Sildenafil: Package Insert and Label Information (Page 2 of 5)


Concomitant use of sildenafil with nitrates in any form is contraindicated [ see Contraindications (4)] .
Strong CYP3A Inhibitors
Concomitant use of sildenafil with strong CYP3A inhibitors is not recommended [ see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

Moderate-to-Strong CYP3A Inducers
Concomitant use of sildenafil with moderate-to-strong CYP3A inducers (such as bosentan) decreases the sildenafil exposure. Dose up-titration of sildenafil may be needed when initiating treatment with moderate-to-strong CYP3A inducers. Reduce the dose of sildenafil to 20 mg three times a day when discontinuing treatment with moderate-to-strong CYP3A inducers [ see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3) and Clinical Studies (14)] .


8.1 Pregnancy

Risk Summary
Limited published data from randomized controlled trials, case-controlled trials, and case series do not report a clear association with sildenafil and major birth defects, miscarriage, or adverse maternal or fetal outcomes when sildenafil is used during pregnancy. There are risks to the mother and fetus from untreated pulmonary arterial hypertension (see Clinical Considerations). Animal reproduction studies conducted with sildenafil showed no evidence of embryo-fetal toxicity or teratogenicity at doses up to 32- and 65-times the recommended human dose (RHD) of 20 mg three times a day in rats and rabbits, respectively (see Data).
The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2 to 4% and 15 to 20%, respectively.

Clinical Considerations
Disease-Associated Maternal and/or Embryo/Fetal Risk
Pregnant women with untreated pulmonary arterial hypertension are at risk for heart failure, stroke, preterm delivery, and maternal and fetal death.
Animal Data
No evidence of teratogenicity, embryotoxicity, or fetotoxicity was observed in pregnant rats or rabbits dosed with sildenafil 200 mg/kg/day during organogenesis, a level that is, on a mg/m 2 basis, 32- and 65-times, respectively, the recommended human dose (RHD) of 20 mg three times a day. In a rat pre- and postnatal development study, the no-observed-adverse-effect dose was 30 mg/kg/day (equivalent to 5-times the RHD on a mg/m 2 basis).

8.2 Lactation

Risk Summary Limited published data from a case report describe the presence of sildenafil and its active metabolite in human milk. There is insufficient information about the effects of sildenafil on the breastfed infant and no information on the effects of sildenafil on milk production. Limited clinical data during lactation preclude a clear determination of the risk of sildenafil to an infant during lactation.

8.4 Pediatric Use

The safety and efficacy of sildenafil have been established in pediatric patients 1 to 17 years old, for the treatment of PAH (WHO Group I) to improve exercise ability and, in patients too young to perform standard exercising testing, pulmonary hemodynamics thought to underlie improvements in exercise Use of sildenafil for this indication is supported by evidence from adequate and well-controlled studies in adults with additional PK and safety data in pediatric patients aged 1 year and older [ see Adverse Reactions (6.1), Clinical Studies (14)]. The safety and effectiveness of sildenafil have not been established in pediatric patients younger than 1 year of age. During the conduct of the pediatric studies (STARTS-1 and STARTS-2) [ see Clinical Studies (14)], an imbalance in the number of deaths was noted: 5/55 (9.1%), 10/74 (13.5%), and 22/100 (22%) in the sildenafil low, medium, and high dose groups, respectively. The causes of death were related to the progression of PAH. This safety observation in pediatrics was not confirmed in a study conducted in adults designed to evaluate this risk (Study A1481324). Given the beneficial effects on clinical worsening and death observed in adults with increasing doses (Study A1481324) and the expected similarity of disease in pediatrics and adults, a causal association for the observed dose-related effect on mortality in pediatric patients is unlikely, and therefore, the available data support dosing in pediatric patients >45 kg up to a maximum of 40 mg three times a day.

8.5 Geriatric Use

Clinical studies of sildenafil did not include sufficient numbers of patients aged 65 and over to determine whether they respond differently from younger patients. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between the elderly and younger patients. In general, dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy [ see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

8.6 Patients with Hepatic Impairment

No dose adjustment for mild to moderate impairment is required. Severe impairment has not been studied [ see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].

8.7 Patients with Renal Impairment

No dose adjustment is required (including severe impairment CLcr <30 mL/min) [ see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].


In studies with healthy volunteers of single doses up to 800 mg, adverse events were similar to those seen at lower doses but rates and severities were increased.
In cases of overdose, standard supportive measures should be adopted as required. Renal dialysis is not expected to accelerate clearance as sildenafil is highly bound to plasma proteins and it is not eliminated in the urine.


Sildenafil for oral suspension, phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitor, is the citrate salt of sildenafil, a selective inhibitor of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-specific phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE-5). Sildenafil is also marketed as VIAGRA® for erectile dysfunction.
Sildenafil citrate is designated chemically as 1-[[3-(6,7-dihydro-1-methyl-7-oxo-3-propyl-1H-pyrazolo[4,3-d] pyrimidin-5-yl)-4-ethoxyphenyl] sulfonyl]-4-methylpiperazine citrate and has the following structural formula:

(click image for full-size original)

Sildenafil citrate is a white to off white crystalline powder with a solubility of 3.5 mg/mL in water and a molecular weight of 666.7.
Sildenafil for oral suspension is supplied as white to off-white crystalline powders containing 1.57 g of sildenafil citrate USP (equivalent to 1.12 g sildenafil) in an amber glass bottle intended for reconstitution. Following reconstitution with 90 mL water, the total volume of the oral suspension is 112 mL and the oral suspension contains 10 mg/mL sildenafil. The inactive ingredients include anhydrous citric acid, colloidal silicon dioxide, grape flavor, sodium benzoate, sorbitol, sucralose, titanium dioxide, tri sodium citrate dihydrate, and xanthan gum. In addition to the bottle, a press-in bottle adapter and an oral dosing syringe (with 0.5 mL and 2 mL dose markings) are provided.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

Sildenafil is an inhibitor of cGMP specific PDE-5 in the smooth muscle of the pulmonary vasculature, where PDE-5 is responsible for degradation of cGMP. Sildenafil, therefore, increases cGMP within pulmonary vascular smooth muscle cells resulting in relaxation. In patients with PAH, this can lead to vasodilation of the pulmonary vascular bed and, to a lesser degree, vasodilatation in the systemic circulation.
Studies in vitro have shown that sildenafil is selective for PDE5. Its effect is more potent on PDE5 than on other known phosphodiesterases (10-fold for PDE6, greater than 80-fold for PDE1, greater than 700-fold for PDE2, PDE3, PDE4, PDE7, PDE8, PDE9, PDE10, and PDE11). The approximately 4,000-fold selectivity for PDE-5 versus PDE3 is important because PDE3 is involved in control of cardiac contractility. Sildenafil is only about 10 times as potent for PDE5 compared to PDE6, an enzyme found in the retina and involved in the phototransduction pathway of the retina. This lower selectivity is thought to be the basis for abnormalities related to color vision observed with higher doses or plasma levels [ see Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)]. In addition to pulmonary vascular smooth muscle and the corpus cavernosum, PDE5 is also found in other tissues including vascular and visceral smooth muscle and in platelets. The inhibition of PDE5 in these tissues by sildenafil may be the basis for the enhanced platelet anti-aggregatory activity of nitric oxide observed in vitro, and the mild peripheral arterial-venous dilatation in vivo.

12.2 Pharmacodynamics

Effects of Sildenafil on Hemodynamic Measures
Patients on all sildenafil doses achieved a statistically significant reduction in mean pulmonary arterial pressure (mPAP) compared to those on placebo in a study with no background vasodilators [ see SUPER-1 in Clinical Studies (14)] . Data on other hemodynamic measures for the sildenafil 20 mg three times a day and placebo dosing regimens is displayed in Table 2. The relationship between these effects and improvements in 6-minute walk distance is unknown. Table 2. Changes from Baseline in Hemodynamic Parameters at Week 12 [mean (95% CI)] for the Sildenafil 20 mg Three Times a Day and Placebo Group

Placebo (n = 65) * Sildenafil 20 mg(n = 65) *
mPAP (mmHg) 0.6 (-0.8, 2.0) -2.1 (-4.3, 0.0)
PVR (dyn⋅s/cm 5) 49 (-54, 153) -122 (-217, -27)
SVR (dyn⋅s/cm 5) -78 (-197, 41) -167 (-307, -26)
RAP (mmHg) 0.3 (-0.9, 1.5) -0.8 (-1.9, 0.3)
CO (L/min) -0.1 (-0.4, 0.2) 0.4 (0.1, 0.7)
HR (beats/min) -1.3 (-4.1, 1.4) -3.7 (-5.9, -1.4)

mPAP = mean pulmonary arterial pressure; PVR= pulmonary vascular resistance; SVR = systemic vascular resistance; RAP = right atrial pressure; CO = cardiac output; HR = heart rate.
∗The number of patients per treatment group varied slightly for each parameter due to missing assessments.
Pediatric Patients
Patients on sildenafil medium and high dose groups achieved a dose related improvements in
pulmonary vascular resistance index (PVRI) and mean pulmonary arterial pressure (mPAP) compared to those on placebo [ s ee STARTS-1 in Clinical Studies (14)]. Improvements were observed with cardiac index in all three sildenafil dose groups over placebo. Data on other hemodynamic measures for the sildenafil low, medium and high dose groups compared to placebo is displayed in Table 3. Table 3. Placebo Corrected Changes in Hemodynamic Parameters by Dose Group

Parameter [Estimate (95% CI)] Low Dose Medium Dose High Dose
PVRI (%) -2% (-20%, 20%) n = 37 -18% (-32%, -2%) n = 51 -27% (-39%, -14%) n = 68
mPAP (mmHg) 1.6 (-4.5, 7.6) n = 39 -3.5 (-8.9, 1.9) n = 55 -7.3 (-12.4, -2.1) n = 71
CI (%) 10% (-4%, 26%) n = 37 4% (-7%, 18%) n = 51 15% (3%, 29%) n = 69
SVRI (%) -9% (-22%, 7%) n = 37 -5% (-17%, 10%) n = 50 -16% (-26%, -4%) n = 68
RAP (mmHg) -0.17 (-1.91, 1.57) n = 39 -0.19 (-1.73, 1.36) n = 55 -1.14 (-2.61, 0.33) n = 71
HR (%) 3% (-5%, 12%) n = 39 2% (-5%, 9%) n = 55 -2% (-9%, 5%) n = 71

Abbreviations: CI = cardiac index; HR = heart rate; mPAP = mean pulmonary arterial
pressure; PVRI = pulmonary vascular resistance index; RAP = right atrial pressure; SVRI = systemic vascular resistance index.
Note: n = 52, 56, 55, 54, 56, and 56 placebo patients for PVRI, mPAP, CI, SVRI, RAP and HR, respectively.
Effects of Sildenafil on Blood Pressure
Single oral doses of sildenafil 100 mg administered to healthy volunteers produced decreases in supine blood pressure (mean maximum decrease in systolic/diastolic blood pressure of 8/5 mmHg). The decrease in blood pressure was most notable approximately 1 to 2 hours after dosing and was not different from placebo at 8 hours. Similar effects on blood pressure were noted with 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg doses of sildenafil, therefore the effects are not related to dose or plasma levels within this dosage range. Larger effects were recorded among patients receiving concomitant nitrates [ see Contraindications (4)].

Single oral doses of sildenafil up to 100 mg in healthy volunteers produced no clinically relevant effects on electrocardiogram (ECG). After chronic dosing of 80 mg three times a day to patients with PAH, no clinically relevant effects on ECG were reported.
After chronic dosing of 80 mg three times a day sildenafil to healthy volunteers, the largest mean change from baseline in supine systolic and supine diastolic blood pressures was a decrease of 9 mmHg and 8.4 mmHg, respectively.
After chronic dosing of 80 mg three times a day sildenafil to patients with systemic hypertension, the mean change from baseline in systolic and diastolic blood pressures was a decrease of 9.4 and 9.1 mmHg, respectively.
After chronic dosing of 80 mg three times a day sildenafil to patients with PAH, lesser reductions than above in systolic and diastolic blood pressures were observed (a decrease in both of 2 mmHg).
Effects of Sildenafil on Vision
At single oral doses of 100 mg and 200 mg, transient dose-related impairment of color discrimination (blue/green) was detected using the Farnsworth-Munsell 100-hue test, with peak effects near the time of peak plasma levels. This finding is consistent with the inhibition of PDE6, which is involved in phototransduction in the retina. An evaluation of visual function at doses up to 200 mg revealed no effects of sildenafil on visual acuity, intraocular pressure, or pupillometry. provides trustworthy package insert and label information about marketed drugs as submitted by manufacturers to the US Food and Drug Administration. Package information is not reviewed or updated separately by Every individual package label entry contains a unique identifier which can be used to secure further details directly from the US National Institutes of Health and/or the FDA.

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