Experts: Pills Best for Erectile Dysfunction
New Guideline Says Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis Are Mainstays of Erectile Dysfunction Treatment
May 24, 2005 - Erectile dysfunction? Try a pill first, experts say.
Levitra, and Cialis are the mainstays of comedy monologues. And they
should be the mainstay of serious treatment for erectile dysfunction, according
to new treatment guidelines released today by the American Urological
Doctors call the erection drugs "PDE5 inhibitors" because they
target an enzyme called PDE5. The less PDE5, the more blood flow to the penis
-- and the better the chance for an erection. They should work for most men
with erection problems, says expert panel co-chairman Drogo K. Montague, MD,
director of The Cleveland Clinic's center for sexual function.
"As many as 80% of men will benefit from oral PDE5 inhibitors,"
Montague says in a news release. "For those men who are not helped by these
agents, one or more of the remaining treatment options are almost always
So which erection drug is best? The expert panel doesn't say. There simply
isn't yet enough data to make a meaningful comparison.
Patients who don't get help from an erection drug shouldn't give up right
away. The problem might be as simple as learning to use the drug the right
But should erection drugs fail to work, several
alternatives remain. These are:
- Urethral suppositories
- Penile drug injections
- Vacuum constriction devices
- Penile prostheses
The panel recommended against using:
- Testosterone, in men with normal testosterone levels
- Herbal therapies
- Penile venous reconstructive surgery