What Is Viagra and Generic Sildenafil? What are the Differences between Them?

The name 'Viagra' is a popular mention in any conversation on erectile dysfunction. Due to its popularity, some people do not realize that Viagra is not the only medication for treating impotence. They also do not know that Viagra is a brand name for Sildenafil.

The primary ingredient in Viagra and generic Sildenafil, Sildenafil citrate, was created by scientists Peter Dunn and Albert Woods as a treatment for heart problems. After they conducted the clinical trials for Sildenafil, they discovered that the drug did not effectively treat heart diseases. However, male volunteers in the experiments reported that the medicine meant to relieve heart problems gave them increased and long-lasting erections.

After the effectiveness of Sildenafil in the treatment of erectile dysfunction was discovered, Pzifer pharmaceuticals marketed the pill as a medication for sexual difficulties for men. They patented this treatment in 1996, and by 1998, the treatment was available for the sale with the name Viagra. The Pzifer patent on Sildenafil expired in 2013 and it became possible to produce generic versions.

Viagra and generic Sildenafil have the same primary ingredient, Sildenafil citrate, which works by increasing the blood flow to the penile tissues when the penis is stimulated.

What are the differences between Viagra and Generic Sildenafil?

  • Appearance: Viagra which is referred to as 'the little blue pill' by some, is a diamond-shaped pill that is bright blue. This appearance is synonymous with the Pzifer Brand and has been patented by them. Also, Viagra has 'VGL' inscribed on the pill. Generic Sildenafil comes in either white or blue colors but does not have the diamond shape. This pill has different finishes and may have indentations for the division of the medicine if necessary. Unlike Viagra that has 'VGL' on the pill, Sildenafil tablets have 'SL' on them.
  • Manufacturer: Viagra is manufactured by Pzifer alone, but generic Sildenafil is made by different pharmaceutical companies.
  • Price: Pzifer's Viagra is noticeably pricier than Sildenafil. This is because Pzifer is a well-known and respected pharmaceutical brand and this gives them the leeway to charge high prices. Generic Sildenafil is much cheaper than Viagra. This is because the different manufacturers of Sildenafil do not have the reputation Pzifer has. To appeal to the masses, producers of generic Sildenafil have to set lower prices.
  • Composition of the pills: Viagra and Generic Sildenafil have the same active substance, Sildenafil citrate. The quantities of other inactive ingredients differ slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer.

How to use Viagra and Generic Sildenafil?

Viagra and Generic Sildenafil should be used as recommended by your doctor. Viagra pills come in 25mg, 50mg, and 100mg tablets and should be taken once a day. Doctors advise that you take this on an empty stomach at least an hour before sexual intercourse.

Generic Sildenafil, on the other hand, comes as oral medication and in the form of injections. The pill form comes in 25mg, 50mg, and 100mg tablets that should be used once in a day. The injections can be given to you by a doctor if the need arises.

If you overdose when using Viagra or Sildenafil, call for help and inform your physician immediately.

Side effects of Viagra and Generic Sildenafil

Viagra and Generic Sildenafil have the same side effects as listed below:

  • Blocked or Runny Nose;
  • Fatigue;
  • Headache;
  • Dizziness;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Stomach discomfort;
  • Body or muscle aches;
  • Rash;
  • Priapism;
  • In some rare cases, irregular heartbeat and cardiac arrest.

What drugs interact with Viagra and Sildenafil?

Certain drugs, recreational and medical, can cause adverse reactions when you use them in conjunction with Viagra or Sildenafil. Some of these medicines that should not be used with these two ED medications include:

  • Other erectile dysfunction drugs: Medicines like Cialis and Levitra are PDE5 inhibitors just like Viagra and Sildenafil. Taking multiple PDE5 inhibitors would be equivalent to overdosing. Furthermore, there is a risk of increasing the severity of side effects of these medications. It also increases the risk of experiencing priapism as well.
  • Nitrates: Viagra and Sildenafil should not be used while taking drugs that contain nitrates. Drugs that have nitrates as their primary ingredient are used to treat heart problems. Like Viagra, Nitrate can cause a dilation of blood vessels and ingestion of these together could lead to a drastic drop in blood pressure.
  • Some antibiotics: Viagra and Sildenafil should not be used in conjunction with macrolide antibiotics. Macrolides inhibit the metabolism of Viagra thereby causes a higher concentration of Viagra being present in the bloodstream. This could lead to fainting, dizziness, and even priapism.
  • Anti-HIV drugs: If you are using anti-HIV medication or antiviral drugs, Viagra and Sildenafil have a potential to provide bad reactions. Using these drugs together causes increased levels of Viagra in the blood that can lead to priapism or increased severity of the side effects of Viagra or Sildenafil.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol is not a medication, but excessive use of it can make Viagra or Sildenafil ineffective.

Things you should know before using Viagra or Sildenafil:

  1. Inform your doctor if you are already on any heart medication before using Viagra or Sildenafil.
  2. Grapefruit or grapefruit juice can affect the absorption of Viagra and Sildenafil.
  3. Viagra and Sildenafil can be used to treat hypertension.
  4. When taking Viagra and Sildenafil, there is a risk of loss of vision. This is especially possible when these drugs are taken by people with diabetes, heart problems or existing eye problems.

Is Viagra better than Generic Sildenafil?

No, Viagra is the same as Sildenafil. Most people who have used both medications have stated that there was no noticeable difference between these two drugs. It is important to note that the price of generic Sildenafil makes it more attractive than Viagra.

Note that to buy Viagra and Generic Sildenafil, you need a doctor's prescription. You can get these medications at e-pharmacies and drugstores.