There are many different medications prescribed for erectile dysfunction. They include:
Sildenafil (Viagra, Avigra, Dynafil, Revatio, Videna, Sildenafil, Cipla)
The oral drug sildenafil under the trade name Viagra became a media sensation. The blue diamond-shaped tablet takes 60 minutes to produce an erection for sexual activity.
Sildenafil works by inhibiting an enzyme called 5-phosphodiesterase, thus increasing the levels of a substance called cyclic GMP. It is a potent dilator of the blood vessels in the penis. It leads to an influx of blood and an erection if there is sexual stimulation.
There have been reports about Viagra users dying of heart attacks, but the attacks were not drug-related. A certain percentage of heart attacks will occur during strenuous physical activity. However, manufacturers have issued warnings to people with cardiovascular disease.
It is not recommended to take Viagra for men who had a life-threatening heart attack, stroke, or arrhythmia in the last six months. It is also contraindicated for men with significant hypotension (low blood pressure) or hypertension (high blood pressure), those with unstable angina and those with retinitis pigmentosa, a disease that causes deterioration of the retina.
Viagra should not be taken if a man takes any cardiovascular drugs containing nitrates.
Nitrates such as glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) or isosorbide mononitrate are prescribed for ischemic heart disease and angina.
Viagra has also become accessible for recreational use, for example in nightclubs. However, it is a prescription drug that should only be taken under medical supervision.
Experts say it has no benefits for men who have normal erections. It can be lethal when used together with amyl nitrate (“poppers”), a recreational drug particularly popular with gay men.
Both drugs are used to spike sexual excitement, but in the process it also causes blood pressure to collapse to dangerously low level.
Using Viagra with any nitrate-containing heart medicines is dangerous.
Viagra costs between R70 and R100 a tablet: the price depends on the dose. As a rule, generic drugs are cheaper.
After the phenomenal success of Viagra, several other drug companies have launched the similar type of drugs such as Vardenafil and Tadalafil.
Vardenafil or Levitra, like Viagra, is a type 5 phosphodiesterase inhibitor. It was developed specifically for erectile dysfunction. Multiple clinical studies have shown that Levitra is effective in achieving and maintaining an erection during intercourse. The patients also reported significant improvements in other aspects of sexual life, including confidence, orgasmic function, and overall satisfaction.
Vardenafil produces significant improvements in the treatment of erectile dysfunction, regardless of age, severity and the cause of erectile dysfunction. It is also often useful in patients with diabetes and patient after radical prostatectomy surgery for prostate cancer. Levitra has a rapid action, and sexual intercourse is possible as soon as 16 minutes after taking a pill.
Levitra is well tolerated. It has a few side effects very similar to that of Viagra. The most common side effects are headaches, facial redness, rhinitis (nasal congestion) and indigestion (heartburn). The side effects are mild or moderate and disappear with continued treatment.
Levitra comes in two doses: pills of ten and twenty milligrams. A ten-milligrams tablet is more than enough for mild to moderate erectile dysfunction. It is also available in a 10 mg dispersible and quick-action pill called Levitra 10 mg ODT.
Tadalafil (Cialis, Ciavor)
Tadalafil is one more drug used to treat erectile dysfunction. It has been called “the weekend pill” for its long duration: it lasts for up to 36 hours in some patients. It is because the chemical structure is different from other PDE-5 inhibitors. Tadalafil has been shown to be effective for most causes of erectile dysfunction.
Side effects, although similar to the other two PDE-5 inhibitors, also include back pain that is mild and benign.
Cialis is also contraindicated with nitro-glycerin or any nitrate medication due to a drop in blood pressure.
A low dose of Cialis (5 mg) is recommended for daily use.
It is somewhat expensive (over R800), it could help to restore erectile function after radical prostatectomy.
It should be noted that the three companies that manufacture Viagra, Levitra and Cialis published an exemption from liability in 2008. They affirmed that several cases of sudden hearing loss with these drugs had been reported. However, it does not seem to be a significant problem.
More information about medication
- Other drugs are claiming to be effective, but it has not been proven in scientific studies. These include yohimbine hydrochloride, dopamine agonists, and serotonin, as well as trazodone. These drugs are often mixed with alprostadil (prostaglandin) to achieve better results.
- Medications should be used along with counseling, psychotherapy or psychiatric medication if erectile problems have psychological causes.