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Sildenafil citrate (oral therapy)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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This is an oral therapy that has a UK license for erectile dysfunction.

It is a phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitor which in turn enhances the effect of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide acts on enzymes which enable smooth-muscle relaxation in the corpus cavernosum, allowing an inflow of blood, and resulting in a penile erection.

Sildenafil citrate is contra-indicated in patients taking organic nitrates (1).

Reported side effects include flushing, headache, dyspepsia, nasal congestion, dizziness, diarrhoea, rashes and UTIs. There have been six reports of deaths (related to MIs) occurring in users of sildenafil citrate. It is unclear whether sildenafil citrate reacted with prescribed heart medication or the deaths were the result of unaccustomed sexual exertion.

Ref:Bandolier (1998), 5(7),1-4.

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