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Erectile Dysfunction Pill

The first pill for erectile dysfunction was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1998. Since then, other pills have come on the market. While these medications can be effective for many men, they should be taken exactly as prescribed. None of them should be used more than once a day.

Erectile Dysfunction Pills: An Overview

Erectile dysfunction medication can be taken orally, injected directly into the penis, or inserted into the urethra at the tip of the penis.
In March 1998, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Viagra® as the first erectile dysfunction pill. Since that time, vardenafil hydrochloride (Levitra®), tadalafil (Cialis®), orally disintegrating vardenafil (Staxyn™), and avanafil (Stendra™) have also been approved as oral medications to treat erectile dysfunction (ED).
Additional oral erectile dysfunction pills are currently being tested for safety and effectiveness.

Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors

Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, Staxyn, and Stendra all belong to a class of drugs called phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors. Taken an hour before sexual activity, these types of pills work by enhancing the effects of nitric oxide, a chemical that relaxes smooth muscles in the penis during sexual stimulation and allows increased blood flow. While an erectile dysfunction medication improves the response to sexual stimulation, it does not trigger an automatic erection as injections do.


No brand of pill for erectile dysfunction should be used more than once a day. Men who take nitrate-based drugs, such as nitroglycerin for heart problems, should not use an erectile dysfunction medication because the combination can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure.
Also, tell your healthcare provider if you take any drugs called alpha-blockers, which are used to treat an enlarged prostate gland (BPH) or high blood pressure. If you do, your doctor may need to adjust the dosage of your erectile dysfunction medication. Taking an erectile dysfunction medicine and an alpha-blocker at the same time (within 4 hours) can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure.
5 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About ED

Erectile Dysfunction Information

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