Many men take Viagra, but not everyone thinks about its composition. Probably almost every patient with ED knows that sildenafil is the main component of the medication, but a host of other ingredients also play important roles.

viagra's active agent
Sidenafil citrate formula

Sildenafil – Active Agent of Viagra

Viagra contains citrate salt of sildenafil (called sildenafil citrate). Sildenafil belongs to the group of pharmaceutical substances called PDE5 inhibitors. It has vasodilating properties, which ensures the expansion of penis vessels during arousal, which leads to enhanced erection.

Magnesium stearate in viagra
Magnesium stearate

Auxiliary (Inactive) Ingredients

Excipients are essential ingredients of almost all medicines. They are designed to create dosage forms of drugs, impart certain properties, increase shelf life, etc.

  • Microcrystalline cellulose. This is a product of chemical degradation of cellulose, characterized by a high degree of purity. This substance prevents caking and clumping, and is also a texturator. It provides high strength and low porosity of tablets.
  • Anhydrous dibasic calcium phosphate. This substance has the properties of flowability and compressibility, while maintaining the ability to quickly disintegrate. Calcium phosphate is one of the additional substances that were previously classified as inactive, but it is known that it plays an important role in maintaining the effectiveness and stability of the drugs to which it is added.
  • Croscarmellose sodium. It is a powdery white or slightly grayish substance without taste or smell, which has a high degree of absorption and is easily soluble. It is added to Viagra tablets to accelerate absorption, which positively affects the bioavailability of the drug.
  • Magnesium stearate. This substance has lubricating properties. It is used as a filler and dusting agent. Chemically, it is a salt of magnesium and stearic acid with the formula Mg(C17H35COO)2.
  • Hypromellose. This is a mixed cellulose ether. This substance exhibits good binding properties, which can also improve the compressibility of powders. Hypromellose-based films fully satisfy most requirements for film coating.
  • Titanium dioxide. From a chemical point of view, it is an amphoteric oxide of tetravalent titanium. This is an ordinary white powder that can give an aesthetic presentation to many products. In industry, it is called food coloring E171. There are some concerns about its safety, but in the composition of Viagra it is used in scanty amounts.
  • Lactose. A film membrane of tablets contains such organic substance as lactose, which is a carbohydrate, consisting of parts of glucose and galactose molecules. It is obtained by evaporating whey. Milk sugar has a remarkable property: it does not become damp, unlike sucrose or other sugars. That is why it is great for use in the pharmaceutical industry. Lactose has also a small disadvantage. Viagra should not be used in men with rare inherited disorders such as galactose intolerance, Lapp lactase deficiency, or malabsorption of glucose galactose.
  • Triacetin. This substance is also known as glycerol triacetate. It is used as a plasticizer, moisturizing agent and solvent in manufacturing pharmaceuticals.
  • FD & C Blue #2 aluminum lake. This is a color additive, approved by FDA for use in food products, meds, and cosmetics.
how is viagra manufactured
Drug manufacturing process: an approximate schematic

Manufacturing Process

Original version of the drug is produced by Pfizer, a mogul in the pharmaceutical sphere.

Viagra is a branded medication so its full formula has not been revealed to public. Other manufacturers can use sildenafil as a main agent of their medications, but they cannot duplicate the appearance of Viagra and its composition in full. Hence composition of generics may include other inactive ingredients, and tablets may feature other forms and colors.

As for the production process, it is complex and multi-level. Typically, raw materials are first sorted in powder form, then granulation, pressing and hard coating are carried out. The transparency of the documentation allows you to trace the entire process of medicine manufacturing.

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