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Viagra

Warnings
Precautions

WARNINGS

Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.

PRECAUTIONS

Cardiovascular

There is a potential for cardiac risk of sexual activity in patients with preexisting cardiovascular disease. Therefore, treatments for erectile dysfunction, including VIAGRA, 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.

VIAGRA has 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]. While this normally would be expected to be of little consequence in most patients, prior to prescribing VIAGRA, 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 VIAGRA – 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 VIAGRA in the following groups; if prescribed, this should be done with caution.

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 VIAGRA. 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.

VIAGRA 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 VIAGRA 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 VIAGRA, 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 2.5-11.8 cases per 100,000 in males aged ≥ 50. An observational study evaluated whether recent use of PDE5 inhibitors, as a class, was associated with acute onset of NAION. The results suggest an approximate 2 fold increase in the risk of NAION within 5 half-lives of PDE5 inhibitor use. From this information, it is not possible to determine whether these events are related directly to the use of PDE5 inhibitors or to other factors [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

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 VIAGRA, 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 VIAGRA, for this uncommon condition.

There are no controlled clinical data on the safety or efficacy of VIAGRA in patients with retinitis pigmentosa (a minority of these patients have genetic disorders of retinal phosphodiesterases).

Hearing Loss

Physicians should advise patients to stop taking PDE5 inhibitors, including VIAGRA, 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 VIAGRA. It is not possible to determine whether these events are related directly to the use of PDE5 inhibitors or to other factors [see ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Hypotension when Co-administered with Alpha-blockers or Anti-hypertensives

Alpha-blockers

Caution is advised when PDE5 inhibitors are co-administered with alpha-blockers. PDE5 inhibitors, including VIAGRA, 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 [see DRUG INTERACTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY] 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 [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].
  • 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.
Anti-hypertensives

VIAGRA has 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 VIAGRA, 100 mg were orally administered concomitantly to hypertensive patients mean additional blood pressure reduction of 8 mmHg systolic and 7 mmHg diastolic were noted [see DRUG INTERACTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

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 VIAGRA is 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 (200-800 mg). To decrease the chance of adverse reactions in patients taking ritonavir, a decrease in sildenafil dosage is recommended [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, DRUG INTERACTIONS and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Combination With Other PDE5 Inhibitors Or Other Erectile Dysfunction Therapies

The safety and efficacy of combinations of VIAGRA 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 VIAGRA. A causal relationship between VIAGRA and these events has not been established. In humans, VIAGRA has 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 VIAGRA had an additive effect on bleeding time in the anesthetized rabbit, but this interaction has not been studied in humans.

The safety of VIAGRA is unknown in patients with bleeding disorders and patients with active peptic ulceration.

Counseling Patients About Sexually Transmitted Diseases

The use of VIAGRA 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.

Patient Counseling Information

See FDA-approved patient labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION)

Nitrates

Physicians should discuss with patients the contraindication of VIAGRA with regular and/or intermittent use of nitric oxide donors, such as organic nitrates or organic nitrites in any form [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].

Concomitant Use with Drugs Which Lower Blood Pressure

Physicians should advise patients of the potential for VIAGRA to augment the blood pressure lowering effect of alpha-blockers and anti-hypertensive medications. Concomitant administration of VIAGRA and an alpha-blocker may lead to symptomatic hypotension in some patients. Therefore, when VIAGRA is co-administered with alpha-blockers, patients should be stable on alpha-blocker therapy prior to initiating VIAGRA treatment and VIAGRA should be initiated at the lowest dose [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Cardiovascular Considerations

Physicians should discuss with patients the potential cardiac risk of sexual activity in patients with preexisting cardiovascular risk factors. Patients who experience symptoms (e.g., angina pectoris, dizziness, nausea) upon initiation of sexual activity should be advised to refrain from further activity and should discuss the episode with their physician [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Sudden Loss of Vision

Physicians should advise patients to stop use of all PDE5 inhibitors, including VIAGRA, 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 cause of decreased vision including possible permanent loss of vision, that has been reported rarely post-marketing in temporal association with the use of all PDE5 inhibitors. It is not possible to determine whether these events are related directly to the use of PDE5 inhibitors or to other factors. Physicians should discuss with patients the increased risk of NAION in individuals who have already experienced NAION in one eye. Physicians should also discuss with patients the increased risk of NAION among the general population in patients with a “crowded” optic disc, although evidence is insufficient to support screening of prospective users of PDE5 inhibitor, including VIAGRA, for this uncommon condition [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Sudden Hearing Loss

Physicians should advise patients to stop taking PDE5 inhibitors, including VIAGRA, 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 VIAGRA. It is not possible to determine whether these events are related directly to the use of PDE5 inhibitors or to other factors [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and ADVERSE REACTIONS].

Priapism

Physicians should warn patients that prolonged erections greater than 4 hours and priapism (painful erections greater than 6 hours in duration) have been reported infrequently since market approval of VIAGRA. 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 may result [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Avoid Use with other PDE5 Inhibitors

Physicians should inform patients not to take VIAGRA with other PDE5 inhibitors including REVATIO or other pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) treatments containing sildenafil. Sildenafil is also marketed as REVATIO for the treatment of PAH. The safety and efficacy of VIAGRA with other PDE5 inhibitors, including REVATIO, have not been studied [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Sexually Transmitted Disease

The use of VIAGRA 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 [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility

Carcinogenesis

Sildenafil was not carcinogenic when administered to rats for 24 months at a dose resulting in total systemic drug exposure (AUCs) for unbound sildenafil and its major metabolite of 29-and 42-times, for male and female rats, respectively, the exposures observed in human males given the Maximum Recommended Human Dose (MRHD) of 100 mg. Sildenafil was not carcinogenic when administered to mice for 18-21 months at dosages up to the Maximum Tolerated Dose (MTD) of 10 mg/kg/day, approximately 0.6 times the MRHD on a mg/m² basis.

Mutagenesis

Sildenafil was negative in in vitro bacterial and Chinese hamster ovary cell assays to detect mutagenicity, and in vitro human lymphocytes and in vivo mouse micronucleus assays to detect clastogenicity.

Impairment Of Fertility

There was no impairment of fertility in rats given sildenafil up to 60 mg/kg/day for 36 days to females and 102 days to males, a dose producing an AUC value of more than 25 times the human male AUC.

Use In Specific Populations

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Category B

VIAGRA is not indicated for use in women. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of sildenafil in pregnant women.

Risk Summary

Based on animal data, VIAGRA is not predicted to increase the risk of adverse developmental outcomes in humans.

Animal Data

No evidence of teratogenicity, embryotoxicity or fetotoxicity was observed in rats and rabbits which received up to 200 mg/kg/day during organogenesis. These doses represent, respectively, about 20 and 40 times the Maximum Recommended Human Dose (MRHD) on a mg/m² basis in a 50 kg subject. In the rat pre-and postnatal development study, the no observed adverse effect dose was 30 mg/kg/day given for 36 days. In the nonpregnant rat the AUC at this dose was about 20 times human AUC.

Pediatric Use

VIAGRA is not indicated for use in pediatric patients. Safety and effectiveness have not been established in pediatric patients.

Geriatric Use

Healthy elderly volunteers (65 years or over) had a reduced clearance of sildenafil resulting in approximately 84% and 107% higher plasma AUC values of sildenafil and its active N-desmethyl metabolite, respectively, compared to those seen in healthy young volunteers (18-45 years) [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. Due to age-differences in plasma protein binding, the corresponding increase in the AUC of free (unbound) sildenafil and its active N-desmethyl metabolite were 45% and 57%, respectively [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Of the total number of subjects in clinical studies of Viagra, 18% were 65 years and older, while 2% were 75 years and older. No overall differences in safety or efficacy were observed between older ( > 65 years of age) and younger ( < 65 years of age) subjects.

However, since higher plasma levels may increase the incidence of adverse reactions, a starting dose of 25 mg should be considered in older subjects due to the higher systemic exposure [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION].

Renal Impairment

No dose adjustment is required for mild (CLcr=50-80 mL/min) and moderate (CLcr=30-49 mL/min) renal impairment. In volunteers with severe renal impairment (Clcr < 30 mL/min), sildenafil clearance was reduced, resulting in higher plasma exposure of sildenafil (~2 fold), approximately doubling of Cmax and AUC. A starting dose of 25 mg should be considered in patients with severe renal impairment [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Hepatic Impairment

In volunteers with hepatic impairment (Child-Pugh Class A and B), sildenafil clearance was reduced, resulting in higher plasma exposure of sildenafil (47% for Cmax and 85% for AUC). The pharmacokinetics of sildenafil in patients with severely impaired hepatic function (Child-Pugh Class C) have not been studied. A starting dose of 25 mg should be considered in patients with any degree of hepatic impairment [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/21/2014
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Warnings
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