Medication For Erectile Dysfunction
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An early career psychiatrist with extensive experience in general adult psychiatry, relationship issues, psychosexual problems & special interest in sexual medicine, disorders with addictive behaviours and Obsessive Compulsive disorders. He is an astute physician with excellent academic record and research experience. He is also a member of World Health Organisation and World Psychiatric Association. His vision and goal for Allo is an inclusive, accessible digital health clinic for psychosexual difficulties.
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Updated on 03 November, 2023
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Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a treatable condition. Most cases of ED can be cured. For other cases, the right treatment can help manage and control the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. Several medical interventions aid with the treatment of ED, and medications are one of them.
Erectile dysfunction medications help a person by increasing the blood flow to their penis.
Erections are caused by an increased blood flow, a result of arousal from sexual stimulation or other factors. When this blood flow is restricted, the penis cannot form or maintain erections, leading to erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction medicines reverse the effect of whatever is restricting the blood flow, restoring normal erectile function.
Types Of Erectile Dysfunction Medication
Based on their composition, erectile dysfunction medication can be of different types. Listed below are the main drugs that are available as ED pills:
- Sildenafil, commonly known by its brand name Viagra, is a medication used to treat erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension.
- It works by increasing blood flow to the penis, facilitating and sustaining erections during sexual arousal.
- As a phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor, sildenafil effectively relaxes the smooth muscles in the blood vessels, particularly in the genital area.
- It is essential to use sildenafil under medical guidance, as it may have contraindications or interact with certain medications or health conditions.
- Sildenafil is typically taken orally as a tablet, with or without food. It should be swallowed whole with a glass of water.
- It is recommended to take it about 30 minutes to an hour before sex before engaging in sexual activity.
- Vardenafil is a medication commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) in men.
- It belongs to a class of drugs known as phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors, which work by increasing blood flow to the penis during sexual stimulation.
- This results in improved and sustained erections.
- Vardenafil is known for its efficacy and relatively rapid onset of action. It is suggested to consume vardenafil 60 minutes before sex.
- Avanafil is a medication utilised for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED) in men.
- It falls under the category of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5 medications), a class of drugs designed to enhance blood flow to the penis during sexual arousal, facilitating the achievement and maintenance of a firm erection.
- What sets Avanafil apart is its rapid onset of action, often taking effect within 15 to 30 minutes before sexual encounter, allowing for more spontaneity in intimate moments.
- Avanafil should only be taken as prescribed by a medical professional.
- Tadalafil is an oral drug widely employed to address erectile dysfunction (ED) in men. It belongs to the class of drugs known as phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors, which function by increasing blood flow to the penis during sexual stimulation, enabling the attainment and sustenance of a robust erection.
- What distinguishes Tadalafil is its notably prolonged duration of action, often lasting up to 36 hours, providing a wider window of opportunity for intimacy.
- Tadalafil should only be taken under the guidance of a healthcare professional
Let’s take a look at a comparison of their typical dosages and best practices.
|When to Take
|Duration of Effects
|25mg, 50mg, 100mg
|30 minutes to 4 hours
|About 4-5 hours
|5mg, 10mg, 20mg
|30 minutes to 1 hour
|About 4-5 hours
|50mg, 100mg, 200mg
|15-30 minutes before sex
|About 6 hours
|2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg, 20mg
|30 minutes before sex
|Up to 36 hours (as needed)
Note: All four of these are oral medications and are classified as PDE5 inhibitors.
- Penile injections represent an alternative form of treatment for erectile dysfunction.
- One such injectable solution is Alprostadil, which can be self-administered approximately 5 to 20 minutes prior to engaging in sexual activity.
- This medication is designed to stimulate blood flow to the penile region, facilitating the achievement and maintenance of an erection.
- Individuals using penile injections have the flexibility to utilise them up to three times a week, with a necessary interval of at least 24 hours between each injection.
- This option provides a convenient and on-demand approach to managing erectile dysfunction, offering men greater control over their sexual experiences. I
- t’s important, however, to consult a healthcare professional before initiating any new treatment, including penile injections, to ensure the appropriate dosage and usage guidelines for individual health needs.
- Testosterone therapy is a valuable approach to addressing concerns related to sexual function.
- As individuals age, testosterone levels naturally decline, and this decrease can sometimes lead to the development of erectile dysfunction (ED).
- In situations where low testosterone is identified as a contributing factor, healthcare providers may recommend testosterone replacement therapy.
- This treatment can take the form of gels, creams, or implants, all of which are designed to supplement and regulate testosterone levels in the body.
- By effectively replenishing this crucial hormone, these products not only help alleviate symptoms of testosterone deficiency but also play a significant role in mitigating ED.
- This therapy offers a targeted and effective means of restoring sexual health and enhancing overall well-being for those affected by low testosterone levels.
- Any form of hormone therapy should be undertaken under the guidance and supervision of your primary care doctor for medical advice and to ensure optimal dosages and tailored treatment plans.
Risk Factors To Consider When Taking Erectile Dysfunction Medications
While oral pills are safe for most people, there are certain exceptions. ED medication might not be safe for you if you:
- Take nitrate drugs (can cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure)
- Are on dialysis
- Suffer from a liver condition
- Have extremely low or high blood pressure and are on blood pressure medications
- Are taking prescription drugs for heart disease, depression, etc.
To ensure you do not take any medicine that might be harmful to your health, disclose your complete medical history and sexual history to your health care professional while seeking treatment for ED. Also inform them about any prescription drugs you might be on, as well as whether you regularly smoke, consume alcohol, or other recreational drugs.
Common Side Effects Of Erectile Dysfunction Medication
As with most other medicines, ED medications also have some mild side effects. While people are usually not severely affected, you must be informed of the side effects of any medicine you take. Some common adverse side effects of erectile dysfunction medications include:
- Indigestion or stomach upset
- Muscle pain
- Chest pain
- Blurry vision, which might lead to vision loss in severe cases
- Runny nose or nasal congestion
- Sudden hearing loss
- Erectile dysfunction (ED) is treatable, with various interventions available.
- Medications for ED increase blood flow to the penis, aiding in erections.
- Erections depend on sufficient blood flow, affected by arousal and other factors.
- Sildenafil (Viagra), Vardenafil, Avanafil, and Tadalafil are common ED medications.
- Penile injections like Alprostadil offer an on-demand approach for ED treatment.
- Testosterone therapy replenishes crucial hormone levels, aiding in sexual health.
- Some side effects of erectile dysfunction medications include loss of hearing, headaches, nausea, chest pain, blurry vision, stomach upset.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are erectile dysfunction medications effective?
A: Yes, medications for erectile dysfunction are highly effective. Studies show that all four drugs mentioned above are effective in treating the symptoms of ED. Plus, oral medicines for ED work even better when paired with penile injection therapy and diet and lifestyle changes.
Q: Are erectile dysfunction medications expensive?
A: Prescription drugs for ED are moderately expensive. For instance, a strip of Viagra 100 mg containing two tablets retails for Rs. 800 – 900 at different physical and online pharmacies. However, if you feel you cannot afford your prescription medications, do not hesitate to ask your doctor to suggest you a cheaper alternative!
On the other hand, penile implants are other surgical procedures that are more expensive. They range from approximately Rs. 75,000 – 2,50,000 and above. The rates vary based on specific medical concerns and sexual health care providers.
Q: Do I need a prescription for erectile dysfunction medications?
A: Yes, all erectile dysfunction medications are prescription medications. But do not let that discourage you from seeking treatment; you can easily get a prescription for erectile dysfunction by consulting a doctor in person or online!
Q: How fast can I notice the effects of erectile dysfunction medications?
A: You can notice the effect of oral medication within 30 – 60 minutes of taking the pill. Time your medicine intake strategically to make the most of it during solo or partnered sex.
Q: Are there tests to confirm erectile dysfunction diagnosis?
A: Tests are done to look for signs of underlying causes of ED. These may include blood tests to measure hormone levels, urine tests (for conditions like diabetes) ultrasound to assess blood flow, and nocturnal penile tumescence testing.