What if Sildenafil doesn’t work?

A study suggests that the risk factors of cardiovascular disease in men are almost similar to erectile dysfunction. As the incidence of cardiovascular problems rises, so do numbers of male patients complaining about their problem of maintaining an erection. Luckily, while modern medicine was developing an anti-hypertensive drug, they found out that the medication also helps to cure erectile dysfunction. The active compound in the medicine is Sildenafil. Nowadays due to high availability of the drug, more and more men with erectile dysfunction are being treated in primary care. This article will explore the efficacy of Sildenafil in treating erectile dysfunction, what circumstances will reduce its effect and is there an alternative treatment if it doesn’t work.

What is the Sildenafil success rate?

Before talking about Sildenafil’s efficacy rate, it is best to explore the meaning and possible causes of erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is when a man is unable to achieve and maintain an erection firm enough to have a complete intercourse. This incidence tends to increase with age and health comorbidities. That being said, erectile dysfunction can be classified into into its causes which are:

  • Organic
  • Mixed
  • Psychological

A systematic review reveals that Sildenafil treated erectile dysfunction in all of the subgroups after 12 weeks of regimen. It was also reported that 99% of patients experienced improvement of ability to engage in sexual activity and achieve satisfaction. Hence further solidifies the usefulness of Sildenafil in treating erectile dysfunction.

What kind of circumstances reduce Sildenafil’s efficacy?

Despite all its success story, up to 30% of men who were prescribed Sildenafil complained the drug is not working for them. There are many reasons that can cause this problem. It includes:

  • Improper use of Sildenafil

It is fairly safe to take Sildenafil with or without food. However, a very heavy and fatty meal taken with the drug, does reduce its efficacy. Same goes with drinking alcohol. Therefore, it is advisable to take the medications in an empty stomach and avoid alcohol at all cost. Even one or two drinks can have a negative effect.

The timing of consuming Sildenafil also plays an important role. Like all medications, it takes time for Sildenafil to be processed by the body and produce the wanted effect. So it is best to take the medication 30 minutes to one hour before sex. Avoid taking it too early as well, because it will only last about 3-4 hours. Hence it is important to mind the time of your coitus schedule before taking the medication.

Furthermore, Sildenafil may need a few days of regimen before treating erectile dysfunction. Mainly because most first-timers taking the medication experience a high level of sexual performance anxiety. Hence, making the drug obsolete. It is best to wait a little bit and not instantaneously give up on Sildenafil usage.

  • Improper dosage

There are many brands of pills with Sildenafil as its active compound. Therefore, these pills also have a myriad range of dosage from 20mg to 100mg. Please discuss with your doctor the appropriate dosage for you. A study from 2013 has shown, patients who take 100mg Sildenafil have a higher rate of treating erectile dysfunction than those with 50mg.

  • Serious underlying psychological or medical conditions

Although Sildenafil can treat erectile dysfunction of any causes, serious underlying psychological problems such as anxiety and porn addiction may respond better with alternative treatment. It is crucial to treat erectile dysfunction on a case-by-case basis.

Some serious medical conditions can also reduce Sildenafil effects. Such are in the case of severely low testosterone levels, diabetic neuropathy and paraplegic. These groups of patients have a low chance of success even after Sildenafil regimen.

Are there alternative treatments for erectile dysfunction?


Yes, there are provenly effective alternatives for treating erectile dysfunction. One of the most prominent alternatives in treating psychological erectile dysfunction is counselling. Counsellors or therapists will help you overcome anxiety related sex. You may even invite your partner for a counselling session in order to explore ways of being intimate with each other.

It is not a strange site to see abundant bottles of traditional herbs claiming that it treats erectile dysfunction. While in fact, many of them do not and some may even harm your health. A proven alternative compared to Sildenafil are:

  • Dehydroepiandosterone (DHEA)
  • L-arginine
  • Ginseng
  • Propionyl-L-carnitine

Please take note that the list above is only the name of active ingredients. Proper considerations and self-research are required prior to consuming them. This is to ensure that the compound is safe for your consumption.


Erectile dysfunction should not be ignored as it can hamper a person’s quality of life significantly. Treating them with Sildenafil is both safe and effective.