What Are The Alternatives To Tadalafil?

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Erectile dysfunction and benign prostatic hyperplasia are two prevalent lower urinary tract problems in old age men and have an assumed common pathophysiological link. Erectile dysfunction is an inability of a man to get or maintain an erection during a sexual intercourse.
Tadalafil 5 mg is an approved drug for the treatment of the problems of erectile dysfunction and symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

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Mechanism of action of Tadalafil

Tadalafil belongs to the class of phosphodiesterase – 5 enzyme inhibitors commonly known as PDE-5 inhibitors. PDE-5 is an enzyme which is used to speed up the chemical reactions involved in the process of erection.
PDE5 is found in the corpus cavernosum of the penis. Corpus cavernosum is a spongy tissue which has blood vessels in it for blood supply during the process of erection. After sexually stimulated, nitric oxide is released into the corpus cavernosum and ultimately leading to the production of the cyclic guanosine monophosphate, cGMP. The muscles of the stomach get relaxed due to cGMP. The relaxation of the muscles allows the increased blood flow into the penile blood vessels causing the erection.
The tadalafil inhibits this PDE5 enzyme, therefore the levels of cGMP sustain in the corpus cavernosum leading to higher blood inflow and erection for a longer duration. It should be clear that tadalafil does not directly affect the erection it only acts as a catalyst in a certain biochemical reaction which is the basic reason for erection.

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Is Tadalafil not suitable for some men?

Tadalafil is considered one among the most popular and frequently used medication by the male population suffering from erectile dysfunction. But many a time the drug is proved to be a bit unsuitable for few people due to its various side effects. Sometimes the drug is contraindicated in people due to use of other medicines. Therefore, taking tadalafil can aggravate the situation instead of giving a solution.

 

Then what is the solution?

The solution is the alternative drugs present in the market. Along with allopathic medication, few herbal medications are also very useful. Lifestyle changes also play a very crucial role. Discussed below are few alternative options to tadalafil.
There are a few other drugs which can be used instead of Tadalafil if you are having complications with tadalafil. These medicines also belong to the PDE5 class of inhibitors.

 

Viagra:

Viagra also was known by the name of sildenafil also belongs to the class of PDE5 inhibitors. It works in the same way as the Cialis. Viagra is taken orally at least one hour before the sex and its effect sustains for at least four hours. It is recommended only one a day by the doctor. In certain men, tadalafil can cause a few problems, therefore, viagra can be a better alternative. But Viagra can also have few side effects like stomach problems, headache and memory related problems. These are minor problems but if a man experiences vision loss or irregular heartbeat should consult the GP immediately.

 

Levitra:

Levitra also was known by its generic name vardenafil, another PDE5 inhibitor for the treatment of erectile dysfunction and impotence. Like other drugs of this class, it should be taken orally and once a day. Levitra cannot be used by men suffering from heart problems or chest pain and are taking nitrates drugs.
Some side effects associated with Levitra are a headache, stuffy nose and burning sensations in the stomach. In case of serious problems like chest pain and vision loss should consult a doctor.
The above-mentioned brands of drugs can be used as alternatives to Tadalafil.

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Alprostadil:

Another alternative drug to tadalafil is alprostadil. It is a non-oral vasodilator drug which can be self-injected directly into the penis. It can also be used as a penile suppository. After taking injection alprostadil triggers an erection procedure just within 5 to 20 minutes. The drug is administered with the help of a very fine needle, therefore, usually, pain is negligible. A small amount of bleeding may occur sometime. The erection usually last for an hour. A specially designed applicator is used for alprostadil suppository which administers the drug two inches deep into the penis.
The only drawback of this procedure is the bleeding and a little pain associated with it in the urethra.

Alternative herbal medicines:

There can be a few other medications other than PDE5 inhibitors which can be used for the erectile dysfunction. but these medicines are herbal in nature. Examples of these are gingko, Korean red ginseng, dehydroepiandrosterone. In many cases, these drugs seem to find effective in the treatment of erectile dysfunction, but there are few concerns about these medicines.
A most important aspect regarding the herbal medications is the efficacy of these in the erectile dysfunction and impotence. Another problem with these medicines is that the efficacy of such medicines has not been studied well.
Therefore, it is quite important for a person to properly consult a doctor before taking these herbal medicines. It will be helpful in determining the need of your body and the safety of these medicines.

  • Korean Red Ginseng:

Korean red ginseng, also known as Panax ginseng is a herbal extract is a natural treatment of erectile dysfunction and is available in a capsule form over the counter.
The clinical studies performed on this ginseng have given few favourable results when compared with placebo. More research is needed in this aspect to determine that whether Korean ginseng can produce significant results to help patients with erectile dysfunction.

  • Horny Goat Weed:

Epimedium is the name given to the Horny goat weed. It is another herbal substitute to Tadalafil in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. the functioning constituent in epimedium is Icariin, which is thought to have the same effects as that of PDE5 inhibitor drugs like Cialis or tadalafil. It boosts the nitric oxide activity in the body which helps to increase the blood flow in the penile area. Again, the lapse is present in the research study of this drug. Icariin is considered to have shown positive results in erectile dysfunction treatment in diabetic rats by successfully inhibiting the PDE5 enzyme. However, it is not proved yet that whether the medicine is effective in humans or not.

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  • Ginkgo biloba:

Ginkgo biloba is sold in the form of a capsule. It is basically a tree extract and is available in the liquid form and can be used by mixing with water. It is also considered as a facilitator in increasing the activity of nitric oxide thereby helping in getting an erection.
Gingko has been tested for sexual dysfunction of various people by SSRI medication and has given positive results but research in the particular field of erectile potency is still not sufficient.

  • Hormonal supplements:

The sexual function both in men and women has a great dependence on hormones. Testosterone is one such male hormone whose adequate production is necessary for proper sexual activity. A hormonal supplement dehydroepiandrosterone commonly known as DHEA is a hormone which can help to counter the low levels of testosterone hormone. This DHEA is helpful in producing libido and improving erection.
A limitation of the use of DHEA is its long-term health issues and is the major reason why medical practitioners discourage its use in treating impotence.

  • Acupuncture:

Acupuncture is a very famous Chinese practice. This method of treatment is used for a lot of disease since ancient times. The technique of inserting needles into different body parts is helpful in healing various mental and physical ailments. Erectile dysfunction is also another problem for which acupuncture is used but is thin on the ground.
Clinical studies regarding this practice are found quite beneficial in treating the patients who are suffering from psychogenic-induced instances. But like all other medical treatments, it is necessary to consult a professional before going for the option.

  • Lifestyle changes:

In modern days the lifestyle is a major contributing factor towards many diseases. Sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, excessive intake of alcohol and smoking etc are the major culprit.
Changing the lifestyle is the best way to help out erectile dysfunction instead of just taking the prescription medicines like Tadalafil.
The underlying causes of erectile dysfunction are the first thing to be assessed to cure the problem. Impotence is sometimes the symptom or after effect of the certain underlying health problems.
Arterial obstruction, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity are some health problems that lead to erectile dysfunction. These conditions decrease the blood flow to the penis thus causing erectile dysfunction. A healthy diet and doing exercise can be helpful in avoiding impotence without taking medicines.
Smoking and excessive alcohol intake are a contributing factor in erectile dysfunction. keeping alcohol intake in the limits will be a very big step in reducing the chances of ED. The symptoms of the problem can be improved if not alleviated completely by cutting down the recreational drugs and quitting smoking.

 

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References:

  1. https://beta.nhs.uk/medicines/sildenafil-viagra/
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/erection-problems-erectile-dysfunction/
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tadalafil

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