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What's The Difference Between Viagra Connect, Viagra And Sildenafil?

Retired couple looking happy in white bedsheets

In Spring 2018, the erectile dysfunction medication Viagra will become available to buy over the counter in pharmacies for the first time. Marketed under the brand name Viagra Connect, this medication will be available without a prescription; to obtain it you will simply need to have a short conversation with the pharmacist. This is good news for many men who are affected by ED, as it will enable quicker, easier access to the medication they need. 

If you’re already using Viagra or another ED tablet, you may be curious about Viagra Connect and how it compares to other treatments. To make the association between various ED tablets clearer, we’ve put together a guide to the differences and similarities between Viagra Connect, Viagra and Sildenafil.

What is the active ingredient?

Viagra Connect, Viagra and Sildenafil all contain the same active ingredient: sildenafil citrate. Sildenafil citrate is a chemical that temporarily increases blood flow to the penis, enabling an erection when sexually aroused.

Because all three treatments contain sildenafil citrate as their active ingredient, they all work in exactly the same way.

Who can take it?

To take any of these three tablets you must be a man who is experiencing erectile dysfunction, and you must be able to take sildenafil citrate safely. Men with a history of certain conditions such as liver failure, or those who are taking certain medications such as nitrates will not be able to take sildenafil citrate.

Viagra Connect will only be sold over the counter to men over the age of 18.

What is the dosage?

The dosage of a medicine determines how much of the active ingredient it contains. In other words, the higher the dosage, the stronger its effects. Viagra and Sildenafil are available in three dosages: 25mg, 50mg and 100mg. Viagra Connect will only be available in one dosage: 50mg. The good news is that 50mg is the most popular dosage for Viagra, and most men who use this dosage find it to be very effective. If you are currently taking a higher or lower dosage of Viagra or Sildenafil, you should talk to your doctor before switching over to the Viagra Connect.

What is the pack size?

Viagra Connect will be available in pack sizes of 4 to 16 tablets. 

How do you take it?

Viagra, Viagra Connect and Sildenafil should all be taken in exactly the same way. To take your medication correctly you should:

  • Take one tablet one hour before you plan to have sex
  • Avoid eating a heavy meal or drinking alcohol before or after taking your tablet
  • Avoid drinking grapefruit juice as this can interact negatively with the medicine
  • Become sexually aroused (if you are not aroused you will not achieve an erection)

The effects of Viagra, Viagra Connect and Sildenafil typically last for at least four hours. During this time you should be able to achieve and maintain an erection sufficient for sex whenever you become sexually aroused.

Who is the manufacturer?

Pfizer is the manufacturer of Viagra and Viagra Connect. This company first developed sildenafil citrate as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, branding the medicine as Viagra. 

When the patent expired on Viagra, other manufacturers were able to develop their version of Viagra; these medicines are referred to as generic Viagra and are usually labelled as Sildenafil. To be considered a legitimate generic version of Viagra, a medicine must contain exactly the same active ingredient (sildenafil citrate) in the same dosage. 

Various types of Sildenafil are available from different manufacturers.

What does the Viagra Connect tablet look like?

Viagra and Viagra Connect look the same. The tablets are blue and diamond-shaped; on one side they say PFIZER and on the other side they will display either V50 if using Viagra connect 50mg or VGR followed by either 25/50/100 if using Viagra 25mg/50mg/100mg.

Sildenafil tablets will look different depending upon which manufacturers they have been made by. They are often blue and will usually indicate the dosage on one side.

What are the side effects?

Because Viagra, Viagra Connect and Sildenafil all contain the same active ingredient, they are all associated with the same side effects. These side effects are typically mild and can include nausea, vomiting, facial flushing, pounding headache, nasal congestion, indigestion and blurred vision. 

Higher dosages of sildenafil citrate may cause stronger side effects, so if you are experiencing any issues, you may want to talk to your GP about switching to a different dosage.

How does this treatment compare to other ED tablets?

Though Viagra Connect will make it easier for men to get ED treatment, it won’t necessarily be the best treatment for all men. Along with different dosages of Viagra, other ED tablets to consider are Cialis, Spedra, and Levitra. 

Cialis and its generic equivalent Tadalafil are notable for their long window of effectiveness. After taking one tablet you can expect the effects to last up to 36 hours. This means that during this period you should be able to get an erection whenever you become sexually aroused. 

Spedra is notable for being particularly fast acting, while Levitra is the tablet most commonly recommended for diabetic men. Cialis Daily is an excellent option for men having regular sex; this tablet is taken every day in a low dosage.

If you’re interested in trying out a few different ED tablets, visit our clinic to check out our ED Combo Pack. You can also compare the various treatments available here.