What is/are sildenafil citrate and duloxetine?
Sildenafil citrate, sold as Viagra, Revatio and under various other trade names, is a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). It was originally developed by British scientists and then brought to market by the US-based pharmaceutical company Pfizer. It acts by inhibiting cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase type 5, an enzyme that promotes degradation of cGMP, which regulates blood flow in the penis. Since becoming available in 1998, sildenafil has been the prime treatment for erectile dysfunction; its primary competitors on the market are tadalafil (Cialis) and vardenafil (Levitra).
The primary indication of sildenafil is treatment of erectile dysfunction (inability to sustain a satisfactory erection to complete intercourse). Its use is now standard treatment for erectile dysfunction in all settings, including diabetes.
People on antidepressants may experience sexual dysfunction, either as a result of their illness or as a result of their treatment. A 2003 study showed that sildenafil improved sexual function in men in this situation. Following up reports from 1999, the same researchers found that sildenafil improved sexual function in female patients on antidepressants as well.
As well as erectile dysfunction, sildenafil citrate is also effective in the rare disease pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). It relaxes the arterial wall, leading to decreased pulmonary arterial resistance and pressure. This, in turn, reduces the workload of the right ventricle of the heart and improves symptoms of right-sided heart failure. Because PDE-5 is primarily distributed within the arterial wall smooth muscle of the lungs and penis, sildenafil acts selectively in both these areas without inducing vasodilation in other areas of the body. Pfizer submitted an additional registration for sildenafil to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and sildenafil was approved for this indication in June 2005. The preparation is named Revatio, to avoid confusion with Viagra, and the 20 milligram tablets are white and round. Sildenafil joins bosentan and prostacyclin-based therapies for this condition.
Sildenafil has been shown to be useful for the prevention and treatment of high-altitude pulmonary edema associated with altitude sickness such as that suffered by mountain climbers. While this effect has only recently been discovered, sildenafil is already becoming an accepted treatment for this condition, in particular in situations where the standard treatment of rapid descent has been delayed for some reason.
Viagra pills are blue and diamond-shaped with the word "Pfizer" engraved on one side, and "VGR xx" (where xx stands for "25", "50" or "100", the dose of that pill in milligrams) engraved on the other. It is taken not more than once per day between 30 minutes and 4 hours prior to sexual intercourse.
The dosage for pulmonary arterial hypertension (Revatio) is three times a day. Revatio pills are white, round, film-coated tablets imprinted with "RVT 20" embossed on one side.
In clinical trials, the most common adverse effects of sildenafil use included headache, flushing, dyspepsia, nasal congestion and impaired vision, including photophobia and blurred vision. Some sildenafil users have complained of seeing everything tinted blue (cyanopsia). Some complained of blurriness and loss of peripheral vision. In July 2005, the FDA found that sildenafil could lead to vision impairment in rare cases and a number of studies have linked sildenafil use with nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy.
Rare but serious adverse effects found through postmarketing surveillance include priapism, severe hypotension, myocardial infarction (heart attack), ventricular arrhythmias, stroke, increased intraocular pressure, and sudden hearing loss. As a result of these postmarketing reports, in October 2007, the FDA announced that the labeling for all PDE5 inhibitors, including sildenafil, required a more prominent warning of the potential risk of sudden hearing loss.
Care should be exercised by patients that are also taking protease inhibitors for the treatment of HIV. Protease inhibitors inhibit the metabolism of sildenafil, effectively multiplying the plasma levels of sildenafil, increasing the incidence and severity of side effects. It is recommended that patients using protease inhibitors limit their use of sildenafil to no more than one 25 mg dose every 48 hours. Other drugs that interfere with the metabolism of sildenafil include erythromycin and cimetidine, both of which can also lead to prolonged plasma half life levels.
Concomitant use of sildenafil and an alpha blocker may lead to low blood pressure, but this effect does not occur if they are taken at least four hours apart.
- When taking nitric oxide donors, organic nitrites and nitrates, such as glyceryl trinitrate (nitroglycerin), sodium nitroprusside, amyl nitrite ("poppers")
- In men for whom sexual intercourse is inadvisable due to cardiovascular risk factors
- Severe hepatic impairment (decreased liver function)
- Severe impairment in renal function
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)
- Recent stroke or heart attack
- Hereditary degenerative retinal disorders (including genetic disorders of retinal phosphodiesterases)
Mechanism of action
The mechanism of action of sildenafil involves the protection of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) from degradation by cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) in the corpus cavernosum. Nitric oxide (NO) in the corpus cavernosum of the penis binds to guanylate cyclase receptors, which results in increased levels of cGMP, leading to smooth muscle relaxation (vasodilation) of the intimal cushions of the helicine arteries. This smooth muscle relaxation leads to vasodilation and increased inflow of blood into the spongy tissue of the penis, causing an erection. Robert F. Furchgott, Ferid Murad and Louis Ignarro won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1998 for their independent study of the metabolic pathway of nitric oxide in smooth muscle vasodilation.
Sildenafil is a potent and selective inhibitor of cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5), which is responsible for degradation of cGMP in the corpus cavernosum. The molecular structure of sildenafil is similar to that of cGMP and acts as a competitive binding agent of PDE5 in the corpus cavernosum, resulting in more cGMP and better erections. Without sexual stimulation, and therefore lack of activation of the NO/cGMP system, sildenafil should not cause an erection. Other drugs that operate by the same mechanism include tadalafil (Cialis) and vardenafil (Levitra).
Sildenafil is metabolised by liver enzymes and excreted by both the liver and kidneys. If taken with a high-fat meal, absorption is reduced; the time taken to reach the maximum plasma concentration increases by around one hour, and the maximum concentration itself is decreased by nearly one-third.
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article sildenafil citrate and duloxetine, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.