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Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition that affects men of all ages. The diagnosis is made when a man is sexually stimulated but is unable to achieve an erection or keep it.
Erectile dysfunction happens for many reasons. It often occurs due to insufficient blood flow to the penis. Physically obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking can cause ED, as well as emotional issues such as anxiety, depression and guilt. It's estimated that 10% of men suffer from erectile dysfunction and half of all men aged 40-70 will be affected at some point.
As erectile dysfunction can be caused by smoking and obesity it's important to be realistic about your health. Following a healthy diet with plenty of exercise will help you lose weight, and if you need help to quit smoking there are supportive treatments available. If you feel your problem is psychological then speak to your doctor about counselling or cognitive behaviour therapy.
These treatments are phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5) inhibitors, which block the enzyme that prevents blood flow to the penis. All brands can produce side effects but, as they have differing active ingredients, some people may suit a particular treatment more than others.
Viagra is a particularly well-known and effective treatment used by 35 million men worldwide. Its active ingredient is sildenafil. Viagra is available in 25, 50 and 100 mgs doses.
Cialis' active ingredient is tadalafil. It's available in lower doses and is therefore easier to take in a smaller amount. It's the longest lasting of the medications, with results lasting for up to 36 hours.
Levitra's active ingredient is vardenafil. Like Cialis, Levitra is available in low doses but it's particularly suitable for the over 50s, diabetics and men with high blood pressure.
Spedra is a newer medication with the active ingredient avanafil. This medication isn't as likely to cause visual or hearing disturbances as a side effect. It's quick-working, sometimes within 15 minutes, but it's not thought to be as effective as other brands.
Kamagra and Silagra are erectile dysfunction medications manufactured in India. They are not approved for use in the UK. It is not safe to use Kamagra or Silagra as the ingredients are not guaranteed or regulated and they may damage your health.
Many men take erectile dysfunction medications without any problem, but a minority may experience an unwanted reaction. Facial flushing, headaches, indigestion or a blocked nose are most common. If these concern you, contact your GP.
Less common side effects include:
Rare side effects include:
Yes - take care when taking erectile dysfunction medication with other treatments, as some interactions are dangerous, such as with nitrate-based medicine. This includes alpha-blockers, heart attack or blood pressure medications, and liver or kidney disease medicines.
Using recreational drugs such as poppers can also be dangerous because they contain amyl nitrate.
Men taking medication for the following conditions:
Plus any men who have suffered from or are at risk of a stroke, heart attack or other cardiovascular condition should speak to a doctor about whether erectile dysfunction medication is suitable for them.
It is important to follow the instructions associated with each particular brand of ED medication. Never take more than the prescribed amount.
Erectile dysfunction is common and if you are suffering you are not alone. If you've experienced side effects with a particular ED treatment, it is worth trying another option.
Whichever you use, all medications must be prescribed by your GP or by a trusted online pharmacy to guarantee their safety. Take our free online consultation with a registered doctor today and find out which treatment will suit you best.