The following serious adverse reactions of sildenafil are discussed in greater detail in other sections:
- Mortality with pediatric use
- Vision loss
- Hearing loss
- Vaso-occlusive crisis
Clinical Trials Experience
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.
Safety data of sildenafil citrate in adults were obtained from the 12-week, placebo-controlled clinical study (Study 1) and an open-label extension study in 277 sildenafil citrate-treated patients with PAH, WHO Group I Diagnostic Classification.
The overall frequency of discontinuation in sildenafil citrate -treated patients 20 mg TID was 3% and was the same for the placebo group.
At doses higher than the recommended 20 mg TID, there was a greater incidence of some adverse reactions including flushing, diarrhea, myalgia and visual disturbances. Visual disturbances were identified as mild and transient, and were predominately color-tinge to vision, but also increased sensitivity to light or blurred vision.
The incidence of retinal hemorrhage with sildenafil 20 mg TID was 1.4% versus 0% placebo and for all sildenafil doses studied was 1.9% versus 0% placebo. The incidence of eye hemorrhage at both 20 mg TID and at all doses studied was 1.4% for sildenafil versus 1.4% for placebo. The patients experiencing these reactions had risk factors for hemorrhage including concurrent anticoagulant therapy.
In a placebo-controlled fixed dose titration study (Study 2) of sildenafil citrate (starting with recommended dose of 20 mg TID and increased to 40 mg TID and then 80 mg TID) as an adjunct to intravenous epoprostenol in patients with PAH, the adverse reactions that were more frequent in the sildenafil citrate + epoprostenol group than in the epoprostenol group (greater than 6% difference).
The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of sildenafil (marketed for both PAH and erectile dysfunction). Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
In postmarketing experience with sildenafil at doses indicated for erectile dysfunction, serious cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and vascular events, including myocardial infarction, sudden cardiac death, ventricular arrhythmia, cerebrovascular hemorrhage, transient ischemic attack, hypertension, pulmonary hemorrhage, and subarachnoid and intracerebral hemorrhages have been reported in temporal association with the use of the drug. Most, but not all, of these patients had preexisting cardiovascular risk factors. Many of these events were reported to occur during or shortly after sexual activity, and a few were reported to occur shortly after the use of sildenafil without sexual activity. Others were reported to have occurred hours to days after use concurrent with sexual activity. It is not possible to determine whether these events are related directly to sildenafil, to sexual activity, to the patient’s underlying cardiovascular disease, or to a combination of these or other factors.
Seizure, seizure recurrence