Sildenafil: from the bench to the bedside

Michelakis, Evangelos
October 2000
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;10/31/2000, Vol. 163 Issue 9, p1171
Academic Journal
Erectile dysfunction affects a large segment of the male population, and in most cases impaired relaxation of the smooth muscle cells in the corpus cavernosum and the penile arteries is a factor. Sildenafil, a relatively specific vasodilator of the penile circulation, has revolutionized the treatment of impotence. This article describes the biochemistry of erection, outlines the problems that can lead to erectile dysfunction and explains how sildenafil acts to relieve these problems at the cellular and molecular level. Other aspects of therapy, such as potential side effects and absolute and relative contraindications, are also discussed.


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