4 of the Best Erectile Dysfunction Medications
Erectile dysfunction is not a good thing, but thankfully there are medications that are! Approximately 52% of men experience some form of erectile dysfunction (ED) in their lifetime. Described as a difficulty getting and maintaining a proper erection, ED can stem from several different reasons, whether they be stress, aging, or low testosterone.
ED can be quite bothersome for men but is usually not too serious. Understanding the different types of medications available will make it easier when deciding what kind of medication will work best for you and your symptoms.
But, how do you know which medication is right for you and your symptoms? Fortunately, we’ll be breaking down and discussing different medications used to treat ED, the side effects of each, as well as the best practice of use. Keep reading to learn more!
4 Commonly Used ED Medications
Sildenafil, more commonly known as Viagra, is a pill male patients can take to improve their ability to get and maintain an erection. The medication works by preventing the action of the chemical, phosphodiesterase type-5, and allows increased blood flow to the penis. Sildenafil can be an extremely effective and relatively easy way to treat ED and can also treat other conditions, such as pulmonary hypertension.
However, there are things to keep in mind when using Sildenafil. Common side effects can include dizziness, headache, flushing, or upset stomach. Be aware; this medication should not be taken more than once every 24 hours. Sildenafil starts working in as little as 11 minutes and can last for three to five hours. Although Sildenafil is available for over the counter purchase, it’s always best to consult with a specialist before taking any new medications.
Vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn)
Vardenafil is similar to Sildenafil with some notable differences in duration and side effects. Similarly, it works to allow for more blood flow to the penis during sexual stimulation, resulting in an erection. Vardenafil can be taken orally one hour before sex and can start working in as quickly as 14 minutes, continuing up to four or five hours. Keep in mind that this medication does not cure erectile dysfunction or increase sexual desire.
Just like any other medication, there’s a short side effect list to look out for when being prescribed Vardenafil. These side effects can include; an erection that lasts longer than four hours, sudden severe loss of vision, difficulty breathing or swallowing, or a breakout in rashes or hives. If you experience any of these side effects, make sure to call your doctor immediately.
Tadalafil is similar to the medications discussed above. It works in combination with sexual arousal to create more blood flow to the penis to cause an erection. Tadalafil can be taken two different ways, as needed or on a daily basis. You can schedule an appointment with a specialist to determine which option is right for you.
Adverse effects to look out for when taking Tadalafil can include headache, heartburn, nausea, diarrhea, or pain in the stomach, back, muscles, arms or legs. Any side effects should be discussed with your healthcare provider.
Avanafil is a similar drug for treating ED as the medications mentioned above. It works quickly to supply blood flow to the penis, resulting in an erection. Correct dosage for Avanafil will be prescribed by your doctor based on your medical conditions, other medications needed daily, and response to treatment.
Side effects to be aware of when taking Avanafil include, but are not limited to, headache and dizziness, loss of or blurred vision, and nausea. This medication should not be taken more than once a day, and is recommended to be taken with or without food about 30 minutes before sex. Patients should reach out to their doctor if they experience any extreme side effects or abnormalities.
Which Medication Will Work Best for My ED?
Oral medications, like the ones mentioned above, are usually the first line of treatment and considered the best method for treating erectile dysfunction. For men who have trouble keeping an erection for sexual activity, these medications (Sildenafil, Vardenafil, Taldafil, and Avanafil) are the most effective and commonly don’t have serious side effects. Because the drugs are similarly effective, the American College of Physicians recommends that the choice of which medication to take should be based on your preferences. Things to take into consideration should include cost, ease of use, how long the medication lasts, dosage, and side effects.
It is also important to speak with your healthcare provider and be conscious that it may be dangerous to take these medications if you take nitrate drugs, have low blood pressure, have severe liver disease, or have kidney disease that requires dialysis. If these medications are not suitable for you, your doctor may provide you with alternate treatments for ED.
Medication May Not Be the Solution
Although most erectile dysfunction patients can successfully use oral medication to treat ED, sometimes lifestyle changes are what is needed instead. The most common suggestions to alleviate ED are:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Staying physically active
- Quitting smoking and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption
- Managing stress
- Getting adequate sleep and rest
There are also other treatments for ED that don’t involve oral medication or a lifestyle change. One example is an intracavernosal injection. This is a common ED treatment where the patient self-injects a prescribed medication into the base of the penis. The medication provides a surge of adrenaline and aids in the stimulation of blood to the penis. Another treatment includes a vacuum erection device, and yes — it is exactly what it sounds like. The vacuum erection device is a mechanical pump that stimulates blood flow to the penis by “vacuuming” blood into the shaft, which in turn causes an erection.
The Best Practice: Treat Erectile Dysfunction with a Urologist
Attempting to purchase the medications discussed in this blog post from online pharmacies is not recommended. Many online pharmacies are not legitimate practices, and are likely selling counterfeit medications which can be ineffective and dangerous. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. The best course of action to begin treatment for ED is to consult a healthcare provider. Your doctor will guide you in discovering which medication or alternative treatment will work best for your symptoms.
Before coming in for an appointment, check out our free resource on how to prepare for your urologist appointment. This guide was made to help you feel prepared and comfortable when it comes time to see us here at Urology Specialist of the Carolinas. Click the button below to get access!