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Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

Counseling as an Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

Experts often treat psychologically based erectile dysfunction using techniques that decrease the anxiety associated with intercourse. The man's partner can help with the techniques, which include gradual development of intimacy and stimulation. Such techniques also can help relieve anxiety when erectile dysfunction from physical causes is being treated.
 

Medications Used to Treat Erectile Dysfunction

Medications for erectile dysfunction 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®, the first erectile dysfunction pill. Since that time, vardenafil hydrochloride (Levitra®), tadalafil (Cialis®), orally disintegrating vardenafil (Staxyn™), and avanafil (Stendra™) have also been approved.
 
Additional oral medicines for erectile dysfunction treatment are 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 or so before sexual activity, these drugs 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 oral ED medicines improve the response to sexual stimulation, they do not trigger an automatic erection as injections do.
 
None of these PDE inhibitors should be used more than once a day. Men who take nitrate-based drugs, such as nitroglycerin for heart problems, should not use a pill to treat erectile dysfunction because the combination can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure. Also, tell your doctor if you take any drugs called alpha-blockers, which are used to treat prostate enlargement or high blood pressure. Your doctor may need to adjust your treatment plan in such cases. Taking a PDE inhibitor and an alpha-blocker at the same time (within four hours) can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure.
Warning: 10 Hidden Sources of Lactose

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