Side Effects of Sildenafil Citrate

Most sildenafil citrate side effects are minor and can be easily treated. Some common side effects include headache, nasal congestion, and urinary tract infections. A few uncommon side effects include angina pectoris, temporary vision loss, and congestive heart failure. Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider if you experience any side effects, as well as anything that "just doesn't seem right," while taking sildenafil citrate.

An Introduction to Sildenafil Citrate Side Effects

As with any medicine, there are possible side effects with sildenafil citrate (Viagra®). However, not everyone who takes sildenafil citrate will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate the medicine well. When people do develop sildenafil citrate side effects, the symptoms are usually minor, meaning they require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider. In previous research studies, up to 2.5 percent of people taking sildenafil citrate stopped their medicine because of side effects.
(The side effects discussed here are not a complete list of those reported with sildenafil citrate. Your doctor can provide you with a more complete list. Please note that this article refers specifically to Viagra, the original sildenafil citrate product that is approved for treating erectile dysfunction. For information about the sildenafil citrate product used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension, please see Revatio Side Effects.)

Common Side Effects of Sildenafil Citrate

Sildenafil citrate has been studied extensively in clinical trials, with over 3,700 people having been evaluated. In these studies, side effects are always documented. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.
Based on these studies, common sildenafil citrate side effects (occurring in more than 2 percent of people) included:
  • Headache --16 percent of people
  • Facial flushing -- 10 percent of people
  • Indigestion, known as dyspepsia -- 7 percent of people
  • Nasal congestion -- 4 percent of people
  • Urinary tract Infections (UTI) -- 3 percent of people
  • Vision problems, including trouble telling the difference between blue and green, increased sensitivity to light, or blurred vision -- 3 percent of people
  • Diarrhea -- 3 percent of people
  • Dizziness -- 2 percent of people
  • Unexplained rash -- 2 percent of people.
There were some other common side effects (also seen in more than 2 percent of people) that were just as common in people taking a sugar pill instead of sildenafil citrate as they were in people taking the actual drug. These side effects include:
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Back pain
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Joint pain.
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