The most commonly advertised and utilized erectile dysfunction drugs are known by laypeople as “the little blue pill.” This is because the first widely recognized and most heavily prescribed erectile dysfunction drug was made in the form of a little blue pill under the brand name Viagra. Sildenafil is the generic form of Viagra, just as vardenafil is marketed as brands Levitra or Staxyn, and tadalafil is produced as the brand Cialis.
All three of these medications work well as erectile dysfunction drugs by increasing nitric oxide in the bloodstream. Nitric oxide is a chemical the body also naturally produces that relaxes and opens penile blood vessels. When blood vessels in the penis are open and relaxed, an erection is the result.
Sildenafil, vardenafil and tadalafil are generally the first prescription erectile dysfunction drugs a doctor will prescribe for patients desiring to a solution, and each generally causes few side effects. Although erectile dysfunction drugs are taken at the time an erection is desired, Viagra, Levitra, Staxyn and Cialis do not increase actual sex drive or desire.
Erectile Dysfunction Drugs Compared
The manner in which Viagra, Levitra, Staxyn and Cialis work is similar, but each of these prescription erectile dysfunction drugs is different in their chemical composition. Because of unique attributes in these erectile dysfunction drugs’ makeup, each one affects patients differently. Aspects such as potential side effects, time for results and how long the erectile dysfunction drug is effective vary from brand to brand. A physician experienced in the treatment of impotence will know how these erectile dysfunction drugs work and will be able to discern which medication is the best option for an individual patient with that patient’s specific health concerns and possible drug interactions in mind.
Viagra and Levitra erectile dysfunction drugs may each be taken by a patient once per day, about 30 to 60 minutes prior to sexual performance. These two prescription erectile dysfunction drugs do not have to be taken with food, and the effect lasts about five hours. Levitra, one brand of vardenafil, is also available in a tongue-dissolving form. This erectile dysfunction drug is marketed to patients under the brand Staxyn.
One form of Cialis is taken a bit differently than the other most commonly prescribed erectile dysfunction drugs. In a small daily dose, Cialis is taken with or without food every single day. Because it is an ongoing medication, Cialis’ small daily dose form is effective at any time the patient desires regular sexual activity. It does not need to be taken prior to such activity.
A second form of Cialis erectile dysfunction drug can be taken only as needed prior to sexual activity. This form works for up to 36 hours and produces results when taken about 30 minutes before sexual intercourse. The 36-hour version of Cialis erectile dysfunction drug can be taken with or without food, no more than once per day.
Stendra is a new development in the world of erectile dysfunction drugs. Approved in the United States in 2012 by the Food and Drug Administration, it is similar to Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. Because it is newer to the market, a qualified physician with experience in prescribing erectile dysfunction drugs will know if Stendra is the best option for his or her patients.
Concerns in Use of Erectile Dysfunction Drugs
Men with certain health problems or taking other medications may not be good candidates for erectile dysfunction drugs. If the patient has any of the following health concerns, a qualified doctor will be able to determine whether erectile dysfunction drugs are the right option:
Uncontrolled blood pressure (high or low)
A recent history of stroke
Heart problems, poor blood flow, angina, arrhythmia or recent heart attack
Kidney disease requiring dialysis
Particular eye problems
Patients who take nitrates for heart issues should not take erectile dysfunction drugs. This is because nitrate drugs work similarly to erectile dysfunction drugs in the dilation of the blood vessels. Together, erectile dysfunction drugs and nitrates can create excessively low blood pressure and even produce loss of consciousness. Some medications that include nitrates and will make a patient ineligible for erectile dysfunction drugs include:
Amyl nitrite or other illegal drugs
It is very important that the erectile dysfunction drug patient be very honest with his physician about any prescription drugs being taken as many can negatively interact. Prescriptions that are known to interact negatively with Viagra, Cialis and Levitra erectile dysfunction drugs are:
Heart medications for arrhythmia
Side effects of erectile dysfunction drugs are rare for most men. If side effects do occur when erectile dysfunction drugs are taken, they may include:
Nasal congestion or runny nose
Muscle aches and pains
Temporary changes in vision
Fainting or dizziness
Very few erectile dysfunction drug patients see side effects that are more serious. If they do occur, they can include:
Vision or hearing loss
A painful erection that does not go away on its own for longer than four hours
As is true when purchasing any prescription or over-the-counter medication, erectile dysfunction drugs can be bought online. Erectile dysfunction drug patients should be wary of buying erectile dysfunction drugs online as many scams do exist.
Over-the-Counter Erectile Dysfunction Drugs
There are many online offers and storefront sales for products claiming to be similar to prescription erectile dysfunction drugs. The buyer of these so-called erectile dysfunction drugs must beware as most herbs and supplements have not been studied sufficiently, tested well or approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use by erectile dysfunction drug patients. These erectile dysfunction drugs can cause side effects or interact with other medications the patient is taking.
Dehydroepiandrosterone, also called DHEA, has been touted as one of a number of over-the-counter erectile dysfunction drugs. It has shown some positive results in erectile dysfunction drug patients as have L-arginine and ginseng. Yohimbe, containing components of bark from an African tree, has also shown some results as an erectile dysfunction drug, but it appears to carry some possible health risks. Gingko and horny goat weed have been marketed as “natural” erectile dysfunction drugs, but they have shown almost no results.
Patients looking to take erectile dysfunction drugs should consider themselves warned if they are considering the purchase of these or other nonprescription products claiming to work similarly to Viagra or other erectile dysfunction drugs. Many of these products have actually been banned from sale in the United States and other countries. Despite government attempts to control dangerous products touted to be erectile dysfunction drugs, many remain available on the Internet and are sold despite the danger.
Another thing to consider when purchasing erectile dysfunction drugs is that “all natural” and “100% safe” product claims do not necessarily mean the products are safe at all. Herbal erectile dysfunction drugs can cause serious interactions and have dangerous side effects. For danger-free use and optimum results, patients should only use those erectile dysfunction drugs recommended and prescribed by their physician. A doctor can provide prescriptions for pharmaceutical versions or even over-the-counter remedies, if the doctor believes the over-the-counter version to be just as effective and safe as the readily available controlled medication.
Shopping for Erectile Dysfunction Drugs
When shopping for erectile dysfunction drugs online, ensure that the source is a legitimate, licensed pharmacy. If unable to locate a telephone number and reach the online pharmacy, if the pricing is incredibly low or seems unreal, or if a prescription is not required for an erectile dysfunction drug that is generally doctor-prescribed, do not purchase from that pharmacy.
There are many illegal online operations claiming to be pharmacies that sell erectile dysfunction drugs. Their erectile dysfunction drugs are generally counterfeit versions, ineffective or even dangerous forms of otherwise legitimate erectile dysfunction drugs. In the United States, to confirm whether an online pharmacy offering erectile dysfunction drugs is legitimate, ensure they are operating in good standing according to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. To be safe when shopping for erectile dysfunction drugs, always buy from a licensed pharmacy.