Drugs to combat erectile dysfunction (ED) are a relatively new area of pharmacology with lots of unexplored space in need of research, but you try telling the 30 million men in the U.S. suffering from ED to “take it slow.” Instead, here are a few tips intended to help you get the most from your ED drugs while you wait for science to catch up.
First, it helps to know you're not alone: a study from Spain indicates that 69 percent of men report they still have problems performing even after downing Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra. They, like you, are probably making the same rookie mistakes.
Don't expect results quickly. Viagra and Levitra take about 30 minutes to kick in, but the effects last for about 4 hours after you take the pill. Cialis, on the other hand, needs a good two hours before your soldier will meet muster, after which the effects may last for up to 36 hours.
What's the science? These ED meds goose the effects of nitric oxide in your blood, which relaxes the muscles in your penis. This may seem counter-intuitive until you realize that relaxed penis musculature means improved blood flow in the shaft. A big cause of impotence in older men is the aging arteries responsible for getting blood to their erection.
You need a partner. ED pills aren't like aspirin which do their thing in your own private Idaho. You need to be aroused, you need some foreplay, a little build-up; it's not like turning on your Xbox. When you are aroused, your brain transmits a signal via the nerves down to your penis and releases a chemical into the muscle of the penis. That chemical then sparks the production of another chemical, the nitric oxide. If your penis doesn't get that first arousal-inspired go-ahead chemical signal from the brain, there won't be enough nitric oxide in your system for a dozen blue pills to make a difference.
Try to drop your ED drugs on an empty stomach. If you plan to follow a big dinner with a Viagra- or Levitra-fueled romp in the hay, you may be in for some disappointment. Wait from 2 to 3 hours after eating before using either of these drugs, for maximum effect. Cialis-fueled hay-romps are okay on a full stomach, however.
Play the field – the ED field, that is. The popular Viagra, Cialis and Levitra are all members of the PDE5 family, but the PDE5's have some competitors that work a little differently. One to try once you have exhausted all the PDE5 flavors is alprostadil, which is often administered by injection.
In all cases, consult with your doctor before swapping out any meds.
Sources: Mens' Health