Oral Medications for ED
Popular Oral Medications
Medications taken orally for the treatment of erectile dysfunction are called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors, which include Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil), Levitra (vardenafil), and Stendra (avanafil).
How does a PDE-5 Inhibitor work?
PDE5 inhibitors help to facilitate an erection by increasing blood flow to the penis. Some medications, like Viagra, should be taken about half an hour before sexual activity. Others, like Cialis, can be taken earlier and will stay in your system all day. These medications require arousal/sexual stimulation to have an effect. Over time, PDE5 Inhibitors may lead to an improvement in penile vasculature. When used correctly, these medications are effective for 70% of men suffering from erectile dysfunction.
Possible side effects:
- Nasal congestion
- Back pain/muscle aches
- Temporary vision changes
- Priapism (erection lasting longer than four hours)
How to use oral medications?
- Medications should be taken approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour before sexual activity. Cialis (tadalafil) can be taken earlier as it will stay in your system all day.
- Viagra (sildenafil) should be taken on an empty stomach.
- These medications may not be maximally effective the first time you take it, so you should try a minimum of four times before deciding whether or not they work for you.
- PDE5 inhibitors should not be taken with nitrate medications (i.e. nitroglycerin) or “poppers” (i.e. amyl nitrites)
You should seek immediate medical attention if you have an erection lasting longer than four hours.