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  • Beyond Viagra Other Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors for ED Treatment

    Part 1 of 6: General Information

    Viagra, Cialis, LevitraSildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), and tadalafil (Cialis) are oral remedies used for ED (erectile dysfunction) treatment. Roughly half of all men over 40 occasionally experience problems with erection, according to the Urology Care Foundation. Thus, when ED becomes a problem, many men decide to turn to ED medication to resolve their problem.  Usually, the results are positive.

    Levitra, Cialis, and Viagra are drugs of a single classification, and work very similarly, albeit with a few differences. If you read about their similarities and differences, you should easily determine which one to use.

    Part 2 of 6: How It Works

    Levitra, Cialis, and Viagra are PDE5 inhibitors. Their main function is blocking an enzyme known as phosphodiesterase type 5 and boosting a natural chemical called nitric oxide. This enzyme encourages the muscles of the penis to relax, allowing blood to flow freely, and when the man is aroused, an erection happens. The drugs maintain it long enough for a patient to have sex.

    Viagra and Levitra stay in the bloodstream around four to six hours, but Cialis remains in the bloodstream for about 17 to 18 hours. This fact is important to remember if you take other medications or experience any prolonged side effects.

    Staxyn is another version of vardenafil (aka Levitra). It comes in the form of tablets and should be dissolved on the tongue.

    All three of these drugs traditionally show good results. However, it sometimes takes time and patience. If a drug does not work or keeps producing unpleasant side effects, you should try a different one. It might take a couple of adjustments to get to the correct dosage of the right medication. Inform your doctor if you’re taking other prescription or over-the-counter medications and supplements. Don’t forget to mention any existing and previous health conditions.

    Part 3 of 6: Differences

    Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra require doctor’s prescriptions, and are all available in various strengths. You can start with the lowest dosage and adjust it according to your body’s response.

    Cialis is a daily pill that can be taken with/without food. One should plan on taking Cialis 30 to 60 minutes before sex. It can stay active in the body for up to eight hours. Cialis can also be found in a 24-hour dosage; take it once a day, with/without food.

    If your doctor had prescribed Levitra, take it no more than once daily on an empty stomach. It is best to do it about 30 to 60 minutes before sex, and it may stay active in the body for as long as eight hours.

    Viagra is most effective on an empty stomach. Remember that high-fat foods may interfere with Viagra, which will take it longer to work. Take a Viagra pill 30 to 60 minutes before having sex. It usually stays active in the body for four to five hours. Sometimes it lasts eight hours or more.

    All three drugs are very effective if taken as directed.

    Part 4 of 6: Side Effects

    When it comes to side effects, all of these ED drugs are similar. Most men usually have very mild side effects, yet persistent problems must be reported to the doctor.

    Possible side effects of Cialis include:

    • muscle aches
    • back pain
    • headache
    • stuffy or runny nose
    • upset stomach

    Side effects of Viagra and Levitra include:

    • flushing
    • changes in vision
    • headache
    • stuffy or runny nose
    • upset stomach

    Sometimes, these medications cause dizziness and/or fainting. Another rare but known complication is when an erection doesn’t go away (it is called priapism). If an erection lasts more than 4 hours, it necessitates immediate medical help.

    Part 5 of 6: Interaction with Nitrates, Alpha-blockers and Alcohol

    Each medication comes with the possibility of negative drug interactions. Please read how other medications and chemicals interact with each of these drugs.

    Nitrates:

    Levitra, Viagra, Cialis are all contraindicated with nitrate-based drugs and products. Nitrates work by widening arteries, which increases blood flow and lowers strain on the heart. All three of these drugs amplify the effects of nitrates, which may lead to a problematic decrease of blood pressure (hypotension).Levitra, Viagra, Cialis may lead to a problematic decrease of blood pressure (hypotension)

    Like nitrates, alpha-blockers increase blood flow. This type of drug helps keep blood vessels open and relaxed. Alpha-blockers are used to cure high blood pressure. Since they help relax body parts, they are used to help urine flow in cases of prostate cancer. All three medications can lower blood pressure if they are used with such alpha-blockers. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) calls for caution when using PDE5 inhibitors with alpha-blockers.

    The same goes for alcohol: it widens blood vessels, so it might lead to low blood pressure.

    Part 6 of 6: Outlook

    Now, you have a general idea of what the three most popular ED drugs are and how they work. However, always talk to your doctor first, because from a professional point of view, there is more to it than can fit into one article, so avoid risk and consult with your doctor before taking any of these medications.