[Sildenafil (Viagra) at the Time of Warnings]

Rev Med Chil. 1998 Nov;126(11):1285-7.
[Article in Spanish]


Sildenafil is the first orally administered available treatment for erectile dysfunction. It produces a selective vasodilatation of corpus carvernosum, mediated by the inhibition of phosphodiesterase 5, an enzyme that degrades GMPc. Its therapeutic efficacy has been demonstrated in organic as well as psychogenic or mixed erectile dysfunction. Most of its adverse effects, such as headache, flushing, gastroesophageal reflux and color vision disturbances, are related to the mechanism of action. Its interactions with other medications, can have severe adverse consequences. The concomitant use of sildenafil with drugs that release nitric oxide in their molecule, can produce severe hypotension. In patients with coronary heart disease or cardiac failure, this interaction can cause death. Sildenafil is metabolized in the liver through cytochrome P-450. This enzymatic system can be inhibited by cimetidine, ketoconazole or erythromycin. These drugs can increase plasma concentrations of sildenafil. We must identify the groups of patients that will have a better response to the drug and those in whom the drug will be useless. We must also know more about the security profile of the drug. With time, we will know the real role of sildenafil in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Enzyme Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Erectile Dysfunction / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Piperazines / adverse effects
  • Piperazines / pharmacology*
  • Piperazines / therapeutic use
  • Purines
  • Sildenafil Citrate
  • Sulfones


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Piperazines
  • Purines
  • Sulfones
  • Sildenafil Citrate