An overview of Sildenafil citrate
Sildenafil citrate is the most widely prescribed medicine for erectile dysfunction. It sold under the brand name “Viagra”. Generic versions of sildenafil citrate are also available which have lower price than the branded version.
History of Sildenafil Citrate
• Sildenafil citrate was manufactured by a group of research scientists at Pfizer.
• It was originally studied for treating hypertension (high blood pressure) and angina pectoris (a symptom of ischemic heart disease).
• Sildenafil citrate was the first effective oral drug approved for the treatment of erectile dysfunction in men by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the year 1998.
• It is a potent cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5) inhibitor.
• It is a non-habit forming drug.
What is pulmonary hypertension?
Pulmonary hypertension is a disorder that affects the arteries in the lungs and the right side of the heart.
What happens in pulmonary hypertension?
Small arteries in the lungs known as the pulmonary arterioles and capillaries become narrow, are blocked or are damaged. This causes the blood to flow through your lungs under pressure, thus increasing the pressure inside the lung’s arteries. As the pressure rises, the heart’s lower right chamber (right ventricle) works harder to pump blood through your lungs, ultimately weakening your heart muscle and causing a heart failure.
Symptoms of pulmonary hypertension include:
• Shortness of breath in the beginning while exercising and eventually while at rest
• Chest pain
• Swelling of ankles and legs
• Ascites (Abnormal accumulation of fluid in abdomen)
• Bluish color lips and skin (cyanosis)
• Pounding heart or heart palpitations or irregular heartbeats.
Use of Sildenafil Citrate for treatment of pulmonary hypertension
As phosphodiesterase are present in large amount in the blood vessels in the lungs, the phosphodiesterase inhibitors such as Sildenafil citrate tablets can be used for treating pulmonary hypertension.
Sildenafil inhibits phosphodiesterase type 5, an enzyme that breakdown cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), thereby increasing the concentration of the cyclic guanosine monophosphate which causes relaxation of smooth muscles in the lungs and dilation of blood vessels in lungs, thus improving the blood flow to the lungs and reducing the blood pressure.
According to the scientific reports, Sildenafil improves exercise capacity and blood flow in patients with symptomatic pulmonary arterial hypertension.
Common Side effects
Common side-effects of Sildenafil citrate which subside after discontinuing the medicine include:
• Back pain and muscle pain
• Nasal Congestion
• Nausea and Vomiting