Viagra is so popular that its name has become synonymous with ED treatment — just like Ziploc has with plastic bags.
But it’s just a marketing name for the medication called sildenafil citrate.
Pfizer Pharmaceuticals patented Viagra in 1996. It’s been a wild success since it entered the market in 1998.
But in 2013, Teva Pharmaceuticals made a generic form of sildenafil to compete with Viagra.
After a long court battle and approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Pfizer paid Teva to not release their generic form until 2017.
So, here’s what you should know about it — how it works, how it compares to Viagra, and what precautions you should take.
Sildenafil is a phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor. This means that it helps block the PDE5 enzyme that affects certain muscles in your penis and heart.
How it works for ED
PDE5 can restrict blood flow to blood vessels in the spongy penis tissue called corpus cavernosa. This tissue helps your penis get erect when you’re aroused. During arousal, it becomes filled with blood.
Teva sildenafil and other similar medications help stop PDE5 from restricting blood flow into these blood vessels. By doing this, it helps your penis get enough blood to maintain an erection.
How it works for PAH
PAH can cause smooth muscle in your lungs to become inflamed and restrict blood flow in certain lung arteries.
PDE5 inhibitors like Teva sildenafil help dilate these arteries and reduce your blood pressure.
You can get Teva sildenafil with a prescription from your doctor. It comes in the following tablet sizes:
- 25 milligrams (mg)
- 50 mg
- 100 mg
It also comes as an oral suspension (liquid form) or an injection given by your doctor.
Spoiler alert: There’s no real difference between Viagra and Teva sildenafil.
Remember that the name of the drug sold as Viagra is sildenafil citrate. The difference in names is really just for marketing reasons. The main functional ingredient is the same.
Teva sildenafil is a generic version of Viagra that’s sold and branded by a different company. This means that it’s typically sold for much lower prices since no marketing dollars are needed to sell it.
There are also some medical reasons for the distinction between Teva sildenafil and Viagra.
Teva sildenafil is approved to treat ED and PAH
Viagra is currently only legally approved for use to treat ED. It’s not prescribed to treat other conditions like PAH.
Teva sildenafil is legally approved to treat both ED and PAH.
Teva sildenafil pills are white, not blue
There’s also a visual difference in the two. Viagra is infamous for being the “little blue pill.” But Teva sildenafil tablets are simply off-white or white in color.
Teva sildenafil only works properly if you take it about an hour before you have sex.
You need to be sexually aroused to get erect and for the medication to sustain the erection. Teva sildenafil takes effect about 30 to 60 minutes after you’ve taken it.
Like other medications, the effects of Teva sildenafil might be delayed if you eat right before you take it. This is because food competes for absorption from the stomach into the bloodstream.
Before you decide to use Teva sildenafil, talk to a doctor. They can determine if you’re a good candidate, what dose is right for you, and how to introduce it into your routine.
You should also consider the pros and cons of this medication, as summarized below.
- typically successful in treating ED and PAH
- only needs to be taken right before sex rather than on a regular schedule
Teva sildenafil lasts about 2 to 3 hours before your erection begins to subside.
You may be able to get erect from Teva sildenafil for up to 5 hours (or even
Other factors that can affect how long it lasts include:
- Diet. Many foods and nutrients can affect your blood flow.
- Lifestyle. Your level of activity and exercise can influence your blood flow.
- Age. How old you are contributes to your overall health and how efficiently your blood flows.
- Medications. Many drugs can affect your blood pressure.
- Overall health. Many underlying health issues can affect your blood flow and other mechanisms that affect your ability to get an erection, such as nerve sensitivity.
You shouldn’t take Teva sildenafil if you:
Teva sildenafil and other similar medications have the following possible side effects and risks:
- sudden rash
- dangerously low blood pressure
- sinus congestion
- difficulty digesting or gas
- head pain
- redness or flushing in your face
- pain in your back
- sudden loss of hearing or vision
- priapism (erection that lasts longer than 4 hours and can be painful)
See a doctor if you notice any of the following uncommon or rare side effects when you take Teva sildenafil:
- sharp or burning chest pain that gets worse over time
- pain in your bladder
- stomach pain or burning
- feelings of tingling, crawling, or numbness
- blood in your pee
- pee with an unusual, cloudy consistency
- peeing a lot more than usual or pain when you pee
- swelling in your face, hands, or other extremities
Teva sildenafil is a generic form of the medication that’s also sold as Viagra.
Sildenafil is very successful at treating ED and PAH. But talk to a doctor before you begin using it.
Sildenafil needs to be used a certain way to work properly, and it can have a variety of side effects or interactions that are potentially dangerous.