Viagra Drug Class: Is Sildenafil A Controlled Substance?

Viagra is a prescription drug used for erectile dysfunction. While not currently a controlled substance, misusing Viagra can still pose serious risks to your health.

Is Viagra A Controlled Substance?

Viagra is the brand name for sildenafil citrate. It is an erectile dysfunction (ED) medication that has been on the market for nearly 20 years.

While Viagra and other ED medications such as Cialis (tadalafil) or Levitra (vardenafil) are generally safe and effective, taking them recreationally can be dangerous. However, Viagra is not not considered a controlled substance at this time.

Why Viagra Is Not Currently A Controlled Substance

Controlled substances are federally regulated drugs that are known to have addictive properties or produce physical dependence in people who use them.

Viagra is not considered a controlled substance, because you cannot get high from Viagra, or become physically or psychologically addicted to it.

However, due to many reports of recreational abuse of the drug, many healthcare professionals are now pushing for Viagra to be reclassified as a controlled substance.

What Drug Class Is Viagra?

Viagra belongs to a class of drugs referred to as phosphodiesterase-5, or phosphodiesterase type 5 PDE5 inhibitors.

It works by increasing blood flow to the penis, which helps to produce and maintain an erection. Typically, Viagra comes in tablet form in three strengths: 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg.

Arguments In Favor Of Classifying Viagra As A Controlled Substance

While people cannot become addicted to Viagra, there are several dangerous side effects and links to risky sexual behavior that have people rethinking whether Viagra should be a controlled substance.

Men who use erectile dysfunction drugs recreationally engage in unprotected sex up to six times more often than people who don’t. This behavior leads to increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS.

Researchers have also found that Viagra is increasingly used along with drugs such as methamphetamine to create a more intense sexual experience.

How Viagra Makes You Feel

When someone takes Viagra, they will not feel any psychoactive effects. The active ingredient in Viagra will only work to get and maintain an erection.

People who mix prescription or nonprescription Viagra with other drugs such as nitroglycerin or other nitrates will experience the effects of both drugs, with potentially serious health risks.

Why People Take Viagra Without A Prescription

The choice to use Viagra recreationally is increasingly common among men of all ages due to curiosity and the sexual effects of the drug.

Some men use Viagra to counteract the effects of other drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, and other substances that tend to depress the ability to get and maintain an erection.

Is Viagra Dangerous?

Viagra is safe when used as a treatment of erectile dysfunction under the care of a healthcare provider. When used recreationally, people can experience several serious side effects.

Recreational use means using it when it’s not needed (i.e. by someone who does not have sexual dysfunction issues) or using it in ways other than as prescribed, such as by snorting Viagra or through rectal use.

Risks and side effects of Viagra misuse may include:

  • pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • priapism (an erection that won’t go away)
  • angina and other heart problems
  • hearing loss
  • engaging in unsafe sexual activity
  • low blood pressure
  • heart attack
  • chest pain
  • blurred vision
  • high blood pressure

These side effects may be exacerbated if people use Viagra with alkyl nitrites like poppers, which expand blood vessels and may cause a sudden drop in blood pressure.

Additionally, people with a history of heart disease should consult their doctor before attempting to use Viagra or other supplements for the treatment of ED.

Find A Drug Rehab Program Today

Call our helpline today for more information about substance abuse. Our team can answer your questions about abuse of both over-the-counter medications and illicit drugs.

We can also assist you in getting a referral for medical advice, and help you find a drug rehab program that works for you.

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