Three of the world’s most popular erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs—Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra—have recently been approved for use in the U.S. Alone, these three prescription drugs represent more than half of the market in the $23.3 billion ED treatment category. And that’s just the beginning. As the market continues to evolve, so will the available treatments for ED, including tablets, gels, and, soon, injectables.

What Is ED?

ED, also known as erectile dysfunction, is a condition in which a man is unable to mount a satisfactory sexual performance due to a lack of desire or inability to get aroused. ED is quite common, particularly as men get older, and can have many underlying causes. However, there are some risk factors that can significantly increase your chances of developing ED later in life. These include diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and alcoholism. Men with any of these conditions need to be aware that their risk of developing ED is higher than that of the average man.

How Effective Are The Three Main Treatments For ED?

When it comes to treating ED, the mainstay medical approach is still based on a trial-and-error method, with doctors trying different cocktails of drugs and dosages to see what works best for their patients. As a result, there’s no real consensus as to which drugs are the most effective when treating different types of ED. That being said, there are some generalizations that can be made. First, the sooner a man starts treatment for ED, the better. Second, there is a definite hierarchy of effectiveness when treating ED. Here’s a rundown of how Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra compare to one another:

The Best First Line Of Treatment

According to the American Urological Association, the best first-line treatment for ED is a drug known as Viagra (sildenafil citrate). When used at recommended dosages, oral tablets of Viagra are highly effective in treating mild to moderate ED, with effects typically lasting for up to six hours and often resulting in a full sexual recovery. Some men also report that taking Viagra prior to sexual activity improves the quality of their orgasm and lets them sustain an erection for longer periods of time. In terms of safety, sildenafil citrate is generally considered to be a safe and effective treatment for ED. However, some men allergic to sildenafil citrate or who suffer from high blood pressure may experience side effects. Those who do experience these effects typically learn to live with them and continue to benefit from treatment. Based on those results, it’s clear that Viagra is the gold standard when it comes to treating mild to moderate ED. For more information, be sure to consult with your doctor or pharmacist.

The Second Best First Line Of Treatment

Cialis (tadalafil) is a drug that works in a similar way to sildenafil citrate, but with several important differences. First, Cialis is a much more potent pill, providing improved effects for men with mild ED. Also, the effects of Cialis last for much longer, with some men reporting effects that last up to 24 hours. Finally, the side effects of Cialis are generally considered to be less severe than those of sildenafil citrate. Based on those advantages, Cialis is often used as a second line of treatment for mild to moderate ED—that is, when the first line of treatment has failed—and is also considered to be safe and effective for men with coronary artery disease, diabetes, and hypertension. For more information, be sure to consult with your doctor or pharmacist.

The Worst First Line Of Treatment

The last drug mentioned in this article is Levitra (vardenafil), which is usually reserved for men with more severe ED. When used at recommended dosages, oral tablets of Levitra are also highly effective in treating mild to moderate ED. However, the effects of Levitra only last for about four to six hours and are, therefore, considered to be less desirable than those of the other two drugs discussed so far. Also, like Cialis, Levitra is safer and more effective than sildenafil citrate for men with hypertension, diabetes, and coronary artery disease. For more information, be sure to consult with your doctor or pharmacist.

Overall, Which Is The Best Treatment For ED?

Based on the aforementioned, it’s clear that Viagra is the gold standard for treating mild to moderate ED when used at recommended dosages. However, if you have more severe problems, you’re better off using one of the other two treatments. Cialis is the second most effective drug for treating mild to moderate ED and, as mentioned, is safer and more effective than sildenafil citrate for men with hypertension, diabetes, and coronary artery disease. Finally, if you have very severe ED, which is rare but does exist, then Levitra is the only option available. If you’re looking for a drug that works quickly, with minimal side effects, then Levitra is, by far, the best choice available since the drug was approved for sale in 2009. And remember: the sooner you start treatment, the better. With ED, timing is everything.

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