What distinguishes various erectile dysfunction medications?
What distinguishes various erectile dysfunction medications? Approximately 50% of men aged 40 to 70 experience some level of erectile dysfunction (ED), although only 10% report a total inability to achieve erections. Taking an ED medication results in a suitable erection to initiate intercourse in roughly 70% of generally healthy men.
Typically, the initial medication your physician recommends is Sildenafil (Viagra). It has been accessible for the longest duration, and its interactions with side effects, other medications, and foods are widely recognized.
Nevertheless, the primary challenge in identifying the ideal ED medication might not be based on biochemistry but rather on health insurance regulations. Many insurers commonly restrict the quantity of pills attainable per month. Once you surpass this limit, the out-of-pocket expense for an individual pill can be exorbitant. "The primary hurdle in my practice is the expense,". Collaborating with your doctor is essential to procure the required medication at a cost within your means.
What options are there for treating erectile dysfunction with medication?
Apart from Viagra, other medications for erectile dysfunction (ED) that are accessible in the United States include avanafil (Stendra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra). These drugs all enhance blood flow to the penis. When combined with sexual stimulation, they facilitate achieving an erection suitable for initiating and completing sexual intercourse. Additionally, a rapidly dissolving version of Levitra named Staxyn can be placed under the tongue.
One of the ED drugs, Cialis, has FDA approval for daily usage in doses of 2.5 or 5 milligrams. This regimen assists in attaining erections as needed and might also alleviate urinary issues stemming from an enlarged prostate, such as difficulties in initiating urination.
Cost of erectile dysfunction pills
Expenses related to erectile dysfunction medications can vary significantly and depend on factors such as pharmacy pricing, prescription co-pays, and the extent of coverage by your health plan. Even with private insurance coverage, limitations might apply, restricting you to four doses per month. Here are a couple of strategies to manage costs:
- Compare prices from different pharmacies, as they can differ. Online tools like www.turnonpill.net simplify price comparisons.
- Consult your doctor about pill splitting, wherein you obtain higher-dose pills and divide them according to your needs.
- Investigate manufacturer discount programs that provide a limited supply of medications not covered by your insurance.
How good do ED pills work?
Regarding the effectiveness of ED medications, they produce a satisfactory erection for intercourse in approximately 70% of men. However, individual outcomes can vary widely. Men with nerve or artery damage due to prostate surgery, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease might not respond as effectively to these medications.
Time of effects for the ED pills
The onset of action for ED pills ranges from 15 to 60 minutes. Viagra and Levitra won't be as effective if taken after a meal, as food interferes with their absorption. In contrast, Cialis and Stendra aren't affected by food intake in this manner. The time it takes for the drugs to start working impacts how quickly you can engage in sexual activity. Stendra and daily-use Cialis are closest to being "on-demand" erectile drugs, while the others necessitate more pre-planning.
Proper Usage of Erectile Dysfunction (ED) Pills
Some men approach him with complaints that the prescribed ED medication isn't effective. Often, this is due to improper usage. "The primary misconception is viewing these drugs as a simple switch for instant erections,". However, these drugs are most effective when coupled with sexual stimulation. "During this period, it's essential to engage in foreplay with your partner," he advises. It's not as simple as taking the medication, going about your tasks, and assuming you'll be prepared when you reach the bedroom. It doesn't work that way.
Duration of ED Pills
Different ED medications have varying breakdown rates within the body. Their durations of action span from four hours to over a day (especially for higher doses of Cialis). Each dosage should ideally cover a complete sexual cycle, from achieving an erection to reaching climax. "Can it remain effective for another cycle? That's not a certainty,". For engaging in sexual activity more than once a day, Cialis is the preferable choice.
Side Effects of ED Pills
The most frequently encountered side effects of ED medications, ranked from most common to least, encompass headache, flushing, upset stomach, nasal congestion, vision disturbances, diarrhea, dizziness, and rash. If an erection persists for four hours or more, immediate medical attention is necessary to avert lasting damage.
Instances When Oral ED Medications Might Not Be Safe:
Before considering any medication for erectile dysfunction, it's crucial to consult your healthcare provider. Oral medications for ED could either prove ineffective or pose risks if you're simultaneously taking any of the following:
- Nitrate Medicines: Nitrate medications are typically prescribed for angina (chest pain). Examples include nitroglycerin (Nitro-Dur, Nitrostat, others), isosorbide mononitrate (Monoket), and isosorbide dinitrate (Bidil).
- Alpha-Blockers: Alpha-blockers are commonly prescribed for conditions like an enlarged prostate or male pattern baldness. Some examples are dutasteride (Avodart, Jalyn) and finasteride (Propecia, Proscar).
- Medications Inhibiting CYP3A4 Enzyme: Drugs that block the CYP3A4 enzyme, such as itraconazole (Sporanox, Tolsura), ketoconazole (Extina, Ketozole, others), and ritonavir (Norvir), might interact with ED medications.
Additionally, oral ED medications might not be suitable or effective if you have:
- Very Low or Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure: Having severe hypotension (very low blood pressure) or uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure) could impact the safety and efficacy of these drugs.
- Severe Liver Disease: If you're dealing with significant liver disease, oral ED medications might not be safe.
- Kidney Disease Requiring Dialysis: Individuals with kidney disease that necessitates dialysis may encounter complications when using oral ED medications.
- Recent Heart or Blood Vessel Issues: Instances like a heart attack, stroke, or serious heart rhythm disorder within the past six months might preclude the safe use of oral ED medications.
- Inherited Retinal Disease: If you have an inherited eye condition affecting the retina, oral ED medications might not be appropriate.
- Allergic Reactions or Sensitivities: Individuals with known allergies or sensitivities to the active ingredients in these medications should avoid their use.
Always discuss your medical history, current medications, and any underlying health conditions with your healthcare provider before starting any new medication, including those for erectile dysfunction. Your healthcare provider can provide personalized advice and recommendations based on your individual situation.
Interactions and Safety Considerations
None of the ED drugs should be taken in conjunction with nitrates, which are cardiac medications, due to the potential for dangerous drops in blood pressure. Medications known as alpha blockers, often used for urinary symptoms, can also reduce blood pressure. To avoid interactions, it's advised to take alpha blockers and ED drugs at least four hours apart. If you're already on an alpha blocker, your doctor might recommend a smaller ED drug dose or the alpha blocker tamsulosin (Flomax), which has a milder impact on blood pressure.
ED and Heart Health
ED frequently serves as an early indicator of underlying cardiovascular issues like clogged arteries (atherosclerosis). "It can precede a cardiovascular disease diagnosis by several years,". Although robust evidence is lacking, adopting a healthier lifestyle may potentially alleviate erectile problems. This approach might not guarantee a reversal, but it certainly won't be detrimental.