Erectile dysfunction is a condition in which male is unable to either achieve or maintain an erection during sexual intercourse. Change in penis size, curved penis, nocturnal ejection and painful erection can also be linked to the condition of impotence.
There are a number of treatments available for the disease out of which pills are the very first option opted by any physician. Other medication routes include suppositories, injection and implants. Oral solid dosage form, i.e., tablets available in the market to treat impotence are:
About ED pills
Dose strengths available (mg)
Most preferred dose strength (mg)
2.5 (daily usage)
10 (as per needs)
5 (for males above 65 years in age); 10
Medical uses of ED pills
Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, Stendra, and Staxyn all are used to treat symptoms of impotence but do not cure the disease. Hence, the physician prescribes to take medicine once in a day. All the above medicines are FDA approved and can be purchased only with the help of a prescription by a registered medical practitioner.
Among them, Cialis can be used in the condition of benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH). This is a disease in which enlargement of the prostate occurs. Cialis is also used to improve the urine flow in BPH patients.
Also Read: Effective And Easy Ways To Boost Metabolism
Mechanism of action of ED pills
The ultimate action of all ED pills is to increase the blood flow to the penis which helps in getting and maintaining the erection. Medications work by inhibiting phosphodiesterase type 5 enzyme which is responsible for the degradation of cGMP in the body. Cyclic GMP relaxes the corpus cavernosum (the area around the penis) which increases the blood flow there.
The difference lies in the onset and duration of action of different ED pills:
Onset of action
Duration of action
How to use ED pills
Tablets are to be consumed prior to 30 minutes of planned sexual activity, i.e., as per the onset action timings of the medication.
The pills are to be swallowed as a whole with an ample amount of water. Staxyn is the only medicine which dissolves in the mouth.
Viagra is the first option for most of the physicians because of its well-known side effects. But the trend is changing to the use of Cialis. Cialis due to its longest duration of action can be taken once daily and one can enjoy sex every day. Moreover, it comes with the lowest dose, i.e., 2.5 mg and patient can go for 5 mg if the previous one is not effective.
Sildenafil is found to be most effective when taken on an empty stomach whereas other pills can be consumed with or without food.
Side effects of ED pills
As all the drugs belong to the same class of chemicals, they possess similar side effects. Some of them are:
Stendra differentiates itself from other drugs having a sore throat as the side effect.
- Side effects which differentiate Viagra from other brands are dizziness, upset stomach, nausea, blurred vision or loss of sight, muscles pain, and rashes. Retinitis pigmentosa, rare eye disease is the side effect of viagra because of which drug is losing its place in the market.
Side effects which differentiate Cialis from other brands are upset stomach, indigestion, pain in limbs, and muscles pain. Limbs pain is only attached to the use of cialis.
Seek emergency when priapism occurs, i.e., the erection lasts for more than 4 hours
Drugs that are known to interact with ED pills
Since the ED pills are meant to react in the same way in the body, they possess similar drug interactions:
- Nitrates: these drugs also release NO (nitric oxide) and relax blood vessels, ultimately lowering blood pressure. Use of isosorbide mononitrate (Monoket) and nitroglycerin (Nitrostat) along with ED pills can drastically lower the blood pressure. A healthy male if given viagra followed by nitroglycerin an hour later will see 25-51 mmHg drop in blood pressure which is a dangerous signal
- Alpha-blockers: used to treat high blood pressure and enlarged prostate. Combination of alpha blockers and ED pills can lower the blood pressure level highly. Prazosin (Minipress) should not be taken with Levitra
- Riociguat: pulmonary hypertension medicine
- Protease inhibitors: HIV drugs
- Antifungal drugs: ketoconazole and itraconazole (Onmel and Sporanox)
- Antibacterial medicines: clarithromycin (Biaxin)
Special drug interactions associated with a particular ED pill are:
- Cialis is proven to be less effective when used along with anti-seizure drugs such as carbamazepine (Tegretol) and phenobarbital
When to avoid taking the ED pills
There are certain conditions in which males are not advised to consume ED tablets:
General Information and Precautions
About 20 million American people suffer from erectile dysfunction and most of them have found it safe to use ED pills.
Tell your doctor about any herbal products that you are using or consuming other medications before starting ED pill therapy.
Concomitant use of other drugs: Consumption of HIV drugs, antibacterial, or antifungal medications boost up the level of ED medications in the body. Hence, a lower dose of PDE 5 inhibitors are recommended along with the use of these drugs
Organs: Males of higher age or facing any liver or kidney problems are maintained on lower dose therapy
Alcohol: Levitra and viagra are found to be comparatively safer in use along with the consumption of alcohol. Cialis and Stendra can cause a drastic drop in blood pressure on the consumption of alcohol.
Poppers: These are the nitrates containing ampoules used illicitly to induce euphoria and stimulate sexual arousal in the body. Stay away from these street drugs.
Grapefruit juice: Being a metabolic enzyme inhibitor it increases the amount of medication content in the body. Hence it is not safe to consume grapefruit juice along with the use of ED pills.
High-fat meal: Consuming a heavy meal rich in fats may cause the Levitra to be less effective.
Smoking: Smoking makes the Levitra less effective in your body.
General FAQs regarding ED pills
Ques. What could be the worst symptoms of consuming alcohol with the use of ED pills?
Ans: Worsening of side effects may occur which may even arise the need of emergency help. Loss of vision is the most frequent symptom seen with the consumption of alcohol along with Viagra.
Ques. Which ED pill is the most effective and safest for a male?
Ans: Every person has a unique genetic makeup. Physicians generally go on hit and trial method by prescribing a male lowest dose therapy. He decides the particular ED pills based on his daily routine and medical history.
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