How does Viagra Connect treat ED?

How does Viagra Connect treat ED?

Almost everyone has heard of Viagra, the little blue pill discovered in the 90s to help men who are experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED). Last Spring the makers of Viagra, Pfizer, released Viagra Connect, Viagra’s lesser known cousin.

The MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) made Viagra Connect available over the counter, after a consultation with a pharmacist, to try and reduce the amount of men who choose to purchase potentially dangerous counterfeit medicines online because they don’t want to speak to their doctor about ED.

Although there are a few minor differences in their presentation and how you can get hold of them, Viagra and Viagra Connect actually have a lot in common. Most importantly, they both treat erectile dysfunction in the same way. They both contain the active ingredient sildenafil.

Since Pfizer’s patent on Viagra expired, sildenafil has also been available as a generic medicine, which simply means it’s sold without a brand name. You also require a prescription to purchase Sildenafil as a generic medicine.

What is Sildenafil?

Sildenafil belongs to a family of medicines called PDE5 inhibitors. In short, sildenafil increases blood flow to the penis by relaxing the blood vessels, allowing you to get an erection.

Now, things are about to get medical: sildenafil prevents (inhibits) the powers of the enzyme PDE5. PDE5 is stored in the corpus cavernosum (the part of the penis which fills with blood, causing an erection), and breaks down the chemical cGMP. cGMP allows an erection to happen easily by causing blood vessels to relax, and blood to flow more easily. When PDE5 breaks down cGMP too much, it becomes more difficult to get an erection, so sildenafil reduces this process.

Are there other PDE5 inhibitors?

Sildenafil isn’t the only type of PDE5 inhibitor available, but it’s the most common. As Viagra was the first erectile dysfunction treatment available, it’s also been tested on the most people. According to Pfizer, the effects of Viagra have been [studied]() in over 23,000 men.

Other PDE5 inhibitors available include tadalafil, avanafil and vardenafil (sold as Cialis, Spedra and Levitra respectively).

Unsurprisingly, Viagra Connect doesn’t have its effect instantly. It takes around 30 minutes to an hour to have maximum impact, and usually last for four hours - although it may last for longer. It takes 24 hours for sildenafil to totally leave your system, which is why you shouldn’t take more than one tablet a day.

Remember that Viagra Connect doesn’t work by magic - it won’t give you an erection unless you’re sexually stimulated. If it gives you an erection for a long time when you don’t want one, this known as a priapism. Read more about what to do if you experience a priapism.

Content Marketing Officer
Content Marketing Officer
Libby Mayfield

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