When impotence is preventing you from enjoying sex, you may think that the solution to your problem is as simple as taking Viagra or sildenafil. Although it’s common knowledge that these medications help men achieve erections, not all men are familiar with the differences between the two.

If you’re curious as to whether sildenafil and Viagra have the same effects, it actually depends on several factors. To find out whether the two drugs are similarly effective, continue reading.

What Is Viagra?

A drug that is approved for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, Pfizer-manufactured Viagra comes in three different preparations, specifically 25, 50, and 100 mg. At first, Viagra was tested for the treatment of certain heart conditions. But during the clinical trials, Pfizer found out that when men took the drug, it resulted in increased erections.

The pharmaceutical company then proceeded to test Viagra as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, and since then, the little blue pill has become globally popular among men. The main active ingredient of Viagra is a substance called sildenafil citrate.

It works by opening up blood vessels in the penis, which then leads to increased blood inflow to the penile erectile tissues. Once those tissues are sufficiently filled with blood, the penis becomes hard and erect.

What Is Sildenafil?

The main active ingredient of sildenafil is also sildenafil citrate, which makes the drug medically similar to Viagra. It’s just that Viagra is branded and manufactured only by Pfizer, while sildenafil is generic and is manufactured by several pharmaceutical companies.

Similar to Viagra, sildenafil is also available in 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg. The shape, texture, and color of generic sildenafil, will differ depending on the manufacturer. Generic sildenafil cannot have the same shape and appearance of Viagra since Pfizer has a patent on both.

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In terms of effectiveness, generic sildenafil will differ slightly compared to Viagra, depending on the manufacturer. In truth, the effectiveness of an anti-impotence drug will differ from man to man. Factors like metabolism, overall health, and severity of erectile dysfunction will affect how effective the drug is.

If you happen to have a prescription for sildenafil 20 mg, the effectiveness of that particular medication in treating erectile dysfunction may be significantly lower than when you’re taking Viagra.

For one, sildenafil 20 mg contains a smaller amount of the active ingredient. In addition, sildenafil 20 mg is typically prescribed for pulmonary arterial hypertension, which means that if you want to use it for erectile dysfunction, you’ll have to ask your doctor if it’s possible and safe to increase the dosage.

Do Sildenafil and Viagra Have Similar Side Effects?

Because their main active ingredient is the same, Viagra and generic sildenafil actually have similar side effects, although you may see different precautionary warnings on their labels.

The more common side effects of generic sildenafil and Viagra include upset stomach, nosebleeds, fever, headaches, vomiting, nausea, flushing of the face, runny nose, bronchitis, and trouble sleeping.

More serious adverse effects include low blood pressure and priapism. The latter is a condition wherein your erection lasts for several hours even after sexual stimulation has completely ceased. Priapism may result in permanent damage to your penile tissues if it’s not treated right away.

If Viagra or generic sildenafil causes your blood pressure to radically decrease, especially if you’re also taking other medications for hypertension, you should seek medical assistance. Symptoms to watch out for include blurry vision, weakness, sleepiness, confusion, and fainting.

There have been instances wherein taking sildenafil or Viagra has been associated with heart problems like irregular heart rate and chest pain. This is a serious side effect and you should go see your healthcare provider as soon as you experience any of these symptoms.

Are There Available Alternatives?

Because of the known adverse side effects of Viagra, a lot of men prefer to take natural supplements instead to boost their erectile function. In fact, there are numerous herb-based treatments that have been proven to improve the sexual performance of men with erectile dysfunction.

Tribulus Terrestris

For instance, Tribulus terrestris is a known aphrodisiac, testosterone booster, fertility enhancer, as well as erection booster. The mechanism of action of Tribulus terrestris is different from how sildenafil or Viagra helps you to achieve erections.

Whereas the drug inhibits the breakdown of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) by phosphodiesterase-5 enzymes, Tribulus terrestris helps to increase the synthesis of nitric oxide in your penile tissues.

Nitric oxide acts as a neurotransmitter that stimulates your penile tissues to produce more cGMP. When the concentration of cGMP is sufficient, your penile smooth muscles then start to relax. In turn, this triggers your penile arteries to start dilating, causing blood inflow to your erectile tissues.

If, however, you prefer an herb-based supplement that acts just like Viagra or sildenafil, then you should go for Horny Goat Weed because it contains icariin. An antioxidant, icariin is also able to inhibit the actions of phosphodiesterase-5 enzymes.

A supplement that has both Tribulus terrestris and Horny Goat Weed can greatly improve your ability to initiate an erection. It’s even better if your supplement also contains Tongkat Ali since this herb is known to help prolong erections and increase sexual stamina.

Other herbs that are also good for improving your sexual performance include fenugreek, Ashwagandha, and maca. Fenugreek is particularly beneficial if you want to increase your free testosterone levels. Fenugreek, together with Tribulus terrestris, Horny Goat Weed, and Tongkat Ali, can really boost your testosterone levels.

Ashwagandha and maca, on the one hand, can help improve your hormonal balance, as well as reduce your stress and anxiety levels. In addition, these two herbs are also excellent strength and energy boosters, just like Tongkat Ali.

This means that when your male enhancement pill contains Ashwagandha, maca, and Tongkat Ali, you can expect to see a huge increase in your sexual stamina. These are health benefits that you can’t really expect to gain from sildenafil or Viagra, so you may want to try herb-based sex enhancement pills instead.

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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.