Duration Health

sildenafil

sildenafil

WildernessMedication

Prescription only

Introduction

Sildenafil may be used in emergency circumstances to treat high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE). It works by opening up the blood vessels in the lungs (pulmonary vasodilation). While this medication is included here because of its emergency use in altitude illness, it is best known for its use as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, under the brand name Viagra.

When to avoid

Sildenafil cannot be used if you intend to continue ascending. Anyone with HAPE must descend and seek medical attention immediately.

When is it dangerous

The evidence for the use of sildenafil is mixed and it has not been proven to treat HAPE. This medication is dangerous in those with heart disease, low blood pressure, or those taking other medications that containe nitrates.

When is it used

High altitude pulmonary edema 50 mg every 8 hours, and immediate descent, and seek immediate emergency medical care

Adult doses are shown, unless otherwise specified. Refer to weight-based dosing guidelines for pediatric patients.

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