What are the Sildenafil (Viagra) interactions?

What are the Sildenafil (Viagra) interactions?
Published : Feb 04, 2024
Last Updated : May 23, 2024

When it comes to ED pills, sildenafil (Viagra) can be the first medicine that your doctor recommends. Viagra is a prescription medicine for treating erectile dysfunction in men. Just like other medicines, Viagra can also have some interactions.

You can also find sildenafil (Viagra) under the brand name called Revatio, which is effective in treating pulmonary arterial hypertension. It is vital to know that sildenafil interacts with medicines that lower your blood pressure, such as nitrates. It also interacts with grapefruit juice and alcohol.

Fainting, dizziness, or headaches can be the sign of sildenafil interaction. If you experience any of these signs or have a problem after taking sildenafil, then let your doctor know.

By the age of 50, almost 50% of men experience erectile dysfunction, and this percentage continues to increase with age. For several men suffering from ED, the first preferred medicine to attain or maintain an erection is sildenafil (Viagra).

On the other hand, when men get older, they often start suffering from various health issues like heart disease, high blood pressure, and prostate problems. You need to know that medicines prescribed for these conditions frequently interact with Viagra. 

Apart from these medications, alcohol, and grapefruit juice are also two products that interact with sildenafil pills and cause issues. Remember, specific drug interactions with Viagra may occur and are severe and must be avoided by ED patients strictly. 

When should I avoid Viagra?

Taking Viagra with certain medications or under some situations can raise risk to health. Your doctor may not prescribe Viagra under the following conditions:

If you take nitrates: 

Using Viagra with nitrate can potentially result in a sudden drop in your blood pressure. And, if your blood pressure drops dangerously, it can be life-threatening. Nitroglycerin and isosorbide dinitrate are some nitrate drug examples. Interaction result of Nitrates with Viagra can be dangerous, so avoid combined use. 

Taking Guanylate cyclase(GC) stimulator drug: 

Using Viagra alone with a GC stimulator may lead to a drop in blood pressure. Due to the risk of severe low blood pressure, doctors recommend avoiding Viagra if you take GC stimulators, such as Riociguat (Adempas).

If you have Allergy to Sildenafil:

In case you have any allergic reaction after taking Viagra, then you should not take it. You can ask your doctor about any other alternative that can be a better option for you to treat ED.

Before you initiate taking Viagra, discuss with your doctor if any of the factors listed above apply to you. Your doctor can determine whether it's safe for you to take Viagra or not.

Other PDE5 inhibitors:

Avoid using other PDE5 inhibitor drugs along with Sildenafil tablets. 

Viagra and possible interactions with other drugs:

You must know that certain drug interactions can take place with Viagra(Sildenafil). If you are planning to take Sildenafil medicine to treat ED, then here is a list of some everyday Sildenafil interactions. Make sure to inform your healthcare provider about all the other medications that you already take. Whether you take over-the-counter medicines, herbal supplements, vitamins, or any other substances, inform about them.

Taking a nitrate

Doctors will not prescribe you Viagra if you are already taking nitrates. These medicines are prescribed to treat or prevent the condition of angina or chest pain. You must know that nitrates also include a group of illegal drugs known as poppers.

Nitrates might cause a sudden decrease in blood pressure if taken with Viagra. A sudden drop in your blood pressure can cause you dizziness and fainting. In severe cases, it can also lead to a medical condition of heart attack or stroke. 

In case you take a nitrate, then inform the doctor before starting your treatment with Viagra. To treat your ED condition, the doctor can suggest some different options. 

Alpha-blockers

Alpha-blockers treat various conditions, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia as well as high blood pressure. Some examples of alpha-blockers include Tamsulosin, Doxazosin, and Alfuzosin. Like nitrates and sildenafil, alpha-blockers work in your body by relaxing blood vessels. 

When alpha-blockers are combined with sildenafil, you can experience low blood pressure. In case you are already taking an alpha blocker, then the doctor can recommend you take a lower sildenafil dosage.

On the other hand, if you are taking sildenafil, then the doctor can also suggest that you take a lower dosage of alpha-blocker. In case you experience the symptoms of low blood pressure, like lightheadedness and dizziness, then inform the doctor.

Blood pressure medications

Nitrates and alpha-blockers often have severe interactions with sildenafil (Viagra). But when combined with Viagra and blood pressure drugs, it can lead to a drug interaction.

When Amlodipine and sildenafil are taken together, they can cause low blood pressure. Before you decide to take any medicine used to treat high blood pressure during the ED treatment, inform the doctor.

Thus, these are some significant sildenafil (Viagra) interactions that you must consider before starting treatment for your erectile dysfunction condition.

Know more about Viagra and blood pressure in this article: Viagra and blood pressure

Alcohol interaction with Viagra (Sildenafil citrate)

Although, there is no known interaction between sildenafil and alcohol. However, intake of alcohol during Viagra treatment can worsen the side effects of Viagra(sildenafil). Some examples of side effects include dizziness, flushing, and nausea. The use of alcohol and Viagra together can lower your blood pressure, which can initially drop (and later increase). 

Taking large amounts of alcohol can make you suffer from sexual side effects, mainly erectile dysfunction, which Viagra treats. Consuming large amounts of alcohol can make it difficult for Viagra to treat your ED condition.   

In case you drink alcohol, then discuss it with the doctor once before you start taking sildenafil. The doctor will advise whether you need to limit your alcohol consumption during the ED treatment or not.

Can Viagra interact with supplements?

Before you start taking Viagra, inform your doctor if you take any supplements, herbs, and vitamins. Sharing this information will help your doctor advise you on the best way to prevent the risk of any interaction.

Viagra interactions with herbs

If you use an herbal supplement like St. John's wort, then it may interact with Viagra(Sildenafil). The use of St. John's wort can make Viagra less effective than usual.

Viagra and vitamins

Currently, there is no proven interaction of Viagra with Vitamins. But it doesn't mean that Vitamins don't interact with Viagra, and make sure to consult if you are already using Vitamins.

Does Viagra interact with food?

Viagra usually doesn't interact with food items, leaving grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Using grapefruit alone with Viagra increases the amount of the medicine in your body. You may face an increased risk of side effects if you eat or drink grapefruit and its juice with Viagra.

Also, it is recommended to eat light meals before you take Viagra. Fat-rich meals may decrease the rate of absorption of Viagra, and it may slow down the time it takes to kick in. So, you have to wait longer to let Viagra start working for you.

Viagra and health-related interactions

Using Viagra under certain medical conditions can increase the risk of health. If you already suffer from any health problems leaving the ED, then inform your doctor about them. Viagra can interact with medical conditions such as:

Heart problems:

Before you use Sildenafil during a heart disease or if you have had heart surgery in the past six months, inform your doctor about it. People who have survived heart attack or stroke can have a risk of health if they take Viagra inappropriately. So, it would be best to discuss this with a doctor first and use it as their advice. If not suggested, do not use Viagra due to your health reasons.

Blood cell problems:

A person having blood cell problems like sickle cell anemia, leukemia, or multiple myeloma may increase the risk of priapism if you take Viagra. Priapism is a rare side effect of Viagra. So, if you have any blood cell-related problems, inform your doctor before using this ED pill.

Retinitis pigmentosa:

If you have retinitis pigmentosa, a rare genetic eye disease, then do not take Viagra. The use of Viagra in some rare cases can lead to eye-related side effects. People with eye conditions can be at higher risk if they start to use Viagra, so make sure to consult a doctor before using it. Ensure safety first; then, you might use this ED pill.

Bleeding problems:

A person with bleeding problems, such as Hemophilia, can face excessive bleeding as a side effect of Viagra. Inform your doctor about your bleeding problem prior to starting Viagra use.

Peptic ulcer:

If you have a peptic ulcer, then Viagra can induce bleeding as a side effect. If you are facing an active stomach ulcer, then inform your doctor about it.

Severe Liver or kidney problem:

Patients with severe liver or kidney problems may face a build-up of Viagra levels in the body. You may face an increased risk of side effects in such situations. So, please consult a doctor as they adjust your Viagra dosage for safe outcomes.

Irregular penis Shape or penile deformity:

Having conditions like Peyronie's disease or penile deformity can increase the risk of priapism if you take Viagra. Under such conditions, you might face damage to your penis, so be cautious and consult your doctor if you have any penile problems.

Pregnancy or breastfeeding:

Viagra is not meant for use in females, so it is better not to use it during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Allergic reaction to Viagra:

If you have an allergy to the active ingredient of Viagra - Sildenafil, then do not take Viagra or any of its generic variants. Ask your doctor about any other alternative medication or treatment for ED.

Preventing interactions

Being cautious can help prevent interactions with Viagra and use the medicine safely. Your doctor will make you aware of all the possible interactions, and you must follow them before starting the treatment. But make sure to inform your doctor about:

  • Let them know if you drink alcohol

  • Take any other medications, including any supplements, herbs, and vitamins

  • Please list medicines you take, add allergic substances you avoid, and show them to your doctor.

Moreover, you need to read the label of your medicine and check for expiration dates and other instructions. Using Viagra precisely as suggested will ensure its safe outcomes. Prevent yourself from taking higher doses if not prescribed.

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Faq

There are no documented interactions between Viagra and vaccines. But make sure to inform your doctor about your medications before vaccination.

Viagra isn't known to interact with any laboratory tests.