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What Is Normal Symptom Relief From Erectile Dysfunction Medications

I'm currently taking medication for erectile dysfunction, but I still frequently experience problems with sexual performance. What kind of symptom relief is normal for a prescription ED treatment?

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Erectile dysfunction medications are effective at helping many men with ED maintain an erection firm enough to have sex. There are several available medicines, and all of them work by increasing chemicals that relax and open the blood vessels in the penis. This allows blood to flow into the penis, which is what causes the penis to become erect.
If you are not getting the type of symptom relief you expect after taking an erectile dysfunction medicine, there are a few things to consider. However, first it is important to note that these medicines are approved to treat ED, which is the repeated inability to get or keep an erection firm. They will not increase sex drive, or help with other problems that may interfere with sexual intercourse.
All of the currently available erectile dysfunction medications work the same way to produce an erection. However, there are a few differences, mainly in how quickly each one works and how long the effects last. Therefore, you should make sure you are taking the medication correctly. The following are some general guidelines:
  • Viagra® (sildenafil citrate) is usually taken within one hour of sexual activity. The medication generally starts to work for most men in about 30 minutes, and can last up to four hours. However, the response is reduced two hours after the drug is taken.
  • Levitra® (vardenafil HCl) is usually taken about one hour before sexual activity. For most men, it begins to work in about an hour, and can continue to work in most cases for up to four hours.
  • Cialis® (tadalafil) can be taken about 30 minutes before sexual activity and may begin to work in as little as 30 minutes. For most men, though, it begins working within an hour. Cialis can work up to 36 hours after you take your dose. Some men may take a small once-daily dose of Cialis without regard to timing of sexual activity.
  • Staxyn™ (orally disintegrating vardenafil) contains the same active ingredient as Levitra. Like Levitra, it is usually taken about one hour before sexual activity, and the effects normally last for up to four hours.
  • Stendra™ (avanafil) is usually taken about 30 minutes prior to sexual activity. The effects of the medication may last as long as six hours after a dose is taken.
If you are taking the medication correctly and still experiencing problems with sexual function, talk to your healthcare provider about your dosage. Generally, these medicines are used at the lowest effective dose. Depending on your overall health, your current dose, other medications you are taking, and other medical conditions you may have, your healthcare provider may be able to try a higher dose.
Your healthcare provider may also recommend you try a different medicine altogether. Even though these products work in the same way, some people may respond to one drug better than another. It is difficult to know beforehand who will respond to which erectile dysfunction medication.
Finally, it could be that erectile dysfunction medicines aren't right for you. Although the medications generally work for most men, they don't work for everyone, for a variety of reasons. Consider talking to your healthcare provider about other possible treatment options for your erectile dysfunction.
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