In the first part of the series of articles on erectile dysfunction, we went to great lengths about the causes and symptoms of the condition. We oversaw how psychological factors might have a role to play in the onset of erectile dysfunction, and how certain measures can help in helping patients regain their libido and their sexual lives.
If the problem seems to be more physical than mental, then there is still hope in taking care of erectile dysfunction. This part deals with how medications can help cure erectile dysfunction in male individuals.
Medications (Drug Therapy)
There are many drug medications that can help men overcome erectile dysfunction. These drugs can be administered in either of these ways:
- Injected into the penis
- Inserted into the urethra
- Taking them by mouth
Medical experts that deal with such cases start by medications with phosphodiesterase (PDE) type 5 inhibitors. Medications include:
- sildenafil (Viagra)
- vardenafil hydrochloride (Levitra, Staxyn)
- avanafil (Stendra)
- tadalafil (Cialis)
How to take them?
These medications need to be taken on time since their effects are time-based. Some can be taken 15 minutes before sex. Others with low dosage levels of phosphodiesterase (PDE) type 5 inhibitors can be taken an hour before sex. It depends on the individual’s preference as well as the physician’s consideration of the patient’s medical history.
One important thing to note is that these drugs are meant to be taken only once a day.
Cialis is a medication that takes 36 hours to kick in, making it a good choice for people who take it at night and engage in sexual activity 1.5 days later.
Some medications can be taken orally. Most of them are made to be swallowed. The exception to the rule is Staxyn as it can dissolve in the mouth.
What is the purpose of the PDE 5 Inhibitors in curbing erectile dysfunction?
The role of PDE 5 inhibitors in making erectile dysfunction a thing of the past is well documented. It works by relaxing the muscles in the penis. This increases and smoothens blood flow, resulting in a more erect penis during sex.
According to well-established studies, up to 80% of men on PDE 5 inhibitor medications have long-lasting erections. In rare cases, some erections can last as much as more than 4 hours. In such an instance, calling for emergency help is prudent.
These medications do have a host of side effects, but are usually mild. Consult your doctor if you have a mild headache, muscle aching. These drugs can also make you prone to flushing and a stuffy nose. Your vision might in some cases become tinged with blue-green shading.
If a patient suffers from erectile dysfunction is taking nitrate drugs, the PDE-5 inhibitors are not recommended for them. Mixing nitrate with them would result in a massive drop in blood pressure. Even people who take alpha-blockers should steer clear of them. Consult your doctor before taking these medications.
Injections and Suppositories
In case the medications, which meant to be taken orally, have no to little effect on your erection, or there are reasons why you can’t take such medications due to the side effects involved, consider taking a drug called alprostadil. This drug can enhance the blood flow to the penis and works within mere minutes.
Here’s why Alprostadil can work. It can be administered in two ways:
- Intracavernous drug injection – With the help of an injection, this medication can be administered to either side of the penis. That being said, this method can raise the risk for a condition called priaprism. That means dangerously prolonged erections and eventually, scarring.
- Intraurethral suppositories – Other method of administering Alprostadil can be in the form of Pellets. They are strategically placed into the urethra. It is less effective than an injection, but it also significantly cuts down the risk of priapism.