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Clearing The Confusion: Understanding The Difference Between Viagra And Sildenafil

Apr 3, 2023
Clearing The Confusion: Understanding The Difference Between Viagra And Sildenafil

The main difference between Viagra and sildenafil is the price. Viagra is the brand name, and sildenafil is the generic for the same medication. Generic drugs cost, on average, about 85 percent less than the brand name.

If you are looking at your treatment options for erectile dysfunction (ED), they can be categorized into three main categories:

  • Oral medications are phosphodiesterase inhibitors, such as sildenafil, tadalafil, avanafil, and vardenafil. Each medication has its own risk and benefit profile and, depending on the circumstances may be the best medicine for erectile dysfunction.
  • Injectables such as Trimix combine three medications that work synergistically to treat erectile dysfunction.
  • Other options like surgical implants, testosterone patches, and vacuum devices.

Viagra and sildenafil have the same active ingredient and work in the same manner. Both medications are safe and effective. Let’s take a closer look at the difference between brand-name medications and their generics and how sildenafil treats erectile dysfunction.

Does Sildenafil Work As Well As Viagra?

When a company makes a new and innovative medication, they receive patent and exclusivity protection for 12 to 16 years. This monopoly protects them from competition from other drug manufacturers.

Ideally, this period of protection is long enough to encourage manufacturers to innovate and recoup their costs for the research and development that goes into developing new medications, but not so long that consumers are blocked from access to lower-cost generics longer than necessary.

When patent and exclusivity protection is nearing an end, competing companies may develop their own form of the medication. These generics are bioequivalent to the brand name medications. Bioequivalence means that the generic medication works the same way and provides the same benefits as the brand name. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) monitors drug safety.

All generic medications must meet the same quality, strength, and purity standards as the brand-name products.

Viagra and sildenafil have the same

  • Active ingredients
  • Effectiveness
  • Quality
  • Safety
  • Strength
  • Benefits

The FDA does allow generic medications to have differences in size, shape, and color. They may also have slightly different inactive ingredients. These binders, fillers, and colorants may make them look slightly different but do not affect how they work.

medication pills

Are There Any Risks From Generic Medications?

The biggest risk with generic medications is purchasing them from unsafe online pharmacies that are not licensed and may be selling products that are not regulated by the FDA. According to the FDA, these are some signs of an unsafe pharmacy:

  • They may not require a prescription.
  • They are not licensed in the U.S. and by the state board of pharmacy.
  • They don’t have a licensed pharmacist on staff to answer questions.
  • They do not have contact information on their website.
  • They offer prices that are much lower than competing pharmacies.

When Was Viagra Invented?

Viagra was first introduced to the market by Pfizer pharmaceutical in 1998. Thanks to an excellent marketing campaign, it became an instant success as the “little blue pill.” Pfizer’s patent on the active ingredient in Viagra began to expire in 2012 and completely expired in 2020. Since then, generic forms of the medication, sildenafil, have entered the market.

How Do Viagra And Sildenafil Work?

Viagra and sildenafil are both phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (PDE5). PDE5 inhibitors are the first-line treatment for ED. PDE5 is an enzyme that breaks down cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). When cGMP levels are high, blood flows into the penis, resulting in an erection. PDE5 inhibitors keep cGMP levels high and can treat ED when it is due to decreased blood flow into the penis. However, PDE5 inhibitors cannot cause an erection without sexual stimulation.

Having an erection depends on having adequate blood flow into the penis. High blood pressure, diabetes, and other diseases affecting the cardiovascular system can damage blood vessels, making it difficult to have and sustain an erection. In more than 90% of men over age 40 with ED, a physical cause would explain their ED symptoms.

How Long Does It Take For Sildenafil To Take Effect?

Sildenafil should be taken as needed 30 to 60 minutes before sexual activity. However, it can be taken up to four hours before sexual activity. Its effect peaks in 60 minutes and lasts for up to four hours. Sildenafil is taken on an as-needed basis but not more than once every 24 hours.

Clearing The Confusion: Understanding The Difference Between Viagra And Sildenafil

What Are The Known Side Effects Of Viagra/Sildenafil?

Sildenafil can be taken with or without food. However, a high-fat meal may slow its absorption, meaning it will take longer to work. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice interfere with Sildenafil metabolism and can increase side effects.

Headache, facial flushing, upset stomach, and nasal congestion are the most commonly reported side effects.

Other less common side effects include the following:

  • Abnormal vision
  • Back pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Rash

Viagra/sildenafil should not be taken with nitrates. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if your other medications interact with sildenafil.

Viagra has been used for decades to treat erectile dysfunction for thousands of men. It is a safe and effective treatment option. Sildenafil is the generic version of Viagra. It has the same active ingredients and is just as safe and effective. It just costs a lot less.

Clearing The Confusion: Understanding The Difference Between Viagra And Sildenafil

How Long Does Sildenafil Last?

Sildenafil wears off in about 4 hours. Most men take sildenafil 30 to 60 minutes before sexual activity. Sexual stimulation is required for sildenafil to work.

Can I Drink Alcohol With Sildenafil?

Sildenafil side effects can be made worse when combined with alcohol. These side effects may include:
lower blood pressure
dizziness
lightheadedness
fainting
flushing
headache
heart palpitations
To decrease your risk of side effects, avoid or limit the use of alcohol when taking sildenafil. However, if you drink alcohol regularly, talk to your healthcare provider about ED treatment options that do not adversely interact with alcohol.

Is It OK To Take Sildenafil 100 mg?

The most commonly used dose of sildenafil is 50 mg. If the 50mg dose does not work well for you, your doctor may prescribe the 100mg dose or suggest that you switch to a different medication.

What Should I Avoid When Taking Sildenafil?

Alcohol consumption can increase the risk of sildenafil side effects, especially dizziness, and lightheadedness. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can change the way sildenafil is metabolized in your body. Also, check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medications to see whether they have harmful interactions.

Does Sildenafil Work As Well As Viagra?

Yes! Sildenafil is a generic brand of Viagra. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that generic drugs be bioequivalent to brand-name medications. Therefore, the generic drug must have the same active ingredient, strength, and dosage. Because patent restrictions have expired, generic medications can be offered at a lower price than brand-name medications.

Looking to buy Sildenafil online? See how Invigor Medical can help you today!

Disclaimer
While we strive to always provide accurate, current, and safe advice in all of our articles and guides, it’s important to stress that they are no substitute for medical advice from a doctor or healthcare provider. You should always consult a practicing professional who can diagnose your specific case. The content we’ve included in this guide is merely meant to be informational and does not constitute medical advice.

Clearing The Confusion: Understanding The Difference Between Viagra And Sildenafil

Leann Poston, M.D.

Dr. Leann Poston is a licensed physician in the state of Ohio who holds an M.B.A. and an M. Ed. She is a full-time medical communications writer and educator who writes and researches for Invigor Medical. Dr. Poston lives in the Midwest with her family. She enjoys traveling and hiking. She is an avid technology aficionado and loves trying new things.


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