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What pills are available to treat erectile dysfunction (ED)?

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A doctor's first choice for treating erection problems is usually one of several pills called PDE5 inhibitors. First there was Viagra. Now there's also Cialis, Levitra, and Staxyn. All of these drugs work in similar ways. They don't increase sexual desire. They make it physically possible to get an erection when you are aroused.

No one of them has been proven to work better than the others, but the time they take to start working and the duration of their effects vary. That's something you may want to consider based on your sexual habits. For example, does spontaneity matter to you, or do you usually plan sex ahead of time?

Viagra starts working in about 15 to 30 minutes and its effects last about two to four hours. Levitra starts working in about 30 to 60 minutes and lasts four to five hours. Cialis starts working in about 30 to 60 minutes and lasts as long as 36 hours.

Staxyn is an orally disintegrating tablet that contains the same active ingredient as Levitra but is not interchangeable with Levitra tablets.

SOURCES: 

American Urological Association: "Erectile Dysfunction Clinical Guidelines Panel. The Treatment of Organic Erectile Dysfunction: A Patient's Guide," 1996; and "AUA Guideline on the Management of Erectile Dysfunction: Diagnosis and Treatment Recommendations," 2005. 

Gaines, K. , February 2004.  Urologic Nursing

Lamm, S. , HarperCollins, 2005.  The Hardness Factor

Medscape Drug Reference from First DataBank: "Alprostadil Urethral" and "Sildenafil Oral." 

Vivus, Inc.: "Administering MUSE," 2004. 

Reviewed by James Beckerman on March 21, 2019

SOURCES: 

American Urological Association: "Erectile Dysfunction Clinical Guidelines Panel. The Treatment of Organic Erectile Dysfunction: A Patient's Guide," 1996; and "AUA Guideline on the Management of Erectile Dysfunction: Diagnosis and Treatment Recommendations," 2005. 

Gaines, K. , February 2004.  Urologic Nursing

Lamm, S. , HarperCollins, 2005.  The Hardness Factor

Medscape Drug Reference from First DataBank: "Alprostadil Urethral" and "Sildenafil Oral." 

Vivus, Inc.: "Administering MUSE," 2004. 

Reviewed by James Beckerman on March 21, 2019

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Who shouldn't take pills for erectile dysfunction (ED)?

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