When it comes to erectile dysfunction (ED), most men will agree that it is not a condition to be taken lightly. After all, what is more embarrassing than fumbling in the presence of a loved one or friend? However, for many men, the stress of daily living can make it virtually impossible to maintain an erection for the sake of sexual attraction. Thankfully, medical science has provided solutions to this issue, and now there is a wide range of medications that can dramatically improve the quality of life for men suffering from ED. Here is a brief overview of some of the most commonly used medications in clinical practice today and how they work.

Sildenafil Citrate

This is the active ingredient found in the popular ED drug Viagra, which is why it is often also referred to as a “Viagra pill”. However, while Viagra was designed to treat erectile dysfunction, sildenafil citrate is actually a drug that can be utilized to improve a variety of male sexual disorders, such as premature ejaculation and low libido. Since its introduction in the US in 1998, Viagra has been hugely beneficial in treating erectile dysfunction, and indeed it remains one of the most popular medications prescribed for the condition to this day. Indeed, as popular as it is, Viagra is a relatively mild drug and there are numerous cases of men taking large doses and suffering from side effects, which can be serious. For this reason, practitioners often recommend that individuals not take Viagra if they are already taking medications for hypertension or heart disease, or if they have diabetes or high cholesterol. Additionally, if a man becomes impotent after taking Viagra, it can be a sign that he has developed a drug tolerance and should not be re-treated with the medication, as this could lead to serious consequences.

Tadalafil

This is another drug, widely used to treat erectile dysfunction, that is structurally similar to sildenafil citrate. However, while sildenafil citrate has been around for nearly two decades and is fairly inexpensive, tadalafil, which is also used to treat pulmonary hypertension, has only been available in the United States since 2012 and is considerably more expensive. However, since it is now available for use in the US, it is likely that the price will come down over time as more individuals are prescribed the medication.

Vardenafil

Vardenafil is another medication used to treat erectile dysfunction and it is structurally similar to sildenafil citrate and tadalafil, however, it is a more recent addition to the market and thus far it has mostly been marketed in Europe. Like most medications used to treat erectile dysfunction, vardenafil does not cure the condition but instead it helps relieve the symptoms of impotence and thus allow men to lead more fulfilling sexual lives. For this reason, vardenafil is often referred to as a “treatment” medication instead of a “cure” medication like the others listed here. Additionally, while vardenafil has been proven effective for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, it has some pretty significant side effects, which individuals must be aware of before taking the medication. It has been known to cause headaches, dizziness, and a flushing of the face and neck that is very similar to what one would experience during an orgasm. Just as with other medications used to treat erectile dysfunction, tolerance can develop with vardenafil and, if this happens, the man in question should not take the medication. In some cases, this has resulted in men experiencing a total loss of sexual function and potency. Fortunately, this is a very rare occurrence and most men will experience significant improvement after just one or two doses of vardenafil. It is also worth noting that unlike the other medications listed here, vardenafil does not require a prescription and it is thus much more accessible to individuals who might otherwise not be able to afford the treatment.

Cialis

This is yet another medication used to treat erectile dysfunction and it is also one of the most popular ones currently on the market. It is structurally similar to sildenafil citrate and tadalafil and it works by increasing blood flow to the male genitals, which results in an erection. For this reason, it is often also referred to as a “chemical Viagra”. However, while sildenafil citrate and tadalafil are both FDA-approved for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, cialis is also FDA-approved for the treatment of premature ejaculation and was initially marketed as Prevacid for these purposes, although it is now used to treat a variety of issues, including erectile dysfunction and irritable bowel syndrome, among others. As a result of its popularity, cialis can be somewhat expensive and so much of the medication is prescribed that most insurance companies will not cover the cost of the drug, fearing that it will be used for inappropriate purposes. Additionally, while cialis is safe to take during pregnancy, it should not be used by men who are or have been treated for prostate cancer, as the drug can cause cancerous cells to multiply uncontrollably and become life-threatening.

Levitra

This is yet another medication used to treat erectile dysfunction and it is structurally similar to sildenafil citrate and tadalafil, however, it is unique in that it is the only FDA-approved medication to treat the issue that is specifically designed for use with an intraurethral (IU) delivery system, which allows the medication to be directly injected into the urethra, resulting in increased blood flow to the penis for individuals who suffer from ED. The first dose of Levitra, administered via the IU system, can be a little uncomfortable, but most men will experience mild to moderate relief after a few injections and some have even noted that it is less painful than having an erection. In addition, while Levitra can be effective for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, it has some pretty significant side effects, which should not be ignored, especially since it is a prescription medication, which has to be handled carefully, especially if large doses are needed, or if a man is already on another medication, which could potentially interact with it. Some of the side effects associated with Levitra include headaches, dizziness, and a temporary reduction in sex drive, all of which are very similar to what one would experience during an orgasm. Additionally, if tolerance develops with Levitra and it is then needed to be increased, medical professionals typically prescribe an additional dose of the medication, which, if overused, can result in undesirable consequences, including a potential for heart attack or stroke. For these reasons, men with ED who are able to utilize the Levitra IU system should not use the medication if they already have an erection that lasts more than four hours, or experience repeated episodes of short-lived erections, as this could indicate that they have developed a tolerance for the drug and should not be re-treated with it. Instead, they should seek medical help, as this could seriously affect their quality of life.

Mirodenafil

Mirodenafil is another medication used to treat erectile dysfunction and it is highly effective for the treatment of the condition. It is structurally similar to sildenafil citrate and tadalafil, however, it was designed to be taken orally and thus it can be more convenient for men who are pressed for time. This is because Mirodenafil does not need to be administered immediately prior to sexual activity and it can thus be taken anywhere within the hour before sexual contact. Additionally, since it is an oral medication, it is unlikely to have any serious side effects and most men who take it, experience only mild effects, such as headache and flushing of the face, similar to what they would experience during an orgasm. Furthermore, while it is a relatively new addition to the market and thus far it has mostly been used in Europe, it is likely that it will become more common in the US as more and more individuals are prescribed the medication for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

Conclusion

Most men will suffer from some degree of erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives and, for many, it can be a debilitating condition that significantly limits their quality of life, especially if it is not properly treated. Thankfully, there are now a variety of medications available to treat the condition and educate men on how to improve their quality of life, both now and in the future. If you or a loved one is currently struggling with ED, it might be worth exploring the option of medication, especially since it has been proven to be highly effective in treating and improving the condition, resulting in happier and more fulfilling relationships for men and women alike.

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