Viagra, Cialis, Or Levitra: Is One Best For Treating Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is arguably the most prevalent sexual dysfunction, affecting roughly 52% of men between the ages of 40-70. ED’s prevalence may be higher given that men under 40 may also experience it; furthermore, stereotypical jokes surrounding the condition prevent some men from seeking treatment.

Thankfully, advances in medical technology have facilitated multiple ED treatment methods, with the most popular being oral prescription drugs. Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra are arguably the most well-known ED pill brands; however, which brand is the better option? Find out the similarities and differences among the three brands to select your ideal treatment regimen.

How Erectile Dysfunction Pills Work

Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra belong to a group of medicines called PDE5-inhibitors that function by delaying cGMP breakdown, helping achieve and sustain an erection. cGMP is a vasodilator that relaxes the arteries in the corpora cavernosa (soft penile tissue) while the blood vessels leading to the penis constrict, pushing blood into the penis. Below is a breakdown of each drug’s efficiency, side effects, and distinguishing features.

Viagra

Popularly known as the “little blue pill,” Viagra is arguably the best-known ED prescription drug. Surprisingly, Viagra came to be after a medication intended to manage blood pressure failed but increased blood flow to the penis. In 1998, Viagra became the first PDE5 inhibitor medication to receive approval for treating ED from drug regulatory authorities, you can get it from https://getsmarted.co.

Viagra is the brand name for a PDE5 inhibitor called Sildenafil citrate, the primary active ingredient in the prescription drug. The drug takes effect 30 minutes to two hours after consumption, and its effects last up to five hours.

Therefore, you can take Viagra up to four hours before engaging in sexual activity; taking it on an empty stomach is preferable. However, factors like your age, diet, and overall health affect how long the drug lasts.

Viagra is available in 25mg, 50mg, and 100mg doses prescribed according to your condition’s severity. Besides the branded drug, a generic version called Sildenafil Citrate is also available.

Viagra Side Effects

  • Skin flushing
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Colorblindness
  • Blurred vision and priapism (rare cases)

 

Drug Interactions

Avoid talking Viagra alongside nitrates, pulmonary hypertension medication, alcohol, and other ED prescription pills.

Cialis

Cialis is the brand name for a PDE5 inhibitor drug called tadalafil. The prescription drug was the first ED drug approved for once-a-day use in 2008. However, a unique factor about Cialis is that it can serve dual functions, treating ED and enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (PBH) simultaneously.

The ED drug kicks in 15minutes after consumption but peaks after two hours; however, it lasts up to 36 hours after consumption, allowing for spontaneity. While Cialis increases penile blood flow, it still requires sexual stimulation.

Cialis is available in 2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg, and 20mg doses taken on an empty stomach. The first two doses are ideal for daily use, while the second two are ideal for 72-hour use. However, dosage depends on your condition’s severity and your overall health.

Cialis Side Effects

  • Headaches
  • Muscle and back pain
  • Flushing
  • Stomach pain and digestion issues
  • Blocked nose
  • Painful limbs
  • Priapism
  • Hearing loss
  • Vision loss in one or both eyes

Drug Interactions

Cialis is relatively unsafe for people with a history of heart attack or stroke. The drug also has a negative interaction with nitrates, some anti-fungal medications, ARVs for HIV, other blood pressure, PBH, and ED medicines, and alcohol.

 

 

 

Levitra

Levitra is the brand name for the generic ED drug vardenafil; both the brand and the generic form of the drug are available under prescription. The drug is available in 2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg, and 20mg doses prescribed depending on your condition’s severity, age, and whether you use alpha-blockers. However, do not take more than one pill per day regardless of the dosage.

You can take Levitra an hour to sexual activity with or without food, low-fat meals preferred, and the effects last up to six hours. However, the drug requires sexual stimulation.

Levitra Side Effects

  • Flushing
  • Headaches
  • Indigestion
  • Back pain
  • Nasal congestion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Priapism

Drug Interactions

Do not take Levitra alongside nitrate drugs as this will cause a sudden drastic blood pressure drop. Cialis also has negative interaction when taken alongside PBH medications, alcohol, and grapefruit.

Considerations When Choosing Specific ED Medications

Cost

ED prescription medications are generally pricey, and the prices vary with dosage, although Viagra is the most affordable while Cialis is the most expensive. Furthermore, Health cover companies classify ED medications as lifestyle medications for non-life-threatening conditions and do not cover them. However, you can opt for generic versions of the drugs, which are substantially cheaper yet equally effective.

Sexual Lifestyle

The frequency at which you engage in sexual activity also influences the ideal ED drug for you. For instance, ED patients with steady sexual partners may prefer Cialis due to the daily dose, its lingering effect, and spontaneity. In contrast, those who have sex occasionally may choose Viagra or Levitra.

Tolerability

Individuals have unique reactions to specific ED drugs so, consult your doctor if side effects become unbearable. Also, note that the side effects listed above are not exhaustive, and ensure you call your doctor immediately you experience priapism, dizziness, vision loss, or chest pain.

Health History

Ensure you disclose any health conditions you may have so that your doctor can make an informed decision when prescribing your ED medications.

 

 

Conclusion

While ED drugs use a similar mechanism of action, nuanced differences among brands make some drugs preferable to individual situations. Therefore, disclose your complete medical history to allow your doctor to make the ideal prescription.

Resources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5503428/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3776492/

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10042-priapism#:~:text=Priapism%20is%20a%20persistent%2C%20usually,scarring%20and%20permanent%20erectile%20dysfunction.

https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/b/benign-prostatic-hyperplasia-(bph)

https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-are-lifestyle-drugs-2615126

 

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