(Erectile dysfunction treatment)
Sildenafil is our most popular clinically proven treatment for erectile dysfunction. It contains the same active ingredient as branded alternatives (but comes at a lower price because you aren’t paying for the brand name) and works by allowing more blood to flow into the penis - ensuring a strong erection when you need one.
We’re regulated by the Care Quality Commission.
Discreet and free delivery
Discreet packaging and free next-day delivery; shipped as soon as your order’s approved by one of our clinicians.
Our team of clinicians and health experts can support you along every step of your treatment journey.
Sildenafil: the science
- When you get aroused, your body produces a molecule called cGMP which helps to stimulate an erection by increasing blood flow to the penis.
- However, an enzyme known as PDE5 normally breaks cGMP down. This restricts blood flow to the penis and causes the erection to subside.
- Sildenafil blocks the action of PDE5, allowing more blood to flow into the penis. The resulting erection is firmer and usually lasts long enough to allow for satisfying sex.
Related ED treatments
There’s more than one solution to erectile dysfunction. Take a look at our erectile dysfunction treatments to find the one most suited to your needs and lifestyle.
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How Numan works
It’s healthcare without the hassle.
Free online consultation
Once complete, your consultation will be reviewed by our clinicians. Most prescriptions are approved the same day.
Free 24-hour delivery
If your treatment is approved, it’ll be posted to you discreetly within 24 hours.
Have any questions or want to change your medication? Speak to our clinicians and they’ll be able to help.
If you’re not happy with the service, or simply don’t need treatment anymore, you can cancel anytime.
Sildenafil: facts you need to know
Straightforward answers to frequently asked questions.
Sildenafil does not alter your libido or sexual desire — you will still need to be sexually aroused for it to take effect.
If you’re thinking about having sex after dinner, a word of note: having a large meal at the same time as taking sildenafil could delay the effects by about an hour.
The process of branding a medicine costs pharmaceutical companies a lot of money, and this cost is often passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices. Generic medicines, on the other hand, are unbranded - which means these costs do not get passed on to the consumer.
Therefore, generic medicines are almost always cheaper than their branded counterparts (even though they contain the same active ingredients and work in the same way).
In general, if you find yourself taking sildenafil for an extended period of time, it’s worth looking at the underlying causes with the help of your doctor. There’s also plenty of information on the possible root causes of ED in our Book of Erections.
To get the most out of sildenafil it’s best to take it an hour before sex (as it takes about an hour to kick in). When it does, you can expect to experience stronger and firmer erections.
For most people, a window of four hours is enough to enjoy satisfactory sex. However, if you’d prefer an ED treatment that gives you more flexibility, tadalafil and Tadalafil Daily last significantly longer (tadalafil lasts for 36 hours and Tadalafil Daily lasts continually).
If you're finding it hard to coordinate taking sildenafil around your sexual activity, or if spontaneity is important to you, tadalafil (another type of ED treatment) may be a better alternative. It works similarly to sildenafil, but it starts working within 30 minutes and its effects last up to 36 hours.
These ED treatments are many people’s go-to medication when they have erection problems because they are clinically proven to relieve the symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
As they are all effective in treating ED, many people make their choice based on which of the three ED tablets is most convenient for their lifestyle:
- Sildenafil lasts for up to 4 hours, making it ideal for those who have sex every now and then.
- Tadalafil lasts for up to 36 hours and is a convenient option for those who have sex more spontaneously.
- Tadalafil Daily’s effects are continuous, because it keeps your body topped up with a small but steady supply of tadalafil every day. Therefore, those who have sex frequently (such as those in long-term relationships) are likely to find it particularly convenient as it removes the need to take a tablet directly before sex.
However, sildenafil (and other erectile dysfunction treatments such as tadalafil and Tadalafil Daily) has been clinically proven to reduce the symptoms of ED in men. There is plenty of evidence supporting sildenafil’s ability to help men achieve stronger erections, which is why it’s the first choice for many men when they need help with ED.
Although erectile dysfunction tablets are effective, they shouldn’t be seen as the be-all and end-all when it comes to treating ED. Erectile Dysfunction can be caused by numerous underlying psychological or physical conditions, so it’s best to identify the root cause of your ED and make healthy lifestyle changes that help to reduce (and prevent) symptoms
Recommended lifestyle habits to adopt include:
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet. Consuming plenty of fruit and veg, and avoiding refined carbs such as bread and sugar can help to keep the body functioning as it should.
- Quitting smoking (if you smoke). Smoking is linked to erectile dysfunction, so quitting smoking is highly recommended. If you find it difficult to quit, take a look at our Quit Smoking Programme as it offers all the support you need to kick the habit.
- Exercising regularly. Research has shown that 160 minutes of exercise a week for 6 months “contributes to decreasing erectile problems” in men experiencing ED due to physical inactivity, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.
Sildenafil safety information
The following safety information is intended to help you take sildenafil as safely and effectively as possible. Please read it before taking sildenafil to ensure it is safe for you to take.
How sildenafil works
Sildenafil works by helping to relax and open up the blood vessels in your penis, allowing for increased blood flow. This means that when you are sexually aroused, you can achieve a harder and longer-lasting erection.
If you’re interested in understanding the science behind erections and how sildenafil works in more detail, check out our Book of Erections, which has everything you need to know about erections and more.
Don’t take sildenafil if:
- You have had an allergic reaction to sildenafil or any similar medications in the past.
- You have low blood pressure.
- You are taking medications that contain nitrates (usually for chest pain).
- You are using amyl nitrites (“poppers”).
- You have recently had a heart attack or a stroke.
- You have a serious heart or liver condition.
- You have a history of non-arteritic anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy (NAION).
- You have an inherited condition affecting your retinas, such as retinitis pigmentosa.
Sildenafil may not be suitable for you if you:
- Have a deformity of your penis, such as Peyronie’s disease.
- Have stomach ulcers.
- Have a bleeding disorder, such as haemophilia.
- Have a heart condition, including left ventricular outflow obstruction.
- Have sickle cell anaemia, leukaemia or multiple myeloma.
Sildenafil should only be used by men over the age of 18 who have erectile dysfunction. It should not be used with other treatments for erectile dysfunction. If you aren’t sure whether you have any of the conditions listed above, please consult your doctor.
What to expect
Taking sildenafil doesn’t result in an instantaneous erection - a little bit of planning is required. Sildenafil starts working an hour after you take it, and the effects last for four to five hours. This means that there’s a window of about three hours when you can plan to have sex - and you’ll need to be sexually aroused for sildenafil to take effect. Your resulting erection should feel harder and last longer than before. Eating a large meal at the same time as taking sildenafil can delay the effects by about an hour.
Recommended starting dose
The recommended starting dose for sildenafil is 50mg/100mg taken once per day, as needed. If you feel the effect of sildenafil is too strong or too weak, feel free to contact us and we can advise you on adjusting your dosage.
You should not take more than one dose of sildenafil within 24 hours.It’s worth noting that sildenafil doesn’t alter libido or sexual desire. It also doesn’t have an effect on your testosterone levels.
Possible side effects of sildenafil
If you experience any of the following serious (but uncommon) side effects, you should stop taking sildenafil and seek urgent medical attention:
- An allergic reaction - symptoms include swelling of the lips, throat and eyelids, sudden difficulty in breathing or wheezing, dizziness, collapse.
- Chest pains - you should not use nitrate-containing medication to treat this.
- A prolonged erection lasting more than four hours, which may be painful - this is a medical emergency and you should visit A&E as soon as possible.
- Severe skin reactions - swelling, blistering or peeling skin.
Always read the Patient Information Leaflet enclosed with your sildenafil. It contains other important safety information as well as a complete list of possible side effects.