect of Vardenafil can be slowed down if a dose is taken with food.
Other treatments like Spedra (Avanafil) and Vitaros Cream are also available. Men who try Sildenafil on multiple occasions and find it ineffective can speak to their doctor about these other treatments. A discussion about other treatments may also be useful for men who experience side effects with Sildenafil.
Erectile Dysfunction Clinic
At Simple Online Pharmacy, our doctors can prescribe Sildenafil online after you complete a short medical questionnaire. Our doctors can also prescribe other ED medication through our online clinic. The medicine is sent out by our online pharmacy team and delivered via Royal Mail.
When buying Sildenafil, or any medicine online, you should always check to see that the website is registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council and MHRA. With Simple Online Pharmacy, you can be sure that you are receiving genuine medicine from a trusted online pharmacy.
You can buy Sildenafil in the UK as Viagra Connect, which contains Sildenafil 50mg, over the counter at your local pharmacy. But Sildenafil 100mg, in the UK, is only available on prescription from a doctor or healthcare professional.