Erectile dysfunction: Viagra and other oral medications

Erectile dysfunction: Viagra and other oral medications

Oral medications are usually the 1st step of the cure for erectile dysfunction. For most men who have trouble maintaining an erection strong enough to have sex (erectile dysfunction), these medications work well and have few side effects.

Sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn), tadalafil (Cialis) and avanafil (Stendra) are oral medications that reverse erectile dysfunction by increasing the effects of nitric oxide, a natural chemical produced by the body to relax the muscles of the penis. This increases blood flow and allows an erection to be achieved in response to sexual stimulation.

Differences between different oral medications

Although they work in a similar way, each oral medication has a slightly different chemical composition. These minimal differences affect the way each medication works, for example, how quickly it works and how quickly that effect goes away, and what the possible side effects are. The doctor will take into account these factors, as well as any health problems you have and the possible interactions with other medications that you take.

Sildenafil (Viagra).

This medication is most effective if taken on an empty stomach one hour before having sex. Its effectiveness lasts up to six hours.

Vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn).

This medication is also more effective if taken one hour before having sex; It can be taken with or without food. Its effectiveness lasts up to seven hours.

Tadalafil (Cialis)

This medicine is taken with or without food, between one and two hours before having sex. Its effectiveness lasts 36 hours. It can be taken in a small daily dose or in a high dose when necessary.

Avanafil (Stendra).

This medicine is taken with or without food, between 15 and 30 minutes before having sex, depending on the dose. Its effect lasts up to six hours.

When oral medications may not be safe

Before taking any medication for erectile dysfunction, get the doctor’s approval. Medicines for erectile dysfunction may not work or be dangerous if:

  • Take nitrate medications – commonly prescribed for chest pain (angina) – such as nitroglycerin (Minitran, Nitro-Dur, Nitrostat or others), isosorbide mononitrate (Monoket) and isosorbide dinitrate (Dilatrate-SR, Isordil)
  • You have very low blood pressure (hypotension) or uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • You have the severe liver disease
  • You have kidney disease that requires dialysis

Side effects

Most men who take medications to treat erectile dysfunction have no side effects. When they appear, side effects may include the following:

  • Redness
  • Nasal congestion or colds
  • A headache
  • Changes in vision, such as vision with shades of color, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light
  • Indigestion
  • Dizziness and fainting

Rarely, more serious side effects may occur, such as the following:

Loss of hearing or vision. Some men had a sudden loss of hearing or vision after taking one of these medications. However, it is not proven if the hearing or vision loss was directly associated with the medication or a pre-existing condition. If you are taking an oral medication to treat erectile dysfunction and you present a sudden loss of hearing or vision, seek medical attention immediately.

A persistent erection. This rare condition, called “priapism,” can be painful and requires medical treatment to prevent damage to the penis. Seek medical attention immediately if you have an erection that lasts more than four hours.

Buy medicines for erectile dysfunction online

Erectile dysfunction, Treatments are big business, and online scams abound. If you buy medicines online, keep the following in mind:

Make sure the online pharmacy is legitimate. Never ask for drugs from an online pharmacy if there is no way to contact the pharmacy by phone if the prices seem too good to be true. Some illegal companies sell counterfeit versions of legitimate medicines, which can be ineffective or dangerous. In the United States, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy can tell you if an online pharmacy is licensed and if it is properly constituted.

Make sure you get the correct prescription and dosage. When you order medications, and when you receive them by mail, make sure they are of the dose and type prescribed by the doctor.

Do not be fooled into buying «herbal viagra». Never take any medication that claims to be the over-the-counter “herbal” equivalent of an oral medication for erectile dysfunction. These medications are not an effective alternative, and some contain harmful substances.

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