PDE5 inhibitors are known to be the best choice for men who are in otherwise good health but have difficulties obtaining and retaining an erection. It is generally safe to use for most men of any age. However, before taking PDE5 inhibitors for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, there are those who are actually not suitable for this type of drug. Men who take nitrate medicines for angina or alpha blocker meds for benign prostatic hypertrophy and hypertension are not recommended to take PDE5 inhibitors. Also, PDE5 inhibitors are known to be less effective in men who have been treated for prostate cancer and patients who have a medical history of diabetes in the past.
Patients with the following medical conditions are not advised not to take PDE5 inhibitors without the knowledge of their physicians:
- Severe heart problems such as angina, arrhythmia, heart failure and heart attack episodes.
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)
- Recent incidence of stroke
- Diabetes that is uncontrolled
- Retinitis pigmentosa. This is a genetic disease in which the affected patient’s body does not produce phosphodiesterase-5 enzyme, thus, they do not respond to PDE5 inhibitors.
PDE5 Inhibitors available in the Market Today
There are currently four oral PDE5 inhibitors that are FDA approved for the treatment of erectile dysfunction or male impotence.
- V-a (sildenafil citrate)
- Levitra (vardenafil)
- Cialis (tadalafil)
- Stendra (avanafil)
All of these PDE5 inhibitors work well for patients who are suffering from erectile dysfunction issues. PDE5 inhibitors, also called phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor, work by blocking the enzyme called PDE5. PDE5 inhibitors help in relaxing the smooth muscles of the penis, thereby increasing the flow of blood to the penile shaft. PDE5 inhibitors are typically the first choice of drugs used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction in men.
How to Take PDE5 Inhibitors and their Effect in the Body
PDE5 inhibitors become effective only when the male is stimulated by sexual intimacy. Depending on which of the PDE5 inhibitors being taken and the overall condition of the male who takes it, the general time before the effect takes place is within 15 to 45 minutes.
- Viagra (sildenafil citrate) must be taken on an empty stomach
- Levitra (vardenafil), Cialis (tadalafil) and Stendra (avanafil) can be taken with or without any food
Depending on which of the PDE5 inhibitors you are currently taking, their effects may last for many hours. Cialis actually lasts for up to 36 hours. Always remember that PDE5 inhibitors must not be taken more than once per day.
Some Side Effects of PDE5 Inhibitors You Must be Aware of
Below are some of the most common side effects of PDE5 inhibitors you need to be aware of: headache, back pain, dizziness, nasal congestion and upset stomach.
Side effects on the human heart: Having sex itself means that there will be increased physical exertion, and this makes men with history of heart disease (or those who are at risk of heart disease) prone to experiencing heart attack episodes. Viagra (sildenafil) has been reported to cause sudden and fatal drops in blood pressure when it is taken with nitroglycerine or other nitrate drugs (for angina).
Side effects on eyes: Men who are prone to eye problems and are taking PDE5 inhibitors must undergo frequent eye exams. Visual problems caused by taking PDE5 inhibitors include: temporary increased brightness, seeing a blue haze, or temporary vision loss that can last for a few minutes up to several hours.