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Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

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Injections and Suppositories for Erectile Dysfunction

If the medications taken by mouth do not improve erection quality, or you cannot safely take such medications, your doctor may recommend a drug called alprostadil. It helps boost blood flow to the penis, automatically triggering an erection within minutes.

Alprostadil may be given in two ways:

Intracavernous drug injection. The medication is injected into the side of the penis. It involves sticking a needle directly into the penis, and it raises your risk for dangerously prolonged erections (called priaprism) and scarring.

Intraurethral suppositories. Pellets containing alprostadil are placed into the urethra at the tip of the penis. Such treatment is called MUSE (which means medicated urethral system for erections). This therapy may be less successful than injections.

Not Recommended for Erectile Dysfunction

These therapies are not recommended for the treatment of ED:

Testosterone. Testosterone is a male hormone, or androgen. It is not recommended as a treatment for erectile dysfunction when blood tests reveal the man has a normal testosterone level.

Trazodone. Trazodone is an antidepressant. Some studies report slightly better sexual function in men who took the drug. But follow-up trials yield conflicting or unconvincing results. Current guidelines do not recommend trazodone for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

Yohimbine. Yohimbine is obtained from the bark of certain evergreen trees. It is not recommended for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Well-conducted studies have not been done to determine how well it improves sexual function in men.

Supplements for Erectile Dysfunction

Various over-the-counter products have been promoted as all-natural ways to enhance a man's sexual performance or promote erections. Yet clinical evidence suggesting that herbs and supplements effectively treat erectile dysfunction is lacking. Herbal therapies, including yohimbine bark and L-arginine, are not recommended as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, according to the most recent treatment guidelines by the American Urological Association.

The FDA warns that some products may contain unlisted and harmful substances or the active ingredient in some prescription medications. Some of the so-called over-the-counter dietary supplements for ED have been found to contain sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra) or a substance similar to that prescription or another called vardenafil (the active ingredient in Levitra and Staxyn). These FDA-approved prescriptions can be dangerous for patients who take nitrates to treat chest pain or heart disease.

In recent years, the FDA has seized many over-the-counter products for male sexual dysfunction because they contained dangerous or undeclared ingredients.

The FDA says you should AVOID the following products:

  • 4EVERON
  • Actra-Rx
  • Actra-Sx
  • Adam Free
  • Blue Steel
  • Energy Max
  • Erextra
  • Hero
  • HS Joy of Love
  • Lady Shangai
  • Libidus
  • Liviro3
  • Lycium Barbarum L.
  • Nasutra
  • Naturalë Super Plus
  • NaturalUp
  • Neophase
  • Rhino V Max
  • Shangai Regular, also marketed as Shangai Chaojimengnan
  • Shangai Ultra
  • Shangai Ultra X
  • Strong Testis
  • Super Shangai
  • True Man
  • V.Max
  • Vigor-25
  • Xiadafil VIP tablets (Lots 6K029 and 6K209-SEI only)
  • Yilishen
  • Zimaxx
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