Prescription medications can be used successfully to manage erectile dysfunction in around two-thirds of sufferers. The drugs available today, to combat erectile dysfunction, are Sildenafil, Tadalafil and Vardenafil. These drugs are better known by the brand names Viagra, Cialis and Levitra respectively. All of these medications are PDE5 inhibitors.
Viagra/Sildenafil is the most widely recognised and most common treatment available for this condition. Its active ingredient, Sildenafil, works by causing smooth muscle relaxation of the arteries involved in causing an erection. This increases the vasodilation and increase the blood flow into the spongy tissue of the penis, which causes an erection to be achieved. Oral Sildenafil tablets cause on onset of erections at an average time of 27 minutes, but can take up to 70 minutes to become effective. 50mg is the recommended starting dosage for Sildenafil.
Tadafil (Cialis) has a longer half-life than other medications, meaning there is a longer duration of action lasting up to 36 hours. Due to this Tadafil is recommended to be taken in smaller dosages than other available medications.
Vardenafil (Levitra) can also be effective in some patients at treating premature ejaculation. Vardenafil has a similar effective time to Sildenafil. 10mg is the recommended starting dosage, and should be taken around 1 to 2 hours prior to sexual activity.
Who can’t use Prescription Medications?
At present there is no evidence to suggest that any of the drugs available to treat Erectile Dysfunction have any effectiveness in treating sexual dysfunction in woman.
Anyone under the age of 18 should not take any of these medications.
Anyone taking nitrates, such as nitroglycerin, must not use any of the medications available for erectile dysfunction. The combination of medications can result in a severe and potentially fatal drop in blood pressure.Caution must be taken by anyone who suffers from a cardiovascular disease. Men whose blood pressure is not under control or had a heart attack or stroke in the last 6 months should not take Cialis, Levitra or Viagra.
If you suffer from kidney or liver disease then you mustn’t take any of the above medications.
The most common side effects of erectile dysfunction medications include headaches, indigestion, nasal congestion, acid reflux, back pain, muscle aches and impaired vision. These side effects are related to the PDE5 inhibition and usually disappear after a few hours. Back pain and muscle aches can occur up to 2 days after taking the medication and last up to 48 hours.
More severe side effects are found in some rare cases. These side effects include:
- Prolonged erections
- Severe low blood pressure
- Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
- Ventricular arrhythmias
- Increase intraocular pressure
- Sudden hearing loss
If you are concerned about the potential side effects or side effects that you are suffering, please contact your Doctor as soon as possible.