Male impotence is often referred to as erectile dysfunction by the physicians who treat it. In the past years manufacturers and drug companies have begun releasing several new medications used to treat erectile dysfunction.
In the early years, when Viagra was first released, it was done so with the intended audience of the spinal cord injured population. Viagra was a huge boon to a population of people who had lost the neurological input required to achieve and maintain an erection.
Male impotence and the loss of a sexual relationship between a married couple puts a huge strain on the marriage. Many marriages have ended in divorce when the man has been unable or unwilling to address the erectile dysfunction condition. With the use of drugs that address impotence, a men’s sexual health has improved drastically and brought about an increase in confidence.
Not all people are as excited about the improvement in marital relationships as those who reap the benefits of the medications. As of January 1, 2006 Medicare began paying for medications to treat erectile dysfunction.
The response was very mixed. Congressmen were split over whether this was a decision that was fair to both men and women or whether this amount of money which is estimated to reach $280 million by 2015 was an appropriate way to spend the budget.
Women’s groups were angered by the fact that it appeared that men’s reproductive health, erectile dysfunction, was being addressed while birth-control pills for female reproductive health continued to be denied.
In 1999 Pfizer introduced the oral medication Viagra. Since then more than 23 million people have put it to use. Several other pharmaceutical companies have launched generic versions of Viagra which have proven to be safe and effective for individuals suffering from erectile dysfunction.
Two other medications include Levitra and Cialis, which are Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors which help to increase the blood flow through the penis during sexual intercourse.
Currently the Federal Drug Administration is considering approval for a new drug to treat erectile dysfunction called Uprima, manufactured by TAP Pharmaceuticals. This medication works more quickly than Viagra and because it is a pill which is placed under the tongue, dissolves and enters the bloodstream directly. Researchers have shown that the new drugs works within 15 to 20 minutes as compared to up to 60 minutes for Viagra.
However this new drug is not without its own side effects which include nausea and severe hypotension. There have been some reports that blood pressure has dropped so drastically it has precipitated fainting. This hypotensive the fact has been increased with the use of alcohol.
Some estimate that a degree of erectile dysfunction affects more than 50% of men over the age of 40. It is known that in the United States alone 30 million men are affected. But only 10% of men seek the help needed to conquer the condition either because of shame or a misunderstanding of the problem.
Estimates from the Director of the Institute for Sexual Medicine at Boston University Medical Center say that approximately 90% of men are still not getting help or treatment for erectile dysfunction.
In the early days of the release of Viagra many men were uninterested in using the medication because of reports of heart attacks that were later shown not to be related to the drugs. But Viagra carries only an advisory for people with high blood pressure or who are taking particular types of blood pressure lowering medications and for people with angina or heart disease who are taking nitrates.
In phase 3 clinical trials for Levitra researchers found that 71% of men who had previously undergone a prostatectomy and developed erectile dysfunction had improved erections. And even a small set of men who experienced depression related to their impotence had fewer symptoms of depression after taking Levitra.
In another phase 3 trial of 805 men approximately 75% reported successful penetration on their first attempt compared with 46% of men taking placebo. Side effects of Levitra were mild to moderate headache, flushing and some nasal congestion all related to the desired effect of increasing blood supply to the penis.
The maker of Levitra point out the biochemical differences between Levitra, Viagra and Cialis. Levitra contains a more efficient enzyme inhibitor cell only a small amount of the drug is necessary which apparently helps to decrease the amount of side effects individuals suffer when using the medication.
Another difference between the medications is when the effects start to work and how long they last. Viagra takes effect in 30 minutes and lasts about four hours; Cialis reaches a maximum concentration in 24 hours and will last for three days; and Levitra reaches maximum concentration in 30 to 40 minutes with a lasting effect of 16 hours.
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Armed with this knowledge physicians should evaluate lifestyle preferences before prescribing the medication for erectile dysfunction which will most appropriately and effectively fit the man’s life.