Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a very common condition and it affects about one in ten men worldwide. Initially, there were no medical treatments available to treat the condition, but now the FDA has approved five oral drugs that can help affected patients. These drugs work by increasing the blood flow to the penile muscle to ensure an erection.
Common Drugs for Erectile Dysfunction: Mechanism of Action
Cialis, Levitra, Staxyn, Stendra, and Viagra are now available for patients through prescription. These drugs belong to the drug class, phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors. All these drugs work on the mechanism of drawing blood in to the penis. However, there are small differences on the duration of action of the drugs. Levitra and Viagra are almost similar. They start working in about 30 minutes, but the effect of Levitra lasts for five hours and that of Viagra lasts for four hours. Cialis acts in 15 minutes and the effect lasts for about 36 hours. Stendra and Staxyn work in 15 minutes and the effect lasts for six hours.
Each drug has its own side effects. The most common side effects of these drugs include the following: headache; flushing, commonly seen with Viagra and Levitra; nasal congestion; vision changes, in the form of blurry or blue vision, common with Viagra and Levitra; back pain, dizziness and fainting occur, but rarely; and upset stomach.
These side effects usually subside within four to eight hours. In a few rare cases, serious side effects such as the following may occur: hearing and vision loss that persist after the drug effect has worn off and persistent erection or priapism in which the erection persists for more than four hours; it requires medical treatment.
You should consult your doctor, if the side effects persist or become painful enough to disrupt your normal life.
Precautions with ED Drugs
Although erectile dysfunction drugs are safe, they do seem to interact with other drugs causing serious medical complications. As a result, doctors actively discourage heart patients, stroke patients, diabetics, and patients with eye, liver, and kidney disease from taking these drugs.