Erectile Dysfunction: Medical Treatment

Thursday, September 18th, 2014 No Commented
Categorized Under: Erectile dysfunction, Medications

There are three different types of drug available at present:

  • Viagra (sildenafil)
  • Cialis (tadalafil)
  • Levitra (varenafil)

How Do They Work?

They all work slightly differently but all affect hormonal chemicals that come from the brain during sexual arousal. These drugs work by increasing the amount of nitric oxide produced. This chemical does two important things: it causes the nerve connections between the brain and the penis to become more fine-tuned; and it also increases the blood supply to the penis and causes the blood vessels in the penis to widen, causing an erection. These drugs in themselves do not create erections but they make an erection much more likely after sexual arousal. Ideally they should be taken about an hour before sexual activity and the effects can last several hours.

Do They Work?

Yes, in the majority of cases (about 70-80 per cent) these drugs can produce a good erection. Some men may find that one drug works and another doesn’t so it can be a trial-and-error process. Also, the dosage may vary. However, these medications can produce a good erection even when the blood supply to the penis is narrowed, as in cases of atherosclerosis and nerve damage, for example.

Do They Have any Side Effects?

Like all medicine there is a potential risk of side effects. Discuss this with your doctor. Common side effects include headache, facial flushing, nasal congestion and stomach upset. About 3 per cent of men who take Sublingual Viagra get visual disturbances, most commonly affecting colour vision. This is often described as a bluish tinge.

It is felt that Viagra is generally safe to take for men with heart disease, provided their condition is stable and well-controlled. Discuss this further with your doctor if you have concerns.

Do They Interact with Other Medicines?

There is a risk of severe interaction with nitrates (used in patients with heart disease and angina) and for this reason drugs like Viagra cannot be taken if you are on nitrates. Check with your doctor or pharmacist about other potential interactions. The effectiveness of some of these drugs is affected if taken after a fatty meal – another good reason to watch your diet.

Injection Therapy

An injection of a drug called Caverject with a very fine needle is made into the penis, which usually causes an erection to occur within about 15 minutes that can last up to an hour. While this can sound scary, most men can learn the technique. The erection occurs even if you are not sexually aroused (unlike medication).

Side effects can include penile pain and discomfort. A rarer side effect of this injection is a prolonged painful erection, which is known as priapism. This condition needs emergency treatment Canadian Viagra pharmacy Pharmacyto prevent long-term damage to the penis.

Injection treatment is less popular now that oral medication is available, for obvious reasons.