Sildenafil Citrate is known for its two uses within the medical field – as Viagra, which is used to treat men suffering from erectile dysfunction, and as Revatio, a medication used in the treatment of high blood pressure, also known as pulmonary arterial hypertension, in both men and women.
Sildenafil Citrate stimulates a hormonal enzyme in the body, known as phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5). PDE5 works to relieve blood vessels and allow for blood to easily flow throughout the body, targeting the areas that need an increase in blood flow. When treating pulmonary arterial hypertension, the flow of blood is essential for the arterial muscles and the lungs to relieve symptoms of high blood pressure and chest pain, as well as allow for easier breathing. When treating erectile dysfunction, Sildenafil Citrate allows for the flow of blood to be directed toward the penis, stimulating the erection needed for sexual activity.
In Viagra, Sildenafil inhibits PDE5 in order for it to break down cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). Inhibiting PDE5 results in a buildup of cGMP, what is known for relaxing blood vessels in the penis that allow for the creation of an erection due to the increase flow of blood, and the buildup of cGMP due to Sildenafil Citrate increases the flow of blood. The same goes for Revatio – the PDE5 results in a buildup of cGMP resulting in the relaxation of blood vessels to reduce high blood pressure in an individual.
Depending on what the treatment is for, erectile dysfunction or pulmonary arterial hypertension, results in what is the correct dosage for Sildenafil Citrate to work. Viagra is offered in 25mg, 50mg, and 100mg pills which should be taking 30 minutes to one hour before sexual congress. Viagra should not be taken more than once within a 24 hour period. Sildenafil in treating pulmonary arterial hypertension, medication such as Revatio can be taken in 20mg doses three times a day.
Sildenafil does have side effects including headaches, temporary vision problems, and facial flushing. If taking nitrates, it is advised to not take medications that include Sildenafil Citrate. As always, please discuss with you primary care physician prior to taking Sildenafil Citrate, whether to treat erectile dysfunction with Viagra or pulmonary arterial hypertension with Revatio.