ED Drugs – Which One is Right for You?
As men reach middle-age, sexual performance can gradually decline. Erectile dysfunction, also known as ED or impotence, may be caused by lower testosterone levels, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, side effects to medication or to a blockage in the blood vessels which can all lead to a disappointing sexual performance.
Viagra was introduced to the market in 1998 and since then the "little blue pill" has rejuvenated many couples' sex lives. An estimated 20% of men over the age of 45 have tried them. However, there are now many similar ED drugs available such as Cialis, Stenda, Staxyn and Levitra. So how do you know which one is best suited to your needs, and when to take them?
Dr. Samedi, VP of the Department of Urology at New York's Mount Sinai School of Medicine offers advice on the difference between the various performance-enhancing drugs on the market and reassures patients that they are all safe when properly prescribed.
When to Take ED Drugs
ED drugs such as Viagra should be taken an hour before sex and must be taken on an empty stomach. Those who enjoy a romantic dinner and then take their ED meds will be disappointed.
The drugs have a few side effects, which may include headaches, dizziness, lower blood pressure and nasal congestion. Those who are taking blood pressure medication should let their doctor know before they try these wonder drugs, and they are not suitable for anyone taking "poppers" or nitrates to treat coronary artery disease. The combination of nitrates and Viagra, or its generic equivalent, can lead to a dangerous drop in blood pressure which must be avoided at all costs.
There are natural alternatives to Viagra, such as male supplements. These usually include a mix of herbs and vegetable extracts to help increase male stamina.
The Difference Between Viagra, Cialis and Levitra
These three are the main ED drugs currently prescribed in the USA. Viagra and Levitra last for about four hours while Cialis stays in the system for up to 24 hours. Dr. Samedi recommends that patients should try all three to find out which suits them best.
Viagra (sildenafil) was the original "little blue diamond" and it works by relaxing the muscles and allowing an increased blood flow to the genital area. It is unsuitable for anyone known to have an allergic reaction to sildenafil and for those taking nitrates in any form.
Levitra (vardenafil) is a phosphodiesterase inhibitor which relaxes muscles and increases blood flow during sexual stimulation. It is commonly used to treat ED and is unsuitable for those taking nitrates as it may cause a stroke or heart attack. Side effects may include nausea and dizziness, tingling in the chest, arms, neck and jaw. It can also decrease blood flow to the optic nerve causing sudden loss of vision. All these side effects require urgent medical attention.
Cialis is also sold under the generic brand names of Adcirca or Tadalafil. It is commonly used to treat the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, treat pulmonary arterial hypertension, and to improve the exercise capacity in athletes. It is also commonly sold to treat ED and, like Viagra, it works by relaxing the muscles and increasing blood flow to certain areas of the body.
The same warnings apply to those taking nitrates for chest pain. In addition, any sudden loss of vision when taking Cialis should be immediately reported to your doctor.
If you want to avoid ED drugs all together, but still want to be a rockstar in the bedroom when you're middle-aged, consider taking male vitamins.