Information About Sildenafil
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Sildenafil tablets are a prescription medicine used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). You will not get an erection just by taking this medicine.
Sildenafil tablets help a man with erectile dysfunction get and keep an erection only when he is sexually excited (stimulated).
Sildenafil tablets are not for use in women or children. It is not known if sildenafil tablets are safe and effective in women or children under 18 years of age.
Dosage and Administration
For most patients, the recommended dose is 50 mg taken, as needed, approximately 1 hour before sexual activity. However, sildenafil tablets may be taken anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours before sexual activity. The maximum recommended dosing frequency is once per day.
Based on effectiveness and toleration, the dose may be increased to a maximum recommended dose of 100 mg or decreased to 25 mg.
Sildenafil tablets may be taken with or without food.
Consistent with its known effects on the nitric oxide/cGMP pathway sildenafil tablets were shown to potentiate the hypotensive effects of nitrates, and its administration to patients who are using nitric oxide donors such as organic nitrates or organic nitrites in any form either regularly and/or intermittently is therefore contraindicated.
After patients have taken sildenafil tablets, it is unknown when nitrates, if necessary, can be safely administered. Although plasma levels of sildenafil at 24 hours post dose are much lower than at peak concentration, it is unknown whether nitrates can be safely co-administered at this time point.
Sildenafil tablets are contraindicated in patients with a known hypersensitivity to sildenafil, as contained in sildenafil tablets and REVATIO, or any component of the tablet. Hypersensitivity reactions have been reported, including rash and urticaria.
Concomitant Guanylate Cyclase (GC) Stimulators
Do not use sildenafil tablets in patients who are using a GC stimulator, such as riociguat. PDE5 inhibitors, including sildenafil tablets, may potentiate the hypotensive effects of GC stimulators.
Warnings and Precautions
There is a potential for cardiac risk of sexual activity in patients with preexisting cardiovascular disease. Therefore, treatments for erectile dysfunction, including sildenafil tablets, should not be generally used in men for whom sexual activity is inadvisable because of their underlying cardiovascular status. The evaluation of erectile dysfunction
should include a determination of potential underlying causes and the identification of appropriate treatment following a complete medical assessment.
Sildenafil tablets have systemic vasodilatory properties that resulted in transient decreases in supine blood pressure in healthy volunteers (mean maximum decrease of 8.4/5.5 mmHg), [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)]. While this normally would be expected to be of little consequence in most patients, prior to prescribing sildenafil tablets, physicians should carefully consider whether their patients with underlying cardiovascular disease could be affected adversely by such vasodilatory effects, especially in combination with sexual activity.
Use with caution in patients with the following underlying conditions which can be particularly sensitive to the actions of vasodilators including sildenafil tablets – those with left ventricular outflow obstruction (e.g., aortic stenosis, idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis) and those with severely impaired autonomic control of blood pressure.
There are no controlled clinical data on the safety or efficacy of sildenafil tablets in the following groups; if prescribed, this should be done with caution.
• Patients who have suffered a myocardial infarction, stroke, or life-threatening arrhythmia within the last 6 months;
• Patients with resting hypotension (BP <90/50 mmHg) or hypertension (BP >170/110 mmHg);
• Patients with cardiac failure or coronary artery disease causing unstable angina.
Prolonged Erection and Priapism
Prolonged erection greater than 4 hours and priapism (painful erections greater than 6 hours in duration) have been reported infrequently since market approval of sildenafil tablets. In the event of an erection that persists longer than 4 hours, the patient should seek immediate medical assistance. If priapism is not treated immediately, penile tissue damage and permanent loss of potency could result.
Sildenafil tablets should be used with caution in patients with anatomical deformation of the penis (such as angulation, cavernosal fibrosis or Peyronie’s disease), or in patients who have conditions which may predispose them to priapism (such as sickle cell anemia, multiple myeloma, or leukemia). However, there are no controlled clinical data on the safety or efficacy of sildenafil tablets in patients with sickle cell or related anemias.
Effects on the Eye
Physicians should advise patients to stop use of all phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors, including sildenafil tablets, and seek medical attention in the event of a sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes. Such an event may be a sign of non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION), a rare condition and a cause of decreased vision including permanent loss of vision, that has been reported rarely post-marketing in temporal association with the use of all PDE5 inhibitors. Based on published literature, the annual incidence of NAION is 2.5 to 11.8 cases per 100,000 in males aged ≥ 50. An observational case-crossover study evaluated the risk of NAION when PDE5 inhibitor use, as a class, occurred immediately before NAION onset (within 5 half-lives), compared to PDE5 inhibitor use in a prior time period. The results suggest an approximate 2-fold increase in the risk of NAION, with a risk estimate of 2.15 (95% CI 1.06, 4.34). A similar study reported a consistent result, with a risk estimate of 2.27 (95% CI 0.99, 5.20). Other risk factors for NAION, such as the presence of “crowded” optic disc, may have contributed to the occurrence of NAION in these studies. Neither the rare post-marketing reports, nor the association of PDE5 inhibitor use and NAION in the observational studies, substantiate a causal relationship between PDE5 inhibitor use and NAION.
Physicians should consider whether their patients with underlying NAION risk factors could be adversely affected by use of PDE5 inhibitors. Individuals who have already experienced NAION are at increased risk of NAION recurrence. Therefore, PDE5 inhibitors, including sildenafil tablets, should be used with caution in these patients and only when the anticipated benefits outweigh the risks. Individuals with “crowded” optic disc are also considered at greater risk for NAION compared to the general population, however, evidence is insufficient to support screening of prospective users of PDE5 inhibitors, including sildenafil tablets, for this uncommon condition.
There are no controlled clinical data on the safety or efficacy of sildenafil tablets in patients with retinitis pigmentosa (a minority of these patients have genetic disorders of retinal phosphodiesterases); if prescribed, this should be done with caution.
Physicians should advise patients to stop taking PDE5 inhibitors, including sildenafil tablets, and seek prompt medical attention in the event of sudden decrease or loss of hearing. These events, which may be accompanied by tinnitus and dizziness, have been reported in temporal association to the intake of PDE5 inhibitors, including sildenafil tablets. It is not possible to determine whether these events are related directly to the use of PDE5 inhibitors or to other factors.
Hypotension when Co-administered with Alpha-blockers or Anti-hypertensives
Caution is advised when PDE5 inhibitors are co-administered with alpha-blockers. PDE5 inhibitors, including sildenafil tablets, and alpha-adrenergic blocking agents are both vasodilators with blood pressure lowering effects. When vasodilators are used in combination, an additive effect on blood pressure may occur. In some patients, concomitant use of these two drug classes can lower blood pressure significantly leading to symptomatic hypotension (e.g., dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting).
Consideration should be given to the following:
• Patients who demonstrate hemodynamic instability on alpha-blocker therapy alone are at increased risk of symptomatic hypotension with concomitant use of PDE5 inhibitors. Patients should be stable on alpha-blocker therapy prior to initiating a PDE5 inhibitor.
In those patients who are stable on alpha-blocker therapy, PDE5 inhibitors should be initiated at the lowest dose
• In those patients already taking an optimized dose of a PDE5 inhibitor, alpha-blocker therapy should be initiated at the lowest dose. Stepwise increase in alpha-blocker dose may be associated with further lowering of blood pressure when taking a PDE5 inhibitor.
• Safety of combined use of PDE5 inhibitors and alpha-blockers may be affected by other variables, including intravascular volume depletion and other anti-hypertensive drugs.
Sildenafil tablets have systemic vasodilatory properties and may further lower blood pressure in patients taking anti-hypertensive medications.
In a separate drug interaction study, when amlodipine, 5 mg or 10 mg, and sildenafil tablets, 100 mg were orally administered concomitantly to hypertensive patients mean additional blood pressure reduction of 8 mmHg systolic and 7 mmHg diastolic were noted
Adverse Reactions with the Concomitant Use of Ritonavir
The concomitant administration of the protease inhibitor ritonavir substantially increases serum concentrations of sildenafil (11-fold increase in AUC). If sildenafil tablets are prescribed to patients taking ritonavir, caution should be used. Data from subjects exposed to high systemic levels of sildenafil are limited. Decreased blood pressure, syncope, and prolonged erection were reported in some healthy volunteers exposed to high doses of sildenafil (200 to 800 mg). To decrease the chance of adverse reactions in patients taking ritonavir, a decrease in sildenafil dosage is recommended.
Combination with other PDE5 Inhibitors or Other Erectile Dysfunction Therapies
The safety and efficacy of combinations of sildenafil tablets with other PDE5 Inhibitors, including REVATIO or other pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) treatments containing sildenafil, or other treatments for erectile dysfunction have not been studied. Such combinations may further lower blood pressure. Therefore, the use of such combinations is not recommended.
Effects on Bleeding
There have been postmarketing reports of bleeding events in patients who have taken sildenafil tablets. A causal relationship between sildenafil tablets and these events has not been established. In humans, sildenafil tablets have no effect on bleeding time when taken alone or with aspirin. However,in vitro studies with human platelets indicate that sildenafil potentiates the antiaggregatory effect of sodium nitroprusside (a nitric oxide donor). In addition, the combination of heparin and sildenafil tablets had an additive effect on bleeding time in the anesthetized rabbit, but this interaction has not been studied in humans.
The safety of sildenafil tablets is unknown in patients with bleeding disorders and patients with active peptic ulceration.
Counseling Patients About Sexually Transmitted Diseases
The use of sildenafil tablets offers no protection against sexually transmitted diseases. Counseling of patients about the protective measures necessary to guard against sexually transmitted diseases, including the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), may be considered.
Common Side Effects
• upset stomach
• abnormal vision, such as changes in color vision (such as having a blue color tinge) and blurred vision
• stuffy or runny nose
• back pain
• muscle pain
In addition, heart attack, stroke, irregular heartbeats and death have happened rarely in men taking sildenafil tablets. Most, but not all, of these men had heart problems before taking sildenafil tablets. It is not known if sildenafil tablets caused these problems.
Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of finasteride. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
You may report side effects via the FDA MedWatch Program at www.fda.gov/medwatch or 1-800-FDA-1088.
Please read the Patient Information in the accompanying full Prescribing Information.
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