Sildenafil Interactions: with Alcohol, Food and Medications
Remember that Viagra does not cause erections, it just makes it easier for men to get an erection. Normal sexual stimulation from yourself or a partner is required for Viagra to work properly.
There are a vast number of reasons as to why men suffer from erectile dysfunction. Sometimes the issue can be caused as a result of taking certain medications, while others may simply be experiencing issues due to age or health conditions.
Of course, many men still find the issue an uncomfortable one to discuss – even in private with their doctor. The good news is that for people in this situation, access to erectile dysfunction medications needn’t be difficult with high-quality online vendors offering Sildenafil at incredibly low prices.
What Is Sildenafil Used For?
Sildenafil citrate is a medication which is used by adult men to treat erectile dysfunction (otherwise known as impotence), which is a condition whereby a man cannot get or maintain an erection for the purposes of sexual activity. Sildenafil is the active ingredient in the branded drug Viagra (amongst others). This substance belongs to a group of medications known as PDE-5 inhibitors, which function by helping to relax blood vessels situated in the penis. This then allows blood to flow more easily to the penis during moments of sexual excitement. Sildenafil only works when you are sexually stimulated and does not in and of itself automatically cause an erection to occur.
Sildenafil is available in pill form in various doses. The recommended starting dose is a Viagra 50mg tablet; however, smaller and larger Viagra doses are available, and dosage should be adjusted for maximum efficacy. For safety purposes, it is best to start with a small dose and increase gradually until the desired effects occur.
Interaction of Sildenafil
There are over 400 drugs which are known to interact with Sildenafil. The majority of these drug interactions are moderate or minor and cause little or no stress and discomfort; however, there are a small number of medicines (such as nitrates) which could have potentially serious interactions if taken at the same time as Sildenafil, as highlighted in the table below:
|Amoxycillin||May increase blood levels of Sildenafil|
|Omeprazole||May increase blood levels of Sildenafil|
|Nitroglycerin||May cause blood pressure to fall rapidly|
|Insosorbide||May cause blood pressure to fall rapidly|
|Boceprevir||May increase blood levels of Sildenafil|
|Clarithromycin||May increase blood levels of Sildenafil|
For further clarification on Sildenafil interactions and the potential consequences of mixing medications, you should consult a qualified medical professional.
Taking Sildenafil with food could potentially alter the efficacy of the drug. Foods which are laden with rich fats (such as cheese, avocados, and dark chocolate) are particularly likely to increase the length of time in which it takes for Sildenafil to start working. The main reason for this is because the medication has to be absorbed from the stomach and intestine into the body’s bloodstream. It is only when Sildenafil reaches the bloodstream that it can be carried to the relevant area of the body in order to take action. If it is taken with food rich in fats, it will essentially enter into a queue while your stomach takes its time digesting food, which ultimately results in a delay in the absorption and action of the drug.
On a Full Stomach
Even if a relatively healthy meal is consumed, a full stomach will still delay the reaction to Sildenafil. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the drug can’t be taken with food – it simply means that in order to get the best possible results from the pill, you should consider ingesting it on an empty stomach. Of course, in situations like a “date night” this isn’t always entirely practical, so moderation is key – perhaps consider having a smaller, lighter meal on days where you are considering to take Sildenafil in order to get the best possible experience from the drug.
Sildenafil With Grapefruit
It is incredibly important to avoid grapefruit or grapefruit juice when taking Sildenafil. Although Sildenafil will still widen the blood vessels to allow the maintenance and development of an erection, there are enzymes in grapefruit which cause the drug to break down in the body, resulting in a larger uptake of the drug from the stomach and intestines into the bloodstream. This causes a number of undesirable side effects including headaches, a drop in blood pressure, skin flushes and the potential to faint – which understandably makes the Sildenafil experience much less enjoyable. It is therefore recommended that grapefruit is avoided at all costs when taking Sildenafil.
With Alcoholic Drinks
Like most medications, the efficacy and actions of Sildenafil can by adversely affected by alcohol consumption. Side effects as a result of combining Sildenafil and alcohol are similar to combining it with grapefruit – you can expect low blood pressure, dizziness and headaches, along with an increased likelihood of heart palpitations – this is when the heart beats irregularly, either too slowly or too quickly, and places additional strain on the cardiovascular system which can lead to serious problems like cardiac arrest. With this in mind, alcohol is best avoided, although moderate drinking (one or two beers) is acceptable – Sildenafil will work with alcohol in small quantities and may not cause too many detrimental side effects.
Before taking Sildenafil it is important to consult a qualified health professional if you are currently taking any other medications. Certain medications can cause unwanted and potentially dangerous interactions. For example, if you are currently using a nitrate-based drug for heart problems or chest pain, or using a recreational nitrate-based drug (poppers), you may experience issues. Other medications may increase the efficacy of Sildenafil, resulting in a painful, prolonged erection. If you experience a painful erection which lasts for over four hours, you should consult a physician immediately, as priapism can potentially damage the penis. Likewise, if Sildenafil use causes sudden vision loss, you should seek urgent medical help.
Sildenafil Pills and Other Drugs
Medications which are used to regulate blood pressure (pulmonary hypertension or hypotension) do not particularly mix well with Sildenafil or any other PDE-5 inhibitor for that matter. Medications which are used to treat liver disease or kidney disease also react badly with PDE-5 inhibitors, which means Sildenafil should be avoided if you suffer from renal problems or currently undergo regular dialysis. For the ultimate peace of mind, it is always advisable to consult a qualified doctor before taking any medications if you are asking yourself “Can I take Sildenafil?”, as your doctor may notice potentially damaging interactions with drugs you are currently taking.
Sildenafil and Nitrates
Combining nitrates with sildenafil is incredibly dangerous and should be avoided at all costs as it can result in significant hypotension (low blood pressure) leading to fatality. Leading health specialists have repeatedly looked at the effects when combining the two drugs and have come to the conclusion that the risk is too great to ever recommend. This also applies to certain recreational nitrate-based drugs (often referred to as poppers).
However, if a patient has stable angina, a medical reassessment should be undertaken before denying access to Sildenafil or other PDE-5 inhibitors, as those with stable conditions may be able to take the medication in small quantities. For further information, contact your doctor.
In the event of hypotension occurring as a result of Sildenafil use, the patient should be placed in the recovery position (on their left-hand side) and emergency medical help should be sought immediately. Resuscitation with IV fluids should be initiated by qualified medical experts as soon as is practical. Try our free Viagra trial pack and visit your doctor for more info.