The Essential Guide to Choosing the Right ED Medication

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The Essential Guide to Choosing the Right ED Medication


Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition, it is prevalent in more than 50% of men over the age of 40. There are many ED treatments available that are clinically proven to be effective at treating erectile dysfunction. Selecting an erectile dysfunction treatment that works for you is really important, therefore, being informed about the most reliable treatments, brands and products is essential for a healthy sex life.

What is the most recommended form of ED treatment?

Oral prescription medication is regarded as the go-to treatment or ‘first line therapy’ to treat erectile dysfunction. The efficacy of oral prescription medication has been rigorously tested and consolidated through clinical research. A recent study concluded that collectively, oral prescription medication offers efficacy, tolerability and safety in the treatment of ED. An extensive overview conducted in a landmark study investigating the use of oral medication to treat ED, highlighted that across 16 trials, successful erections were achieved in up to approximately 90% of participants (versus 35.5% of those taking a placebo) and successful sexual intercourse was experienced by approximately 70% of participants (versus 35.0% of those taking a placebo).

How do oral ED medications work?

Following arousal, the brain activates increased blood flow to the penis, resulting in an erection. In order for an erection to subside, an enzyme called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5) stimulates smooth muscle to constrict blood vessels, reducing blood flow and causing the penis to return to it’s normal size. In men without ED, the regulation of increased and decreased blood flow is sufficient to sustain an erection long enough for sexual activity.

The active ingredients in ED medications are collectively referred to as PDE-5 inhibitors, which work by preventing the constriction of blood vessels, and blood flow to the penis following sexual arousal is therefore maintained for longer and an erection is sustained for longer. For an erection to be achieved and maintained, the man needs to be sexually stimulated or aroused for the drug to work properly.

Active ingredients and brands

Well known PDE-5 inhibitors consist of; Sildenafil citrate, Tadalafil, Avanafil and Vardenafil. Oral ED treatments with these active ingredients are sold in their generic, non-branded version; Sildenafil (Viagra), Tadalafil (Cialis), Avanafil (Spedra) and Vardenafil (Levitra). Oral ED treatments are also sold by brands, although they are medically equivalent, they are typically more expensive; Viagra (Sildenafil), Cialis (Taldalafil), Spedra (Avanafil) and Levitra (Vardenafil). You can also purchase Viagra Connect which has the same active ingredient as Viagra but is a non-prescription equivalent.

How do you know which ED Medication to choose?

Due to the wide range of ED medications available, working out which one is right for you is important. The factors to consider consist of; frequency of use, dosage strength, duration for medication to become active, medication activity time and brand versus non-brand.

Active Ingredient Strengths sold Active time Duration Legal
Viagra Sildenafil citrate 25mg, 50mg, 100mg 30 – 60 min 4 hours Yes
Generic Sildenafil Sildenafil citrate 25mg, 50mg, 100mg 30 – 60 min 4 hours Yes
Spedra Avanafil 50mg, 100mg, 200mg 15-30 min 6 hours Yes
Levitra Vardenafil 5mg, 10mg, 20mg, 10mg orodispersible 25-60 min 4-5 hours Yes
Generic Vardenafil Vardenafil 5mg, 10mg, 20mg 25-60 min 4-5 hours Yes
Cialis Tadalafil 10mg, 20mg 30 min 36 hours Yes
Generic Tadalafil Tadalafil 10mg, 20mg 30 min 36 hours Yes
Cialis Daily Tadalafil 2.5mg, 5mg Continuous Continuous Yes
Generic Tadalafil Daily Tadalafil 2.5mg, 5mg Continuous Continuous Yes
Kamagra Sildenafil citrate 25mg, 50mg, 100mg 30 min – 1 hour 4 hours No
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