Erectile Dysfunction Treatment With Generic & Brand Drugs
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is the inability for a man to achieve an erection, or maintain an erection for a sufficient period of time for himself or his partner. This condition is almost inevitably experienced by all men at certain periods of time and increases in frequency in later life. Living with this problem causes much unnecessary mental and emotional suffering, leading to embarassment, frustration and in extreme cases can disrupt relationships or marriage. Male impotence does not have to be a tolerated component of middle age.
Impotence, the technical term for general erection problems is much more widespread than is popularly assumed. In a Massachusetts Male Aging Study among a survey of men aged 35-75 years, 52% of the men responded that they had a nominal degree of erectile difficulty. Total inability to obtain or maintain suitable erections during sexual stimulation occurred in 10% of the men that responded in the study. Mild and moderate Erectile Dysfunction occurred in 17% and 25% of participants.
Being such a common condition, Erectile Disfunction is quickly becoming one of the most targeted conditions in the pharmaceutical marketplace. Medical science has advanced to the point where successful Erectile Dysfunction treatment is common place. The treatments are varied, from Erectile Dysfunction medication to alternative Erectile Dysfunction natural remedies and cures to surgial implants in extreme cases. These treatments are most commonly made available from a patient's primary physician and in other cases from a qualified urologist.
Many Erectile Dysfunction remedies, drugs, medicines, and therapies now exist in the market place from many different companies. Many of the impotence treatments on the market vary in efficacy and there is a wealth of disinformation and misleading advertising. This site was setup as a resource to provide much-needed information regarding the cause of impotence, erectile dysfunction information, including consumer review and opinion on current and in-the-pipeline Erectile Dysfunction therapies so that you can make a responsible, informed health decision.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
There are a wide variety of underlying conditions which can cause Erectile Dysfunction (impotence). You should keep in mind that Erectile Dysfunction is a condition caused by a problem in the body and is not a disease.
An erection requires a very specific sequence of physiological events to be a success and there are many biochemical processes that can be disrupted by a variety of conditions. Temporary dysfunction will be experienced by most men at times throughout their life. This impermanent loss in function is not something to be worried about unless it continues and becomes progressive in nature.
Until just recently, the majority of medical experts attributed Erectile Dysfunction to an emotional problem, involving fear, anxiety, stress or one of many other mental conflicts. Through research, it is now much better understood and approximately 75% - 85% of cases are thought to have an organic, i.e., physical origin.
Some of these causes include:
- Reduced blood flow to the penis
- Diabetes (high blood sugar)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- Chronic alcoholism
- Drug use and abuse
- Hormone disorders
- Neurologic conditions
- Pelvic trauma, surgery, radiation therapy
- Peyronie's disease
- Venous leak
- Psychological conditions
Many injuries around the pelvic region can cause Erectile Dysfunction, specifically injuries that damage the muscles, veins, and arteries around the pelvic area.
Also, many medicines can cause abrupt or gradual decline in erection quality and sexual performance.
A few types of these include:
- appetite suppressants
- hypertension drugs
- many others
However, an abrupt and temporary loss of erectile function can usually be attributed to mental origin such as:
- stress and anxiety
- marital issues
- self-esteeem problems
- sexual orientation issues
- performance anxiety
This is by no means a complete listing of suspect causes of Erectile Dysfunction. Research into this area of impotence is on-going.
Please visit our research page for more information.
Risk Factors of Erectile Dysfunction
Risk factors for developing Erectile Dysfunction vary from the physical to the emotional, and many of them can contribute to impotence in a synergistic fashion.
One of the greatest risk factors for developing erectile dysfunction.
Ateriosclerosis is the main concern with vascular diease, causing the arteries
in the body to narrow in diameter and harden.
The common causes of this condition include:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Diabetes mellitus
Smoking is one of the most common causes of all three of these conditions, leading to arteriosclerosis which in turn can lead to Erectile Dysfunction.
Chronic high levels of sugar in the blood can damage small blood vessels
which impede the flow of blood neccessary to achieve an erection.
Physical / Organic Diseases
Many diseases of the blood vesseles, lungs, liver, kidneys, heart,
and nerves to lead to this condition. Endocrine disorders which can
alter the levels of testosterone can also contribute.
Substance Abuse and Chronic Alcoholism
Marijuana, Alcohol and other drugs can decrease
sexual drive and even be the primary cause of erectile dysfunction.
Anxiety, stress, and depression
can be risk factors for Erectile Dysfunction.
Diagnosis of Erectile Dysfunction
Diagnosis of erectile dysfunction can be done by your primary doctor or a specialized urologist that was referred to you by your primary care doctor.
The doctor will most likely ask you questions regarding the onset and duration of the condition, any injuries you've had, any medications you are currently taking, and any
other conditions or diseases that may be in your medical history or are having symptoms of.
A physical examination will be done as it can be a great resource for determining any problems that you may have that can contribue to Erectile Dysfunction.
This examination can reveal sensory and or nerve problems or damage to the organ itself.
If no major problem is found and a psycho-social examination doesn't show any emotional or mental condition which may be causing the Erectile Dysfunction, the doctor will perform some laboratory tests that can include:
- liver and kidney function profile
- thyroid function profile
- lipid (fat) profile
- blood count
- liver enzyme levels
- creatine leves
Also, some alternative tests can include:
- Duplex ultrasound
- Prostate examination
- Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT)
- Erectile Function Tests
- Penile nerve function reflex test
- Snap gauge
- Vasoactive injection
Only your doctor can determine the tests that are appropriate.
Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Overview
There are various courses of treatment for Erectile Dysfunction. A wide variety of treatment options exist for treating erectile dysfunction. Included is everything from pharmaceuticals and mechanical pump-based remedies psychological counseling and major intrusive surgery.Many factors including your age, weight, activity level, onset and duration of the Erectile Dysfunction condition, medical history, lab test results, and more will be used to determine the best course of action for treatment.
Pharmaceutical Treatment For Erectile Dysfunction
The introduction of Viagra® (sildenafil citrate) revolutionized the clinical treatment of Erectile Dysfuction and finally brought public awareness to the subject of impotence. Finally there was an easy to use, fast-acting oral medication to improve a man's sexual performance.
There are now a variety of medications under research, with many in different stages of the drug development and trial pipeline, and a few FDA approved drugs on the market. These include:
- Viagra® (sildenafil citrate) manufactured by Pfizer
- Levitra® (vardenafil HCl) manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline
- Cialis® (tadalafil) manufactured by Lilly ICOS
Method Of Action
The three prescription drugs are similar in method of action, as they are all classified as selective enzyme inhibitors and utilize a similar physiological process for promoting an erection. They inhibit certain enzymes (chemical reaction catalyst) that reduce the blood flow to the penis, act on enzymes that don't allow the smooth muscle in the penis to relax, and also boost blood serum levels of a biochemical component called cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP, a chemical factor in metabolism). The processes all contribute to allowing one to achieve an erection quicker and easier, and allow one to sustain that erection for greater periods of time. Although these three have a similar action in the body, they vary in many regards including dosage structure, possible side effects, and duration of effectiveness, and more.
Which Treatment Is Right For You?
Your doctor will determine the one which is right for you by completing an analysis of your medical history, erectile problems, the duration of action you wish to have, and by determining how your body reacts to certain medications. Patients who are taking nitrate drugs for the treatment of Angina (chest pain) or patients taking alpha-blockers for Hypertension (high blood pressure) should not use any of these selective enzyme inhibitors.
Specifically Cialis® should not be taken by patients who have had any sort of cardiac problems, including but not limited to heart attack, stroke, uncontrolled high blood pressure, severe low blood pressure, and more. Patients who have kidney or liver problems should limit their use of all selective enzyme inhibitors.
The majority of men experience improvement in their erectile function and quality with use of these medicines, regardless of the root cause of their impotence.
The most common side effects that can be experienced with any of the medications include:
- Altered or blue-tinged vision
- Stuffy or runny nose
Table Of Popular Medications
Viagra® (sildenafil citrate)
Levitra® (vardenafil HCl)
Up to 100 milligrams (mg) a day
Up to 20 mg a day
Up to 20 mg a day
Medication quantity of tablets
25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg tablets
2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg and 20 mg tablets
10 mg and 20 mg tablets
Onset of action
30 to 60 minutes, without food
30 to 60 minutes, with or without food
30 minutes, with or without food
Duration of effectiveness
Up to four hours
Up to four hours
24 to 36 hours
Don't expect any medication to correct the impotence immediately. Everyone's body responds differently to the drugs and the proper and effective dosage for one person may be very different than for someone else. Your doctor will work with you to adjust the dosage. You also may need to change the time of day when you take the medication.
The severity and root cause of your impotence are key for determining the best medication or combination of medications. Before starting any medication regimen, make sure to discuss with your doctor the potential benefits of treatment and the possible side effects you may encounter.
New Treatments In The Future
Research is ongoing into the field of Erectile Dysfunction and new treatments will be available very soon. Whether they will bring new advancements and side effects alike, is yet to be seen.
Naturopathic Treatment For Erectile Dysfunction
Naturopathic / herbal therapies
You can avoid most of the side effects that are caused by pharmaceutical treatments by replacing them with herbal therapies. However the efficacy of naturopathic medicine widely varies.
Yohimbine improves erections for a small percentage of men. It stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which researchers have linked to proper erection function and as a secondary benefit may increase libido. It is advised to complete a course of six to eight weeks before making a decision as to whether or not Yohimbine is going to be a successful treatment as the nutritional supplement takes some time to work in the body.
Other Herbal Treatments
These herbs are a good starting point to be used in an attempt to help with erectile dysfunction:
- Damiana (Turnera diffusa) — used for various sexual disorders and as an aphrodisiac.
- Asian ginseng — Used for erectile dysfunction.
- Muira puama — Increase libido and can be used for erectile dysfunction.
- Ginkgo biloba— Increases blood flow in the arteries, can provide benefit to male sexual performance.
Also, It is important to remember that proper nutrition can affect erectile quality, sexual drive, and sexual performance in general.
Some tips to remember:
- eat the proper balance of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and meats.
- avoid dairy products, highly refined food, foods that contain a large amount of saturated fat, and caffeine.
- drink one half your body weight (lbs) in ounces of H20 daily.
Supplements provide nutritional support to our bodies for essential biochemical processes not every supplement or dosing regimen is right for everyone, so a doctor, licensed holistic MD or naturopathic physician should be consulted before starting any regimen of new vitamins or herbal supplements.
- Selenium — 200 mcg daily
- Zinc — 30 mg daily
- Vitamin C — 1000 mg 3 times daily
- Inositol — 1000-3000 mg daily
- Bioflavonoids — 1000 mg daily
- Vitamin E — 400 IUs daily
- Flaxseed meal — 2-4 tablespoons daily
Information For Sexual Partners
The good news to understand is that the majority of cases of Erectile Dysfunction can be treated. There are a variety of Erectile dysfunction treatments available that can assist in giving back the ability to promote and sustain an erection. Experts say that treatment will be more successful if you participate in the process as the sexual partner. Your partner needs to be comfortable with the treatment selected and he will need your support. In the majority of cases, a doctor will be able to help you and your partner overcome Erectile Dysfunction. While most erectile dysfunction involves an organic cause requiring physical treatment, a psychological factor for the impotence may be involved. So it is possible that the treatment may involve counseling.
The first step to begin this treatment process is to visit your physician as soon as possible. Most recently, primary care physicians have become active in the diagnosis and treatment of Erectile Dysfunction. However, it can be beneficial to seek out the help of a qualified urologist who specializes in the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction. The specialist will have access to a bette line of diagnostic equipment and procedures and will also look for conditions that Erectile Dysfunction can be a secondary cause of such as diabetes, Pelvic injury, heart disease, or prescription drug side effects. Often, impotence is a symptom of a much larger medical condition. In an Ideal situation, you should see the doctor as a couple for the initial consultation. Some men, however, may be reluctant about a joint first visit and may want to go alone. In those cases, you may want to respect his wish.
When you see the doctor, make sure to ask questions and request answers in plain language. Go to the appointment prepared with questions and concerns. While there are a wide variety of treatments available, no single therapy is best for everyone. The physical and emotional needs and concerns of both partners have to be considered. Clinical studies show that simply seeking treatment can have a beneficial effect on the relationship. In most cases, depending on the treatment that the doctor and you decide upon, the man can recover some or all of his erectile function.