Common Prescription Erectile Dysfunction Medications

If you have explored different options for dealing with erectile dysfunction, you are probably familiar with Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra. These are called PDE5 inhibitors, and medications belonging to this group are common first line treatments for erectile dysfunction.

How Do They Work?

Each pill works by relaxing the muscles and boosting blood flow to the penis, making it easier to get and maintain an erection.

But while the general mechanism is the same for each, they all behave slightly differently. For example, Levitra and Viagra both take around 30 minutes to become effective, but Levitra lasts for about 5 hours whereas Viagra usually lasts for about 4.

Cialis generally lasts the longest, remaining effective for up to 36 hours in some cases.

Another PDE5 inhibitor, Stendra, only takes 15 minutes to become effective, and the effects can last up to 6 hours.

Will They Work For Me?

Whether a given medication is effective varies on a patient by patient basis. Men often switch between pills to find one that works for them.

The right medication can significantly improve erection quality, but around half of the men who try them don't get the results they want. Additionally, the beneficial effects they have in the short term tend to dissipate over time; they usually become less and less effective. The reason is that these medications treat the symptoms rather than the root cause of ED. If you have poor blood flow to the pelvic region as a result of clogged arteries, vascular disease, or other health conditions, a PDE5 inhibitor might be a good workaround in the short term, but it won't fix the underlying causes.

What Are The Safety Concerns?

Each medication has a slightly different side effect profile, but the common ones are:

  • Headache
  • Flushing
  • Upset stomach
  • Abnormal vision
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Muscle or back pain
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

PDE5 inhibitors should be avoided entirely if you take nitrates for chest pain. There are additional factors that might make these drugs an unsuitable treatment option for you, so you should see your doctor to go over all of the health risks.

If you are unable to take these medications, or if you've tried them in the past and they no longer work, read more about the natural, noninvasive acoustic wave therapy treatment we provide at Multnomah Medical.


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