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Viagra? Cialis? The Easiest Way to Determine Which is Best for You

Erectile dysfunction

There are several choices of medications on the market that effectively treat ED.

If you’re suffering from ED, you are not alone – many men experience the frustration that comes from erectile dysfunction. But there are now many medications that can successfully help you overcome this problem.

This article reviews several of the most popular medications to help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of some of these drugs used to help with erectile dysfunction. Which one is best for you?

Facts About Erectile Dysfunction

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 18.4% of all American men ages 20 and older suffer from varying degrees of erectile dysfunction. As men age, there is a higher corresponding percentage of men that struggle with this disorder.

Erectile dysfunction prevents men from obtaining or sustaining an erection. It’s a very treatable disorder, and of the men affected, more than one-half seek treatment.

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by a variety of medical conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity. Some medications can cause erectile dysfunction as a complication of the drug. Depression and anxiety can also affect sexual performance, along with the abuse of alcohol and smoking. As men age, a lack of sexual desire driven by a decrease in testosterone could also cause erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction is an extremely treatable disorder. A complete physical exam should be undertaken to help determine the cause and the best treatment for the problem. A blood test to check testosterone, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, and a urinalysis to check for other health conditions should be performed. Your physician should also conduct a physical history and screening to determine the medications you’re currently taking.

The most common way to treat erectile dysfunction is with phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) medications such as Cialis, Levitra, Staxyn, Sendra, and Viagra.

What are PDE5 Inhibitors and How Do they Help Erectile Dysfunction?

Since they were introduced in 1998, type-5 PDE’s have revolutionized the treatment of erectile dysfunction. The American Urological Association (AUA) suggests these medications as the first line of defense in treating these problems. There are a handful of these medications on the market today that work to increase blood flow to the penis. During sex, the male body produces an enzyme called cGMP. This chemical causes the blood vessels in the penis to dilate, which allows more blood to flow and engorge the organ. Another enzyme called PDE5 breaks down the chemical cGMP, which decreases blood flow, causing the erection to deflate. PDE5 inhibitors work to block PDE5, thereby increasing the dilation of the blood vessels, increasing blood flow, and providing men with a stronger erection.

There are a handful of PDE5 inhibitors on the market today. Each of the PDE5 inhibitors for erectile dysfunction has different benefits, including how rapidly they work and how long they last. The benefit for men suffering from erectile dysfunction is that they, in consultation with their physicians, have a range of effective choices to fit their lifestyle.

Now let’s look more closely at the “big five” ED medications: Cialis, Levitra, Staxyn, Stendra, and Viagra.

PDE5 Inhibitors Review – Which is Best for You?

Cialis

Biggest Benefit: Works for up to 36-hours.

First let’s look at Cialis, which was approved by the FDA and released in the United States in 2003. Men of all ages now use Cialis to treat their erectile dysfunction successfully. It’s one of the best sellers on the market today.

Cialis should be taken 30 minutes to 12-hours before sex. The biggest difference between Cialis and the other PDE5 inhibitors is that one dose can last up to 36-hours. While this doesn’t mean that you will have an erection for 36-hours, it does mean that, with sexual stimulation, your body will respond appropriately during that window. Without sexual stimulation, you will not have an erection. This allows for a great deal of spontaneity between partners, giving Cialis some distinct benefits from other PDE5 inhibitor drugs.

Levitra
Biggest Benefit: 
Works in as little as 12-minutes.

Next, lets review Levitra. Levitra is currently owned by Merck Pharmaceuticals. They market this erectile dysfunction drug under a few brand names, including Vivanza. Levitra is an orange round tablet. It was approved by the FDA in 2003, coming to the market just after Viagra.

Levitra comes in 2.5, 10, and 20mg doses. Typically, 10mg is taken, which is equal to roughly 50mg of Viagra. Only one dose should be taken in a 24-hour period.

Levitra should be taken about 30 to 60 minutes before sexual contact. The biggest benefit of Levitra is that it can work in as little as 12 minutes and can stay in the bloodstream for up to 24-hours. This also aids men seeking more spontaneity in their sex life. Levitra does work much faster than Viagra and it may be taken with food.

Levitra has a few side effects that could include dizziness, a runny or stuffy nose, headache or indigestion. Some more serious side effects, which occur rarely, could include a drop in blood pressure. Men with heart conditions should not take the medication.

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Staxyn

Biggest Benefit: Dissolves on the tongue without water.

Staxyn is the first PDE5 medication to treat erectile dysfunction that dissolves on the tongue instead of being swallowed. It may be taken as needed and can start working as quickly as 20 minutes. Staxyn was introduced into the U.S. market in 2010. It comes in a 10mg dose and is packaged discreetly; in a simple black slider container that fits in the pocket like a pack of gum.

Staxyn should be taken about an hour before sex; it is absorbed into the bloodstream quickly. The effects of Staxyn last about eight hours, however, this varies by the person. Like all medications to treat erectile dysfunction, talk with your doctor about what other drugs you’re currently taking and stay away from alcohol if you’re using Staxyn.

Stayxn should only be taken once in a 24-hour period. It can be taken with or without food. It is an effective and safe treatment for erectile dysfunction and a good choice for men interested in being discreet.

Stendra
Biggest Benefit: 
Typically has a lower cost than other PDE5 inhibitors and also works more quickly than Viagra.

Approved by the FDA in 2012, Stendra is another PDE5 inhibitor commonly prescribed for erectile dysfunction. It’s one of the newest medications on the market for treating erectile dysfunction. It’s considered an “on demand” medication simply because it works so quickly. In clinical trials, 80% of the men that took Stendra received an erection within 15 minutes.

The cost of Stendra is typically covered by health insurance. The oral tablets come in 50, 100, and 200mg doses and your doctor will typically select the lowest dose that works effectively for each individual patient.

Stendra can be taken as needed about 30 minutes before sexual contact. It only works if the penis is sexually stimulated. It works quickly, usually within 15 minutes. Each dose can last up to six hours. It should not be taken with alcohol or with any other PDE5 inhibitors are taken.

Side effects of Stendra are minor; headaches and nasal congestion or a runny nose can occur. These medications are not to be taken if the patient has any complicating medical factors such as an irregular heartbeat, hypertension, ulcers, or other medical conditions.

Stendra is a good choice for men seeking help with their erection quickly.

Erectile dysfunction

Viagra still holds market share for ED drugs.

Viagra

Biggest Benefit: The most powerful erectile dysfunction treatment on the market.

The little blue pill, Viagra, is perhaps the most famous treatment for erectile dysfunction today. It has also been around the longest – roughly 20 years. It’s still owned and manufactured by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.

Like Stendra, it only works if the penis is sexually stimulated, but it is so potent it is prescribed for both mild and severe erectile dysfunctions. It is considered one of the most powerful medications for treating erectile dysfunction in men.

Viagra comes in 25, 50, and 100mg. It is typically only taken once a day. You should not consume alcohol. Viagra should be taken 30 to 60 minutes before sexual activity.

Which Erectile Dysfunction Medication is Right for You?

As you can see, each of the medications we’ve reviewed has subtle differences to consider. Talk with your doctor about which of these effective drugs is the best selection to handle your erectile dysfunction. If you’re healthy, it’s likely you will be able to pick the right medication to fit your lifestyle. Men typically say Levitra and Viagra have a more intense, yet shorter effect, while Cialis has a less powerful but longer lasting benefit.

Are these drugs interchangeable? Many men who try different ones find that one will work best for them, but how can a man try each of these drugs without going broke?

AccessRx.com offers an erectile dysfunction trial package so men can try several of them without multiple trips to the doctor. That way, men can more quickly zero in on the ED medication that is right for them. Click here to check out the ED trial package.

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About Don Amerman

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Don Amerman has spent more than three decades in the business of writing and editing. During the last 15 years, his focus has been on freelance writing. For almost all of his writing, He has done all of his own research, both online and off, including telephone and face-to-face interviews where possible. Don Amerman on Google+