Visual Side Effects Linked to Sildenafil Consumption: An Update

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Title: Visual Side Effects Linked to Sildenafil Consumption: An Update
Authors: Ausó-Monreal, Eva | Gómez-Vicente, Violeta | Esquiva, Gema
Research Group/s: Grupo de Investigación en Alimentación y Nutrición (ALINUT) | Grupo de Óptica y Percepción Visual (GOPV) | Genética Humana y de Mamíferos (GHM) | Neurobiología del Sistema Visual y Terapia de Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas (NEUROVIS)
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Óptica, Farmacología y Anatomía
Keywords: Phosphodiesterase | Guanylyl cyclase | Viagra | Retinal toxicity
Knowledge Area: Anatomía y Embriología Humana
Issue Date: 12-Mar-2021
Publisher: MDPI
Citation: Ausó E, Gómez-Vicente V, Esquiva G. Visual Side Effects Linked to Sildenafil Consumption: An Update. Biomedicines. 2021; 9(3):291.
Abstract: Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors such as Viagra® (sildenafil citrate) have demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED) by inducing cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) elevation followed by vasodilation and increased blood flow. It also exerts minor inhibitory action against PDE6, which is present exclusively in rod and cone photoreceptors. The effects of sildenafil on the visual system have been investigated in a wide variety of clinical and preclinical studies due to the fact that a high dose of sildenafil may cause mild and transient visual symptoms in some patients. A literature review was performed using PubMed, Cochrane Library and Clinical Trials databases from 1990 up to 2020, focusing on the pathophysiology of visual disorders induced by sildenafil. The aim of this review was not only to gather and summarize the information available on sildenafil clinical trials (CTs), but also to spot subpopulations with increased risk of developing undesirable visual side effects. This PDE inhibitor has been associated with transient and reversible ocular side effects, including changes in color vision and light perception, blurred vision, photophobia, conjunctival hyperemia and keratitis, and alterations in the electroretinogram (ERG). Sildenafil may induce a reversible increase in intraocular pressure (IOP) and a few case reports suggest it is involved in the development of nonarteritic ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION). Reversible idiopathic serous macular detachment, central serous retinopathy and ERG disturbances have been related to the significant impact of sildenafil on retinal perfusion. So far, sildenafil does not seem to cause permanent toxic effects on chorioretinal tissue and photoreceptors as long as the therapeutic dose is not exceeded and is taken under a physician’s direction to treat a medical condition. However, the recreational use of sildenafil can lead to harmful side effects, including vision changes.
ISSN: 2227-9059
DOI: 10.3390/biomedicines9030291
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Peer Review: si
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Appears in Collections:INV - GHM - Artículos de Revistas
INV - NEUROVIS - Artículos de Revistas
INV - ALINUT - Artículos de Revistas
INV - GOPV - Artículos de Revistas

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