Drugs for Erectile Dysfunction-A Review of the Safest Choices
by Alex Rocklane
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Drugs for Erectile Dysfunction – A Review of the Safest Choices
By: Alex Rocklane
Since 1998, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have approved three oral drugs for erectile dysfunction: Sildenafil (Viagra), Vardenafil (Levitra), and Tadalafil (Cialis). Backed by the official administration for approved drugs, these three are the safest you can get at the moment for treating erectile dysfunction.
HOW SAFE IS “SAFE?”
This is the first thing to ask before taking any drugs for erectile dysfunction. Always remember that it is always safer to consult your doctor first before taking any treatment, as you might have some medical condition which makes it unadvisable for you to take even the safest of drugs.
Knowledge and caution are also important things to consider when taking drugs for erectile dysfunction. Even the safest choices may cause severe side effects when taken without proper knowledge.
Here are some things you need to know before taking any of the safe drugs for erectile dysfunction:
Sildenafil (Viagra) has been in the market since it was approved by the FDA in 1998. It was originally seen as a possible treatment for hypertension and angina pectoris. Seeing its potential as a substance that could help induce penile erection, it was marketed as such by Pfizer.
Recommended dose is 50 mg but may be adjusted from 25 mg to 100 mg, depending on the patient’s health condition.
Vardenafil (Levitra) is one of the competitors of Viagra. It was co marketed by Bayer Pharmaceuticals and GSK until 2005. Now, Levitra is marketed solely by Bayer while Vivanza (also a vardenafil) is marketed by GSK.
Tadalafil (Cialis) is another competitor of Viagra which gained FDA approval in 2003. It was developed by ICOS and is distributed by Lilly ICOS, LLC, (joint venture of ICOS Corporation and Eli Lilly and Company).
Recommended dose for both Levitra and Cialis is 10 mg but may still be increased to 20 mg as recommended by the doctor.
Levitra also has 2.5 mg doses available.
These drugs are phosphodiesterase (PDE5) inhibitors. By blocking the PDE5 enzyme, levels of cyclic
guanosine monophosphate (GMP) are maintained, thus increasing the level of nitric oxide during sexual stimulation. This then causes the blood vessels to dilate and increase the blood flow in the penis which is necessary to sustain an erection.
Taking these drugs without any sexual stimulation will not cause an erection.
The effects of Viagra and Levitra can last from four up to five hours while Cialis, also known as “The Weekend Pill,” lasts longer (up to 36 hours).
These drugs must be taken at least one hour before sexual activity because it takes about this amount of time to take effect.
· Never take these drugs more than once a day.
· Taking PDE5 inhibitor drugs may cause sudden loss of eyesight in one or both eyes (NAION). Though this may be an extreme case, people with heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol level, and/or certain eye problems have a greater chance in having this problem.
· For those who have heart problems and are taking nitrate based drugs should not take PDE5 inhibitor drugs because it can cause a sudden life threatening case of low blood pressure.
· Those using alpha blockers are safer to lower their dosage intake and not use PDE5 inhibitor drugs within 4 hours because their combination can cause an immediate drop in the blood pressure.
Drugs for erectile dysfunction, no matter how safe, may still cause user to experience side effects. A person’s reaction to the drug used will depend on the cause of his erectile dysfunction or his medical condition.
Common side effects may include headache, indigestion, back pain, muscle pain, nasal stuffiness, flushing, dizziness, or diarrhea. Some allergic reactions such as rashes, itchiness, swelling, or trouble breathing may also be experienced.
In rare and extreme cases, the following side effects may occur: hearing problems, loss of vision, cyanopsia (seeing everything in blue), priapism (persistent erection), hypotension, myocardial infarction, ventricular arrhythmias, and stroke. Author Resource:->
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