Viagra, Cialis, Levitra and Spedra – How Are They Different?

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Viagra, Cialis, Levitra and Spedra are some of the most common drugs used right across the world to treat male impotence, or as it is better known, erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is nothing to feel embarrassed about as the occurrence of male impotence has been increasing over the last few years, and erectile dysfunction is thought to affect half of all men over 40 to some degree. They belong to a class of drugs known as PDE 5 inhibitors. It can be caused by both physical and emotional factors. As obesity levels continue to rise, so too does problems with sexual performance. As health care improves and people are living longer, erectile dysfunction is getting more and more common. In the busy world that we live in, getting stressed out is inevitable at times, which is another cause of erectile dysfunction.

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Help is at hand, with a variety of treatments available in order to prevent erectile dysfunction. Many men find success with counselling, but a variety of oral drugs can help produce an erection in response to sexual stimulation. The four orally administered drugs available in the UK, Cialis, Viagra, Levitra and Spedra have revolutionised the treatment of erectile dysfunction since 1997.

Viagra/Sildenafil

Viagra is the trade name of a drug called Sildenafil which is the world’s most commonly used drug to treat erectile dysfunction. It had a 45% market share in the erectile dysfunction drugs market in 2012. It is prescribed as a diamond-shaped blue pill with VGR on one side and the tablet strength in mg on the other. When a man gets an erection, the nervous system releases nitrous oxide, which stimulates the production of cyclic guanosine monophosphate. This relaxes the smooth muscle, causing increased blood flow to the penis. Viagra works by maintaining the levels of cyclic guanosine monophosphate so an erection can be maintained. Viagra works within an hour and allows an erection to be achieved following sexual stimulation up to four hours after being taken. However, it potentially has some unpleasant side effects which are thought to affect roughly 1 in 100 men who take Viagra. Some men report to experience dizziness, indigestion or headaches. Its effect can be inhibited if food is eaten, making it impractical for many people. Viagra can now be easily bought online, how safe it is though?

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Product Description

How does Viagra and Sildenafil work?

Viagra (Sildenafil) helps men to get and maintain an erection when sexually stimulated and/or excited. The medicine relaxes the blood vessels in the penis which results in more blood flowing to the penis when you are sexually excited.

How do I take it?

You should take Viagra (Sildenafil) approximately 1 hour before planning to have intercourse. Within a window of between 30 minutes and 4 hours after you take the medicine, it will be easier to keep and maintain an erection when you are sexually excited. If you take this medicine after a meal with a high fat content it may take a little longer to start working. This medicine will only work when you are sexually excited. You won’t get an erection just by taking Viagra (Sildenafil).

Dosage

The standard recommended dose for Viagra (Sildenafil) is 50mg and this will be suitable for most people.  If this dose is not effective, you can try 100mg and if 50mg gives you side effects you can also reduce the dose to 25mg tablets.

You must not take more than 100mg daily of Sildenafil/ Viagra. Clinical trials have been conducted in patients taking up to 200mg sildenafil and it was found that ‘doses of 200mg did not result in increased efficacy but did increase the incidence of adverse reactions (headache, flushing, dizziness, dyspepsia, nasal congestion, and altered vision).’

In addition, in patients taking more than 100mg daily, there have been reports of rhabdomyolysis (a breakdown in skeletal muscle tissue the byproducts of which can lead to kidney failure), visual perception changes, vertebral artery dissection (a tear in the artery supplying blood to the brain), heart attacks and aggressive behaviour.

If the 100mg strength doesn’t work for you, there may be alternatives you can try and we recommend that you call us for a free consultation with our pharmacist or doctor to discuss any underlying conditions you may have. We recommend that all men taking medicine for erectile dysfunction have regular tests for blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and hormone imbalances. For instance, it may be that by fixing a hormone imbalance such as testosterone, your Viagra medication will be even more effective.

In addition, drug manufacturers do not advise patients to split tablets in half to get the correct dosage as they cannot guarantee that the active ingredient will be distributed evenly throughout the tablet.  For instance, if you cut a 100mg tablet in two, you may find that you get 80mg in one half of the tablet and 20mg in the other half leading to either an overdose (increased risk of side effects) or a suboptimal dose (the medication may not work).

It is important that you choose the correct dose for you. If you wish to talk to our pharmacist or doctor about this, please contact us in the pharmacy on 01625 460621 or email [email protected]

Side Effects

Viagra (Sildenafil) is normally well tolerated, however, side effects can include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Side effects normally subside after a few hours, however, if you experience a prolonged or painful erection (longer than 4 hours), then you must contact your doctor immediately.

Drug interactions

There are a number of medicines which interact with Sildenafil/ Viagra. For an exhaustive list please see the patient information leaflet (see section below) or call us in the pharmacy to discuss your specific situation. The main drug interactions are listed here:

Recreational drugs such as ‘poppers’ or amyl nitrate
Alpha blockers used for urinary retention or blood pressure problems (eg Flomax or Cardura)
Anti- arrhythmic drugs such as disopyramide
Antibiotics such as erythromycin
Antifungals such as itraconazole
Antivirals such as drugs used to treat HIV
Bosentan
Cobicistat
Calcium channel blockers to treat blood pressure and angina such as amlodipine
Dapoxetine (Priligy – used to treat premature ejaculation)
Grapefruit juice**
Nicorandil
Nitrates
Riociguat
Cimetidine (to treat stomach ulcers)

Please do not take Sildenafil/Viagra if you have taken any of the above drugs within the last 60 days without first consulting with either us in the Pharmacy ([email protected] / 01625 460621) or via email with our doctor [email protected]

**We advise not to take Sildenafil/Viagra with grapefruit juice as the blood concentration of Sildenafil will possibly be increased resulting in side effects.

Patient Information Leaflets

Please click here for the patient information leaflet for Viagra.

For Actavis Sildenafil please see the following leaflets: 100mg, 50mg, 25mg.

Storing Medicines Safely

Please keep your medicine out of the reach of children and store at room temperature.  Unwanted medicine can be disposed of by returning it to any local pharmacy or indeed to us here for us to dispose of it for you.

51 reviews for Viagra & Generic Sildenafil

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  5. Doug
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    Doug:

    Only used one as yet did the same as viagra, At last value for money

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Cialis/Tadalafil

Cialis & Tadalafil (Once a Day)

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Cialis is the trade name of tadalafil, and works in the same way Viagra does, in order to achieve an erection. It is an almond-shaped yellow pill with a C on one side and the tablet strength in mg on the other side. Cialis however, differs from Viagra in that it takes as little as 15 minutes in order to take effect, and allows an erection to be had up to 36 hours after being taken. Cialis also has the advantage in that it can be taken with food, whereas with Viagra, the patient must have an empty stomach. This makes the drug much more practical than the others. Cialis also has a form in which daily tablets can be taken and it for these reasons that Cialis is becoming more popular. Cialis does, however, have some of the same potential side effects as Viagra does, so it is not without its flaws.

Levitra-10-4Levitra

Levitra, or as it is sometimes known by its proper name, Vardenafil is another oral treatment for erectile dysfunction, working in the same way as Viagra and Cialis. Levitra is a round orange pill with Bayer written horizontally and vertically on one side, and the tablet strength in mg on the other side. Levitra takes around half an hour to take effect, is faster than Viagra but slower than Cialis. Levitra lasts up to 10 hours after being taken, which is again, better than Viagra but not as good as Cialis. Levitra is also thought to be less likely to have side effects when taken than the other 3 drugs.

 

Spedra

Spedra

Finally, Spedra (or avanafil as it is more properly called) is another new oral drug that works using a similar mechanism to the other 3 drugs. Spedra is an oval shaped yellow pill with the strength in mg on one side and Vivus on the other side. Spedra is the fastest out of the four drugs. It has been known to work in as little as 15 minutes, but usually takes 20-30 minutes. It lasts for 4-5 hours after being taken, which is similar to how long Viagra lasts but is quite short when compared with Cialis or Levitra. Spedra is a relatively new product, only having been approved for marketing distribution in the European Union in June 2013, so not much is known about the side effects of the drug, but it is thought to be relatively safe like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra but may cause headaches or reddening of the skin in some cases. Spedra can be taken with or without food. However, it is recommended that no food is taken because it is likely to increase the time taken to become effective. Cialis isn’t affected at all by food being taken with the tablet, so it comes out on top in that regard.

Cialis can be taken as 2.5, 5, 10, and 20mg tablets whereas Viagra is available in 25, 50 or 100mg tablets. Levitra comes as 5, 10 or 20mg tablets and Spedra usually is taken as 100mg tablets. Patients are usually told to start on a small to medium size dosage and if that isn’t effective and there are no adverse side effects, then the dosage may be increased.

However, there is not a definitive drug that is the best for everyone. As mentioned previously, Viagra is the most popular drug to treat erectile dysfunction, so it is the drug that has the most availability and most research done to ensure it is safe, making it a good choice for some men. Cialis is ideal for men who need a fast-acting drug or for men who prefer to take a daily form of medication. Viagra and Spedra are suitable for use in men who don’t want the drug to be effective in their system for an extended period of time. Levitra is best used in men who are worried about experiencing side effects with their drug.

The choice in the drug that men use to treat erectile dysfunction is largely dependent on their personal requirements. Some of the drugs will work brilliantly in some men, and the same drug may have no effect in others. Finally, always remember that erectile dysfunction medication of any kind should not be taken if you suffer from a cardiovascular disease, or if you are already on a drug that contains nitrates, as it can interfere with your heart.

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The best way of preventing erectile dysfunction is to live a healthy lifestyle. Exercise improves blood circulation and relieves stress. This could potentially improve your ability to maintain an erection without the use of Cialis, Viagra, Levitra or Spedra. Quitting smoking can help also, as hardens your blood vessels, reducing blood flow to the penis.

 

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Assured Pharmacy is not liable for the currency or accuracy of the information contained in this blog post. For specific information about your personal medical condition, please contact our doctors or pharmacists for advice on [email protected].