Revatio® Vs. Viagra®: What's The Difference From 20mg Sildenafil?

By The Rex MD Editorial Team

September 23, 2020

Reviewed by
Jeff Toll, MD

Everyone knows Viagra®, the first and still the most popular medication for ED (erectile dysfunction) approved and used globally, but fewer people know about its twin drug, Revatio, which puts the same chemical to use for a different purpose, at a different dose, and at a different price.

Generic Viagra® has been available for a few years now, along with generic Levitra® and generic Cialis®, and with the advent of these cheap ED pills more men are asking tough questions about why they would pay full price for the original.

In fact, it’s hard to find great reasons. 

Quick Facts About Revatio® and Viagra®

 Revatio® and Viagra® are the same drug – sildenafil – but available at different doses. Both are available as cheap generics.

Revatio® is approved by the FDA for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Viagra® is approved for erectile dysfunction.

Revatio® comes in 20mg pills. Viagra® comes in 25, 50, and 100mg pills.

Sometimes men can substitute 20mg sildenafil pills for Viagra®, under the advice of their doctor.

Is Revatio® The Same As Viagra®?

Viagra®, called sildenafil generically, has a great backstory. Originally developed in the 1980s by scientists at Pfizer to combat chest pain and then hypertension (high blood pressure), they quickly realized that the right sildenafil doses had an unexpected side effect: stronger, harder erections. 

Pfizer quickly pivoted to begin testing sildenafil in clinical trials aimed at men who suffered from ED. They were on to something that would get big (pun intended).

After clinical testing, Viagra® was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1998 for the treatment of ED.

Viagra® worked well for these men, and it quickly turned into a multi-billion dollar product for Pfizer. But the company never lost sight of their original goal: a drug for hypertension, and in 2005 sildenafil was approved by the FDA for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. 

For this setting, Pfizer markets sildenafil under the brand name Revatio.

Revatio® vs Viagra®

This is where some people get confused. Is Revatio® the same as Viagra®? Chemically, yes it is, and this is commonplace in the world of pharmaceuticals. 

How Generic Drugs Work

Brand names are how pharmaceutical companies market their products, but they’re also identified chemically, otherwise known as their generic name. Think of it like Coca-Cola® compared to the unnamed “cola” you see on grocery shelves. The price is dramatically different, and many consumers wouldn’t know the difference in a blinded taste test (not all, of course!). 

Tylenol is the widely known brand name for acetaminophen, so much so that they’re used interchangeably at times. But the reality is you can purchase generic acetaminophen for less than half the price of Tylenol in many cases. [Estimates suggest generic drugs are usually 85% lower in price than their brand-name counterparts]. Tylenol is owned by Johnson & Johnson, while dozens of generic drug companies like Perrigo, Watson Labs, and Good Sense make and sell acetaminophen.

But many pharmaceutical companies take this in another direction when they receive FDA approval for the same drug in two different indications.

When it comes to Viagra® vs Revatio®, sildenafil is approved for both ED as Viagra® and for PAH as Revatio®. This is largely so these companies can market these two distinct products to distinct patient populations. It would be confusing (and possibly embarrassing) for doctors to prescribe Viagra to a man dealing with PAH, when he's used to see this drug available for ED.

20mg Sildenafil Or Viagra®?

Another major difference appears in sildenafil’s dosing

Viagra® is approved for ED in tablets containing 25mg (milligrams) sildenafil, 50mg, and 100mg.

Revatio® is approved for hypertension in a single sildenafil tablet of 20mg. 

Both are available as generic drugs, and sildenafil is sometimes also called sildenafil citrate.

Most men seeking ED treatment start on a sildenafil dose of 50mg and adjust up or down to 100mg or 25mg as needed. 100mg is a common dose for men to find maximal satisfaction.

With Revatio® or generic sildenafil in 20mg tablets, you can’t get quite the exact same proportions, but taking five 20mg tablets achieves the same effect as a single 100mg sildenafil tablet. 

Which Is Best: Revatio®, Sildenafil, or Viagra®?

Sildenafil, Revatio®, and Viagra® are the same thing, and all work by the same mechanism. As a potent PDE5 inhibitor, sildenafil increases blood flow, especially in the penis. You can achieve the same chemical effect with: 

  • five 20mg Revatio® tablets
  • five 20mg sildenafil tablets 
  • a single 100mg Viagra® tablet

The difference? Price and convenience. 

Generic sildenafil 20mg tablets are often the cheapest of these three options, but creating an effect equivalent to a 100mg Viagra tablet takes five smaller tablets. For some men, that’s a convenience issue, but for most the availability of inexpensive Revatio®/20mg sildenafil tablets outweighs the inconvenience.

All three require a doctor’s prescription, which Rex MD makes convenient and simple for men suffering from ED. Our telemedicine platform and virtual visits are designed to eliminate the need to see a doctor in person and decrease costs to you – without sacrificing safety.

Learn more about pricing and convenience with Rex MD.

Rex MD ED Treatment Banner A


Back to list




Disclaimer : This article is for information only and should not be considered medical advice. Always speak with your doctor about your health and the benefits or risks of any treatment or intervention. This information should not be relied on as a substitute for professional medical advice.