Tag Archives: Mens Health

About erectile dysfunction

Though erectile dysfunction is distressing, it isn’t life threatening. But heart disease can be. Erectile dysfunction — trouble keeping an erection sufficient for sex — can be an early warning sign of heart disease. Understanding the connections between erectile dysfunction and heart health can help you recognize signs and symptoms of heart disease early on. Likewise, if you have heart disease, getting the right treatment can help you maintain or improve erectile function. Factors linked to heart disease that can cause erectile dysfunction include: Continue reading About erectile dysfunction

Viagra and other oral medications that treat erectile dysfunction

Viagra, Levitra and Cialis are often the first treatment tried for erectile dysfunction — the inability to achieve or sustain an adequate erection for sexual activity. For most men with erectile problems, they work well and have few side effects. All three medications improve erectile function in the same basic way, but the effects of tadalafil (Cialis) last longer. This and a few other minor differences among these medications may make one a better choice over another for some men.

Viagra, Levitra and Cialis increase levels of nitric oxide, a chemical produced by your body during sexual stimulation that causes blood vessels in the penis to relax and open. This allows you to achieve and maintain an erection. These medications don’t automatically trigger an erection; sexual arousal is needed to start the whole process.

Viagra, Levitra and Cialis each have a slightly different chemical make up. These minor differences affect the way they work, such as how quickly they take effect and wear off; how they interact with other medications; and side effects. Your doctor will consider these factors when deciding if one of these medications is a good choice for you. Your doctor will also consider any other health problems you have and whether any of your current medications could cause problems when taken with Viagra, Levitra or Cialis.

Although these erectile dysfunction medications can help many people, not all men can safely take them. Viagra, Levitra and Cialis may not be a good choice if you have: Continue reading Viagra and other oral medications that treat erectile dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction Herbal Remedies

Erectile dysfunction (ED) represents inability to achieve or maintain erection with sufficient rigidity and duration to permit satisfactory sexual performance.

There are many causes, psychological, neurological, physical and other associated medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus, heart disease, hypertension and cigarette smoking which result in ED.

Currently, various treatment options are available for erectile dysfunction. They are PDE5 inhibitors, injection therapy, other oral prescription medicine, vacuum devices, surgical implants, herbal or over-the-counter medications.

The FDA does not approve over-the-counter medicines or herbal remedies for erectile dysfunction, as these are not under its jurisdiction. So, those interested in using herbal medications are advised to consult their physicians so as to determine the appropriate herb, dosage and side-effects.

Some of the herbal remedies used for correcting ED are:

L-arginine: It is an amino acid used by body to make nitric oxide which signals smooth muscle around the blood vessels leading to relaxation and this process dilates the blood vessels and helps in increase blood flow.

Relaxation of smooth muscle in the penis leads to enhanced blood flow and further leading to an erection. L-arginine can be found naturally in food such as meat, poultry, dairy and fish and is available as oral L-arginine supplement.

Propionyl-L-Carnitine: Propionyl-L-carnitine enhances and improves erectile function, orgasm, sexual intercourse satisfaction, and general sexual well-being.

Gingko: This herb is used by people who experience sexual dysfunction as a side effect caused by antidepressant drugs. This herb relaxes smooth muscle and enhances blood flow inside penis. It has 50% success rate as per one study.

Zinc: High level of mineral zinc deficiency which is associated with diabetes, long-term use of diuretics, digestive disorders, and certain liver and kidney diseases, sometimes leads to erectile dysfunction.

Ashwagandha: The herb ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) which is also called Indian Ginseng increases stamina, energy, and sexual function. Side-effects of ashwagandha include drowsiness.

Yohimbe: This is a bark of West African yohimbe tree which is a source of yohimbine. Yohimbine is a compound which stimulates blood flow to the penis thus increasing libido and decreasing the time between ejaculations.

Side effects generally include anxiety, dizziness, nausea, and drop in blood pressure, fatigue, abdominal pain, hallucinations, and paralysis. Due to its fatal qualities it is generally not recommended.

Tongkat ali: It works by increasing level of hormone testosterone. Testosterone is responsible for the growth and development of penis, testicles, prostate, scrotum and seminal vesicles. Normal testosterone levels help in maintaining energy level, fertility, as well as sexual desire.

Tribulus terrestris: It is herb which has been used in traditional medicines of China for centuries. Tribulus is often used for infertility, low libido and erectile dysfunction.

Gamma-Butyrolactone (GBL): GBL can be found in products which are marketed for improvement in sexual function. This substance can cause toxic and fatal side-effects which include seizures and coma.

Thus, with so many choices before a person who wants to improve erectile dysfunction with herbal remedies, it is imperative to choose the correct remedy after evaluating the risks factors and side effects. One must always consult physician and herbalist before undergoing such remedial measures.

How Viagra™, Levitra™ and Cialis™ compare to each other

Until the late 1990s, there were no truly effective oral medications for erectile dysfunction — the inability to achieve or sustain an adequate erection for sexual activity. The useful drugs that were available had to be injected into the penis or inserted into the urethra.

Treatment of erectile dysfunction is much easier now, thanks to a class of drugs called phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors. The medications — sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra) and tadalafil (Cialis) — all improve erectile function in the same basic way, but they differ in how quickly they take effect and how long their effects last.

Viagra™, Levitra™ and Cialis™ – How they work?

Viagra, Levitra and Cialis prevent the breakdown of nitric oxide, a chemical messenger that promotes relaxation and opening of the blood vessels that supply erectile tissue in the penis. Under the influence of nitric oxide, these vessels expand and stay dilated. Increased blood flow makes erectile tissue swell and compress the veins that carry blood out of the penis, resulting in a full erection.

PDE-5 inhibitors do not automatically trigger erections. Sexual stimulation also is needed to start the whole process. The medications enable a more complete response to sexual stimulation.

Many clinical trials have shown that PDE-5 inhibitors improve erectile function regardless of the underlying cause or causes. Viagra, Levitra and Cialis increase the number and quality of erections and sexual experiences in men with erectile dysfunction due to arteriosclerosis, diabetes, spinal cord injury, depression or the aftereffects of prostate cancer surgery.

Similarities and differences

The drugs have slightly different chemical compositions that affect how quickly they work and wear off. Other distinctions — for example, which drug may be best for men of different ages or with different medical conditions — aren’t known. No study has directly compared these three medications.


Viagra (sildenafil) Levitra (vardenafil) Cialis (tadalafil)
Usual dose 50 milligrams (mg) a day 10 mg a day 10 mg a day
Maximum doses 100 mg a day 20 mg a day 20 mg a day
Available as 20 mg, 25 mg, 50 mg and 100 mg tablets 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg and 20 mg tablets 5 mg, 10 mg and 20 mg tablets
How to take Without food Without food With or without food
When to take 30 to 60 minutes before sexual activity 30 to 60 minutes before sexual activity 30 minutes before sexual activity
Duration of effects Up to four hours Up to four hours 24 to 36 hours
How often to use Up to once a day Up to once a day Up to once a day
Side effects Headache, flushing, indigestion, stuffy or runny nose, upset stomach, diarrhea Headache, flushing, indigestion, stuffy or runny nose, upset stomach, dizziness Headache, indigestion, back pain, muscle aches, flushing, stuffy or runny nose
Warnings Do not take with nitrates (Nitro-Dur, others), or if you have certain heart valve problems. Should be used with caution or not used at all with alpha blockers. Should not be used with some antibiotic, antiviral or antifungal medications. Do not take with nitrates (Nitro-Dur, others) or alpha blockers (Hytrin, Cardura, others), or if you have certain heart valve problems. Should be used with caution or not used at all with alpha blockers. Should not be used with some antibiotic, antiviral or antifungal medications. Do not take with nitrates (Nitro-Dur, others) or alpha blockers (Hytrin, Cardura, others), or if you have certain heart valve problems. Should be used with caution or not used at all with alpha blockers. Should not be used with some antibiotic, antiviral or antifungal medications.

Several factors may affect your choice of medication, including how well your body responds to one drug over another and how long you want the effects of each dose to last. Talk to your doctor about your options and personal preferences to help decide which one of these medications might work for you.

Although these medications can help many people, not all men can safely take them. PDE-5 inhibitors may worsen certain medical conditions and interact with a number of drugs. Erectile dysfunction medications are dangerous when used with nitrate medications, such as nitroglycerin (Nitro-Dur, others), often prescribed to prevent or treat acute angina (chest pain due to coronary artery disease). Both types of medication dilate blood vessels, and their combined effects can cause dizziness, low blood pressure and loss of consciousness.

In rare cases, men using PDE-5 inhibitors have suffered permanent, total vision loss due to nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION). Because NAION and erectile dysfunction share many of the same risk factors, it’s unclear whether the drug or an underlying condition is responsible. If you’re considering an erectile dysfunction drug but have a retinal disorder, such as diabetic retinopathy, see your eye doctor first.

Occasional erectile dysfunction is a common problem, particularly as men age. Medication won’t make you feel like you’re 20 again, but it can help you achieve satisfying sexual relations more often. Be willing to work with your doctor to find which medication and dosage is best for you.