Sildenafil, which is more commonly known as Viagra, is a medication that has the ability to greatly enhance the sexual life of men who suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED). It is also used less frequently to treat pulmonary hypertension and a decreased libido in women. However, the primary indication for Sildenafil treatment remains improving the quality of erections in men suffering from ED. Sildenafil is incorporated in the same class of medications along with Tadalafil and Vardenafil, and they are collectively known as phosphodiesterase type 5 blockers or inhibitors.
Sildenafil, however, is the most popular drug in this category due to its widespread use and the reputation for greatly enhancing male sexual performance. Sildenafil or Viagra works by blocking an enzyme called PDE5, which is responsible for terminating the effects of an active substance that directly causes a potent erection.
How does Sildenafil work precisely?
When a man is sexually stimulated, the nervous signal travels from the brain to the nerve endings that are located in the cavernous bodies of the penis, which are specialized structures that can be filled with blood during an erection. The nerve endings release a signaling active substance called nitric oxide, or simply NO, which initiates a cascade of processes that culminate in an erection. Specifically, NO activates an enzyme that produces cGMP, which is the substance that directly influences the blood vessels of the penis to dilate and allow a more enhanced blood entry in the cavernous bodies of the penis. The amount of available cGMP directly correlates with the quality of an erection. It is believed that this mechanism may be insufficiently represented in men with ED, which is why many are unable to achieve a satisfactory erection for a high-quality sexual performance. PDE5 is the enzyme that destroys or neutralizes cGMP, and therefore, ends the cascade of events that results in a potent erection. Sildenafil works by inhibiting the PDE5 enzyme, which results in more blood vessel dilating effects through an abundance of active cGMP in the cavernous bodies of the penis. The abundance of cGMP causes an enhanced erection and positively impacts the quality of male sexual performance.
Make sure to discuss the utility of ED treatment with Sildenafil with your doctor to avoid potential drug interactions and reduce the impact of side effects. Sildenafil has been successfully tested in various clinical and hospital settings, and it is officially approved as a solid treatment for erectile dysfunction. However, as with any type of medication, Sildenafil can also have minor and temporary side effects. They may include skin rash, headaches, abdominal discomfort and nausea. If you experience any unpleasant effects after taking Sildenafil, don’t hesitate to report them to your doctor. They are usually self-limiting and not dangerous.