Is There A Cure For Erectile Dysfunction?

Man Woman EDBeing diagnosed with erectile dysfunction isn’t exactly at the top of every mans wish list but yet so many men find themselves suffering from the condition despite their best efforts in keeping healthy and staying active.

Sufferers of erectile dysfunction or male impotence may find themselves feeling ashamed, embarrassed, frustrated and even in some cases depressed. Another feeling or emotion which is often associated with all of these mentalities is anxiety. Indeed, upon discovery of this condition, one of the first and most prominent feeling a man may have it worry; is this permanent and is there a cure? Let’s delve into this…

Firstly, considering what exactly erectile dysfunction is; an inability to achieve or maintain an erection. This process occurs first occurs upon psychosexual stimulation which in turn increases a man’s libido or male sex drive. This then activates certain biochemistry in your brain which causes the release of neurotransmitters (chemicals in your body) which cause signals to be sent to a man’sHow Does Viagra Work penis and genital area.

These signals cause smooth muscle (the muscle type found in a penis) to relax which allow blood vessels called arteries to widen and allow a greater volume of blood to the area. Increased blood flow to a man’s genital area is essentially what causes an erection. These sequences of events will usually continue until a man orgasms, after which the blood in the area will be returned to general circulation in the body and the penis will go soft/ flaccid.
A disturbance in any of these processes, no matter how small, can cause problems which will lead to erectile dysfunction.

 

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Causes of erectile dysfunction can vary greatly from man to man but some of the most common are listed below:

  • Old age: as you age there is a natural slow down in our body and these changes can extend from the outside physical changes to the inside’s bodily functions. A product of the changes associated with ageing includes erectile problems and this is in part due to the reduction of the male sex hormone testosterone. The older a man gets, the greater the incidence of erectile dysfunction.
  • Diabetes: approximately half of the men with diabetes will experience erectile dysfunction. This is partly because diabetes will affect the way in which nerve impulses (such as those involved in the processes above) are altered. Indeed, without good nerve function erections are more difficult to achieve. In addition, diabetes can also alter the blood flow to the penis which can also cause erectile problems as healthy blood vessels are needed in the process of achieving an erection.
  • High blood pressure: also known as hypertension can also affect erections because hypertension may cause arteries to lose their elasticity, and so the arteries can’t cope with the processes of blood flow which occur during an erection. Hypertension can also affect veins in the genital area. This is also problematic because veins are the blood vessel responsible for draining blood back to the heart and so if your veins are affected by hypertension they may cause the blood in the penile area to exit prematurely, meaning the penis will go flaccid.
  • Physical causes: physical causes of erectile dysfunction such as pelvic surgery or a spinal cord injury, may also be the cause of erectile dysfunction as they may, too, because problems in the way nerves and signals are sent around the body, also affect those sent to the penis.
  • Psychological problems: psychosis and overall mental health can also be at the origin of erectile dysfunction. Indeed, feelings of anxiety, depression or stress can have serious impacts on your body. Not only will these psychoses make a man much less inclined for sexual intercourse in terms of mood and sex drive but a man who has an underlying psychological problem will actually find it physically hard to get an erection. Again, this is because psychological problems such as these will also alter brain biochemistry and the subsequent signalling pathways associated with this.
  • Hormonal problems and by problems I mean imbalances in hormone levels in a man’s body. The hormone which can have a significant impact on erectile function is testosterone. As mentioned above, this can have a profound effect on a man’s ability to get an erection. Other imbalances in hormones which may also be relevant to this topic include prolactin; high levels of prolactin can affect the processes involved in a man becoming ‘hard’.

doctorThere are many means of testing for male impotence and some of the more common methods include; testing hormone levels, vascular studies and also sleep studies. Consult your doctor for advice on testing for erectile dysfunction.

This all sounds pretty heavy, especially if you have one or more of these likely causes, and you may be worrying now that there is no chance but don’t despair as there is more to this story…

In terms of an actual cure in that patients are completely separated from their condition and are alleviated of all associated signs and symptoms, this all can depend very much depend on the nature of the problem itself. Knowledge is indeed power.

Cases were erectile impotence are cured generally involve curing the cause rather than directly curing erectile dysfunction itself. Examples of this may involve counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy for treating psychologically stimulated erectile dysfunction, or, a hormone replacement therapy in cases of hormone imbalances, medications which can control blood pressure in the scenarios where hypertension induces the erectile dysfunction.
But what if you can’t cure the cause; indeed, diabetes cannot be cured, it is only managed. It is also over simplistic to say that counselling will solve psychological problems by treating mental health conditions is often a long and complicated process which may impact a sufferer for most of their life. What about these scenarios? Is there still a cure to their male impotence?
In cases were the cause of erectile dysfunction cannot be directly resolved (which unfortunately is the situation in a majority of men) then it is unlikely that erectile dysfunction can be cured.

The good news is that even though erectile dysfunction cannot be cured, symptoms of the condition can be managed so that sufferers can learn to live and manage the problem to even better than they ever thought possible.

Treatments for erectile dysfunction are extremely varied and so men can have a choice from a range of viable options to suit their individual needs. The most common course of treating erectile dysfunction is medicines. Medicines which are often associated with alleviating the symptoms of erectile dysfunction include Viagra, Cialis and Spedra.

 

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Product Description

How does Viagra and Sildenafil work?

Viagra (Sildenafil) helps men to get and maintain an erection when sexually stimulated and/or excited. The medicine relaxes the blood vessels in the penis which results in more blood flowing to the penis when you are sexually excited.

How do I take it?

You should take Viagra (Sildenafil) approximately 1 hour before planning to have intercourse. Within a window of between 30 minutes and 4 hours after you take the medicine, it will be easier to keep and maintain an erection when you are sexually excited. If you take this medicine after a meal with a high fat content it may take a little longer to start working. This medicine will only work when you are sexually excited. You won’t get an erection just by taking Viagra (Sildenafil).

Dosage

The standard recommended dose for Viagra (Sildenafil) is 50mg and this will be suitable for most people.  If this dose is not effective, you can try 100mg and if 50mg gives you side effects you can also reduce the dose to 25mg tablets.

You must not take more than 100mg daily of Sildenafil/ Viagra. Clinical trials have been conducted in patients taking up to 200mg sildenafil and it was found that ‘doses of 200mg did not result in increased efficacy but did increase the incidence of adverse reactions (headache, flushing, dizziness, dyspepsia, nasal congestion, and altered vision).’

In addition, in patients taking more than 100mg daily, there have been reports of rhabdomyolysis (a breakdown in skeletal muscle tissue the byproducts of which can lead to kidney failure), visual perception changes, vertebral artery dissection (a tear in the artery supplying blood to the brain), heart attacks and aggressive behaviour.

If the 100mg strength doesn’t work for you, there may be alternatives you can try and we recommend that you call us for a free consultation with our pharmacist or doctor to discuss any underlying conditions you may have. We recommend that all men taking medicine for erectile dysfunction have regular tests for blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and hormone imbalances. For instance, it may be that by fixing a hormone imbalance such as testosterone, your Viagra medication will be even more effective.

In addition, drug manufacturers do not advise patients to split tablets in half to get the correct dosage as they cannot guarantee that the active ingredient will be distributed evenly throughout the tablet.  For instance, if you cut a 100mg tablet in two, you may find that you get 80mg in one half of the tablet and 20mg in the other half leading to either an overdose (increased risk of side effects) or a suboptimal dose (the medication may not work).

It is important that you choose the correct dose for you. If you wish to talk to our pharmacist or doctor about this, please contact us in the pharmacy on 01625 460621 or email [email protected]

Side Effects

Viagra (Sildenafil) is normally well tolerated, however, side effects can include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Side effects normally subside after a few hours, however, if you experience a prolonged or painful erection (longer than 4 hours), then you must contact your doctor immediately.

Drug interactions

There are a number of medicines which interact with Sildenafil/ Viagra. For an exhaustive list please see the patient information leaflet (see section below) or call us in the pharmacy to discuss your specific situation. The main drug interactions are listed here:

Recreational drugs such as ‘poppers’ or amyl nitrate
Alpha blockers used for urinary retention or blood pressure problems (eg Flomax or Cardura)
Anti- arrhythmic drugs such as disopyramide
Antibiotics such as erythromycin
Antifungals such as itraconazole
Antivirals such as drugs used to treat HIV
Bosentan
Cobicistat
Calcium channel blockers to treat blood pressure and angina such as amlodipine
Dapoxetine (Priligy – used to treat premature ejaculation)
Grapefruit juice**
Nicorandil
Nitrates
Riociguat
Cimetidine (to treat stomach ulcers)

Please do not take Sildenafil/Viagra if you have taken any of the above drugs within the last 60 days without first consulting with either us in the Pharmacy ([email protected] / 01625 460621) or via email with our doctor [email protected]

**We advise not to take Sildenafil/Viagra with grapefruit juice as the blood concentration of Sildenafil will possibly be increased resulting in side effects.

Patient Information Leaflets

Please click here for the patient information leaflet for Viagra.

For Actavis Sildenafil please see the following leaflets: 100mg, 50mg, 25mg.

Storing Medicines Safely

Please keep your medicine out of the reach of children and store at room temperature.  Unwanted medicine can be disposed of by returning it to any local pharmacy or indeed to us here for us to dispose of it for you.

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Alternatives to traditional medicines include herbal products and counselling/ cognitive behavioural therapy. For more information on treating erectile dysfunction see the rest of our blog posts.
In conclusion, discovering you have erectile dysfunction can be a complete downer and unfortunately as it stands there is no exact ‘cure’ to this condition, however, there is some good news in the form of treatments which alleviate symptoms of the condition. Indeed, sufferers of erectile dysfunction can take solace in the knowledge, that while they may have this condition possibly for the rest of their life, there is now ways and means of treating the condition so that it doesn’t stop patients living life to the full. What is even better is that these treatment options are so readily available and easily accessed. Indeed, Viagra and other erectile dysfunction medications can be bought directly from us at Assured Pharmacy.

Purchasing medicines from an accredited pharmacy such as Assured Pharmacy means patients can relax in the knowledge that our medicines are safe, efficient and reliable. All our medicines are FDA approved and all prescriptions are approved by a UK based doctor. So forget, long queues at your doctor’s surgery on a cold, wet Monday morning, now you can order your medicines from the comfort of your own home at a time that suits you.
Remember just because there isn’t a cure for erectile dysfunction, it doesn’t mean there aren’t ways of treating it!

 

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References:

  1. http://www.healthline.com/health/erectile-dysfunction/ed-natural-treatments#Overview1
  2. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Erectile-dysfunction/Pages/Treatment.aspx
  3. http://www.webmd.com/erectile-dysfunction/guide/erectile-dysfunction-treatment-care
  4. http://www.everydayhealth.com/pictures/lifestyle-changes-natural-treatments-erectile-dysfunction/

 

Assured Pharmacy is not liable for the currency or accuracy of the information contained in this blog post. For specific information about your personal medical condition, please contact our doctors or pharmacists for advice on [email protected].