Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors, such as sildenafil
(for example, Viagra), have made a big difference in the
erection problems (erectile dysfunction). But they can
cause life-threatening side effects for anyone who also takes nitroglycerin or
another medicine containing an organic nitrate. This combination can make your
blood pressure fall too low. This can possibly cause a
heart attack, or death. Do not take nitrate medicines up to 24 hours after you take sildenafil (for example, Viagra) or vardenafil
(for example, Levitra). Do not take nitrate medicines up to 48 hours after you take tadalafil (for example, Cialis).
Medicines that contain organic nitrates include:
Nitroglycerin (such as Minitran, Nitro-Dur,
Isosorbide (such as
Nitroprusside (such as Nipride).
or amyl nitrate. These are sometimes called "poppers." They are sometimes
Nitrates found in foods are not a danger when taking
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Decision Points focus on key medical care decisions that are important to many health problems.
Levine GN, et al. (2012). Sexual activity and cardiovascular disease: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 125(8): 1058–1072.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerChristopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology