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Quick summary

Type of medicine

Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors.



Active Ingredient

Sildenafil citrate

Effective within

Typically within 30 to 60 minutes after ingestion. However, individual responses may vary based on factors such as metabolism, diet, and sexual stimulation.

Works by

Improving blood flow to facilitate firm erections during sexual stimulation.

Side effects

headaches, nausea, indigestion, stuffy nose, dizziness, facial flushing, hot flush (symptoms include a sudden feeling of heat in your upper body), colour tinge to vision, blurred vision, visual disturbances

Medication details


Sildenafil tablets offer a clinically proven solution for erectile dysfunction in adult men. Each tablet contains sildenafil, a potent phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor that relaxes penile blood vessels, facilitating erections upon sexual stimulation. Designed for convenience, the tablets are discreet and easy to swallow.

For optimal results, take one tablet approximately one hour before sexual activity, adhering strictly to the recommended dosage.


The direction for using Sildenafil involves several steps to ensure safe and effective administration. Here you can find a general guide, but always follow your healthcare provider's specific instructions:

1. Starting Dose: Begin with the dose prescribed by your healthcare provider, adjusted as needed based on your response.

2. Timing: Take one tablet approximately one hour before sexual activity, ensuring optimal efficacy.

3. Administration: Swallow the tablet whole with water. Avoid exceeding one tablet per day and do not combine with grapefruit or grapefruit juice, as it can affect the medicine's efficiency.

4. Precautions:
- Ensure sexual stimulation for the medication to be effective.
- Avoid alcohol consumption in excess, as it may reduce the medication's effectiveness.
- If you experience a painful or prolonged erection lasting more than four hours, seek medical attention immediately.

5. Storage: Keep Sildenafil in its original packaging and store it at room temperature, away from moisture and heat.

6. Missed Dose: Since Sildenafil is taken as needed, there is no concern about missing a dose. Do not take more than one tablet per day.

7. Monitoring: Regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider are recommended to ensure the medication's effectiveness and discuss any concerns or adjustments needed.

8. Side Effects and Precautions: Be aware of potential side effects, such as headache, nausea, or dizziness (full list of side effects found in the patient information leaflet), and consult your healthcare provider if you experience any severe or persistent symptoms.


The active substance in Sildenafil is sildenafil citrate. This ingredient relaxes penile blood vessels, improving blood flow during sexual stimulation, thus facilitating erections in men with erectile dysfunction.

Additionally, the tablet contains various inactive ingredients including cellulose microcrystalline, calcium hydrogen phosphate anhydrous, croscarmellose sodium, hypromellose (E464), magnesium stearate, and in the film coat: hypromellose (E464), titanium dioxide (E171), lactose monohydrate, triacetin, and indigo carmine aluminium lake (E132).

Side Effects

Common side effects of Sildenafil tablets may include headache, nausea, indigestion, stuffy nose, and dizziness.

Less common side effects can include vomiting, abdominal pain, rash, nosebleeds, and changes in vision.

In rare cases, serious side effects such as chest pain, prolonged or painful erections, sudden decrease or loss of vision, allergic reactions, seizures, or serious skin reactions may occur.

A full list of side effects can be found in the patient information leaflet. If you experience any severe or persistent side effects, seek medical attention promptly.


When using Sildenafil, it is important to be aware of the following warnings:

Heart Conditions: Individuals with pre-existing heart conditions should consult a healthcare provider before using Sildenafil, as sexual activity can put additional strain on the heart.

Health Conditions: Patients with certain health conditions such as liver or kidney problems, stomach ulcers, bleeding disorders, or deformities of the penis should use Sildenafil with caution and under medical supervision.

Medication Interactions: Sildenafil may interact with certain medications, particularly those containing nitrates or nitric oxide donors, ritonavir, riociguat, and others. Inform your healthcare provider about all medications you are taking.

Priapism: Seek immediate medical attention if you experience an erection lasting more than four hours, even without any physical or
psychological stimulation, as it can be a medical emergency. Conditions which can cause priapism include sickle cell anaemia (an
abnormality of red blood cells), leukaemia (cancer of blood cells), or multiple myeloma
(cancer of bone marrow).

Vision Changes: Rarely, Sildenafil may cause changes in vision or sudden loss of vision. If you experience any vision changes while taking Sildenafil, discontinue use and consult a healthcare provider.

Allergic Reactions: Stop taking Sildenafil and seek medical help if you experience signs of an allergic reaction, such as difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or throat, or rash.

Alcohol Consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption may decrease the effectiveness of Sildenafil and increase the risk of side effects. Limit alcohol intake while using this medication.

Pediatric Use: Sildenafil is not intended for use in individuals under 18 years of age.

It is crucial to discuss any existing medical conditions and medications with your healthcare provider before starting Sildenafil therapy to ensure safe and effective treatment.

Patient Information Leaflet

Medically reviewed and published

  • This page was medically reviewed by Dr Sohaib Imtiaz, Clinical Lead on

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Please read our FAQs page to find out more.

Are there any long-term side effects?

Sildenafil can be taken safely for a long time.

No lasting harmful effects have been observed from taking it for many months and years.

Are there any lifestyle changes I should consider while taking Sildenafil 50mg Film-Coated Tablets?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, stress management, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption, can complement the effects of Sildenafil.

Can women use Sildenafil?

Women can take sildenafil for pulmonary hypertension.

There is no good evidence that sildenafil works for women with sexual problems.

Will recreational drugs affect the efficacy of Sildenafil?

Taking poppers (amyl nitrite) with sildenafil can have a dangerous effect on your heart.

It can also be dangerous to take sildenafil with:

-stimulants like MDMA (ecstasy) or cocaine
-hallucinogens like LSD
-novel psychoactive substances (which used to be known as legal highs) like mephedrone

Sildenafil has not been properly tested with recreational drugs.

Talk to your doctor if you think you might use any recreational drugs with sildenafil.

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