Erectile dysfunction treatment course usually depends on the severity of the case and the underlying conditions and causes. According to recent statistics, about 50% of men aged between 40 and 70 suffer from some degree of ED. This information may sound terrible to younger men, but good news is that only each 10th is fully unable to reach and maintain erections. ED therapy usually implies taking drugs, although there are a few other methods: from lifestyle changes to surgeries. In this article we are going to consider ED therapy with medications.

Does ED therapy depend of its causes?

Erectile Dysfunction treatment

It is strongly recommended to consult your physician and pass a few laboratory tests to help identify the reason of ED. There are 5 major health problems that frequently are to blame for erectile dysfunction symptoms. In this article by My Canadian Pharmacy you can learn more about them. In some cases, the erection problems can be caused not by a disease itself, but by medications for its treatment. Important: never interrupt a prescribed treatment course without informing your doctor, even if you found symptoms of ED caused by this drug. A qualified healthcare specialist can offer alternatives or change your treatment plan.

To resume: before choosing tablets for ED treatment (or along with choosing them), healthcare providers recommend health screening for ED causes. In case you take antidepressants or other drugs that may cause troubles with having erection, visit your doctor for a competent advice on drug interaction and necessary therapy adjustments.

Which drug to choose for erectile dysfunction?

The group of medications used for ED treatment is called Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors. They are used worldwide, are very effective and have few side effects. PDE-5 inhibitors work by increasing the blood flow to genitals during arousement. This type of drugs does not work without sexual stimulation.

The most important generic names for PDE5 inhibitors for erectile dysfunction treatment are:

  • sildenafil – usually known under the brand name Viagra
  • tadalafil – known under the brand name Cialis
  • vardenafil – known under the brand name Levitra
  • avanafil – known under the brand name Spedra

What is the difference between the abovementioned 4 drugs for erectile dysfunction treatment? Healthcare specialists say that for new patients it requires trying different ones to evaluate their effect.

The first option usually prescribed by the doctor is Sildenafil (Viagra). This medication has longest been on the market; a lot of research is carried out to study the side effects and interactions of Sildenafil. Patients suffering from side effects of Viagra, are usually prescribed Avanafil (Stendra).

Sildenafil, Vardenafil and Avanafil show effectiveness the next 8 hours after administration, while the action of Tadalafil is much longer – patients report about 36 hours. This feature of Tadalafil is the reason why it is also known under the name “weekend pill”.

Depending on the active ingredient of the pill and the dose, it should be administered about 30-60 minutes before the planned intercourse.

Taking an ED medication after a substantial meal may increase the time of absorption, so it may take longer to notice the effect. The most important rule of ED treatment with PDE5 inhibitors is 1 pill per 24 hours.

Which ED medication is best?

Each of abovementioned drugs has its own benefits and disadvantages and its own mechanism of action. The choice should be entrusted to the healthcare provider. The doctor takes this decision, considering you overall sexual activity and previous experience with ED treatment drugs.

Viagra, Levitra, Cialis and Stendra are effective in more than 70% of cases. Lack of effect may happen due to individual insensitivity or due to one of the following reasons:

  • the medication hasn’t started working, i.e. you just haven’t waited long enough;
  • the medication has already stopped working (the dosage was taken more than 8 hours ago for Viagra and Levitra and more than 36 hours ago for Cialis);
  • your case requires a higher dosage;
  • it is necessary to have more sexual stimulation for you to get an erection even with the help of medications.

Nevertheless, the main challenge to obtaining the best ED drug may depend on health insurance or costs. Shopping at local pharmacies may be very expensive, the price for ED medications can be as high as $15-20 per pill.

To be able to hit limits and afford really working medications, you may look for a trusted online pharmacy to shop generic medications for erectile dysfunction treatment.

Side effects and precautions

  • PDE5 inhibitors have relatively few side effect, but they do have some, and patients diagnosed with ED should be aware of them.
  • Tell your doctor, if you have any cardiovascular disease, even suspected. Discuss risks and benefits of regular sexual activity with you GP.
  • Peyronie’s disease, any risk or priapism (painful long-lasting erection), taking alpha-blockers – are also a reason to consult your doctor before taking ED medications.

Important: PDE5 inhibitors should not be combined with drugs containing nitrates (also known as “poppers”, often used for heart diseases treatment.) This combination may put your health at risk.

Contraindications to PDE5 inhibitors intake:

  1. Low blood pressure;
  2. Strokes in the past;
  3. Non-arteritic anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy;
  4. In case you suffer from unstable angina or are prone to heart attack;

The most common side effects from taking Viagra, Cialis, Levitra or their generics are:

  • Headaches (from mild to severe);
  • Increased blood flow to the face (flushing);
  • Stuffy nose;
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Vision disturbances;
  • Muscle and joint pain.

However, the side effects are slightly different for each drug. Muscle and joint pain side effect is more common for Cialis than for other medications from the list. Levitra and Viagra are more likely to provoke temporary blue-tinged or disturbed vision.

Common mistake in taking ED medications

There are many patients who report about poor effect of ED drugs or claim they don’t work at all. In some cases, this may happen due to improper use of the medication. The most widespread misconception is that ED drugs work as an on/off button for erections. Of course, they don’t and don’t have to. Sexual stimulation and some foreplay are required. And this makes ED medications safe as the erection is achieved when necessary and customers are not likely to get in awkward situations.

How to cut the costs of ED treatment?

The costs per pill may significantly vary from state to state. They also depend on the dosage, packaging and other aspects. It is well-known that the price for branded Viagra, Levitra and Cialis is much higher than for generics, which can be of excellent quality when purchased at a trusted online-pharmacy.

Here are a few more tips:

  • Shop for future use: larger packages allow saving up to 40%!
  • Ask your doctor, if it is possible to split pills: you may save on buying higher dose and split the pills.
  • Learn more about special offers and promotion of the pharmacy you shop at.
  • Compare the prices at online pharmacies and pay attention to delivery terms: some online pharmacies offer free shipping for orders from 50-100 dollars.

How to improve the effect from ED medications?

Here are a few tips of how to help ED pills work better and to improve your health and decrease ED symptoms:

  1. Lose weight in case you are overweight. Healthy diet and limiting of fatty foods helps to improve the cardiovascular health and protect blood vessels from clogging – all that leads to better and stronger erections.
  2. Give up smoking. Smoking is associated with impaired blood flow due to increased blood viscosity, poor vessel elasticity and, as a result, weak erections.
  3. Cut back your alcohol consumption. Most of the ED treatment pills don’t make a good combination with alcohol. Research say that excessive consumption of alcohol leads to decreased sexual activity.
  4. Add some physical exercise. Regular movement, walking a few hours per day and exercising improves the blood flow, especially in the pelvis, where the blood can’t move freely as we sit most of the time throughout the day. Besides, exercising decreases risks of heart diseases.
  5. Avoid stress. This may sound unreal, but try to replenish your emotional and mental reserves after a stressful day and do not use stimulators, such as drugs, alcohol, smoking or caffeine. Give yourself a peaceful rest, enjoy the silence occasionally. Stress hormones block the mechanisms responsible for sexual activity as the nature decided that stressful time is not suitable for reproduction.

Although, there are no breathtaking research results, proving that healthy lifestyle can beat ED, but it can’t hurt anyway.