Prescription pills, such as Cialis and Viagra, are among the most commonly used treatments for erectile dysfunction.
How do pills like Viagra and Cialis work? Are these pills an effective long-term solution? Which pill, if any, is right for me?
As a Men’s Health Clinic, we hear questions like these all the time. It is important to understand how erectile dysfunction pills work before deciding to take them. Here are are some of our answers to the most common queries.
How do Erectile Dysfunction Pills Work?
To understand how these pills work, we have to first understand how erections work.
The brain, upon becoming sexually aroused, will send signals to a man’s penis to fill with blood and become erect. Seems easy enough, right?
Here’s the catch: the muscle of the penis must relax to allow for that inflow of blood. Drugs like Cialis and Viagra, also known as “PDE5 inhibitors,” help with that relaxation. They do this by temporarily “inhibiting” an enzyme that can get in the way of this process. This allows blood to flow into the penis, which can make it easier to get and maintain an erection.
Although they may seem quite similar, the differences between PDE5 inhibitors can be vast. For example, the half-life of Viagra is 4 hours, while Cialis has a 17.5 hour half-life. That means the effects of Cialis can last up to 36 hours! This is something which should definitely be considered when choosing which medication to use. It’s important to discuss any potential prescription with a doctor who has in-depth knowledge of all the differences between available pills. ED specialists at clinics like FullMast are informed about the different molecular structures of pills like Cialis and Viagra, and can advise whether any of these are a good choice for you.
What are the Side-Effects of ED Pills?
Erectile dysfunction is a health issue, so you should approach treatment in a health-centered way. That means understanding everything you can about the drugs you’re taking, speaking with a specialist, and making sure any treatments are compatible with your medical history.
In the case of PDE5 inhibitors, that medical history is a critical factor. Some of the same issues which can cause erectile dysfunction, such as heart issues and blood pressure, could interact badly with these medications. Mixing these drugs with nitrates (nitroglycerin tablets or patches) can also make these drugs a dangerous choice for men.
Side effects of PDE5 inhibitors include vision loss, headaches, body pains (especially in the lower back), stuffy nose, gastrointestinal issues (such a diarrhea and indigestion), and a flushing of the face. If you take these drugs, any side effects should be reported to a doctor immediately.
By looking at the root cause of your ED, examining your medical history, and paying attention to any potential side effects, a specialist can decide whether they a PDE5 inhibitor should be considered as a part of your treatment plan.
Are Pills Like Cialis and Viagra Good Treatments for ED?
Many men have reservations about leaving their love life to a prescription. They’re right to be cautious. Taking a pill like Viagra or Cialis will not address the critical underlying causes of ED, many of which are central to a patient’s overall health.
Beyond that, it can be a stressful solution: Having to schedule sex around a pill can take some of the spark and spontaneity out of a relationship, and depending on pills like Viagara and Cialis can be expensive and inconvenient over time.
Many men prefer to pursue long-term treatments which improve performance for the rest of their lives, rather than just a night or two. That’s why we take a multimodal and health-centered approach at FullMast by prescribing these drugs not necessarily as a long-term solution, but as a tool to improve the efficacy of more permanent treatments, such as SONICWAVE™ therapy.
A consultation with a trained ED specialist is the best way to decide which treatment is best for you. There are many different solutions which can work together to help you reclaim your sex life.
If you’re in the Toronto or Vancouver area and want to know what treatment option is right for you, call 1-844-500-1177 or contact us online today!
Note that in the context of this article “specialist” is used to denote a clinical focus, not a medical specialist such as an urologist.