7 Alternatives to Viagra

 

Viagra has been found to be extremely efficacious in the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED); however, it does not work for everybody.

Levitra and Cialis are a couple of the other oral drugs available for the treatment of ED.

Food supplements and acupuncture are also other natural options in the treatment of ED.

Viagra has almost been synonymous with ED. This is due to the fact that Viagra was the first ever oral drug that claimed to cure ED. It received approval for public distribution from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) in the year 1998.

 

As mentioned above Viagra has been extremely successful in curing ED, but it does not work on everybody. For those unlucky ones, on whom Viagra is ineffective or unsuitable, there are some other drugs that could be tried out as also a few alternative ways to treat ED.

 

ALTERNATIVE MEDICATION

Alternative remedies for ED

Even though Viagra is the most well known and commonly prescribed remedy for ED, there are many others that are available in the market today. All of them work by enhancing the flow of blood to the penis, ensuring an erection and sustaining it long enough for sexual intercourse.

As each medication has a chemical composition that is unique, each of them would cause a different reaction. A bit of a trial and error routine would be necessary to find out which would best serve your own particular needs.

Only taking an oral medication is generally not sufficient to get an erection. Sexual stimulus, both physical as well as emotional is necessary to generate an erection.

A few other prescription drugs that are being used in the treatment of ED have been discussed below.

Avanafil (Stendra)

It is available in 50mg 100mg and 200mg tablet form. It should be taken around fifteen to thirty minutes prior to sexual activity, but should only be taken once a day. You can take it on either a full or an empty stomach.

Vardenafil (Levitra)

Levitra can be taken around one hour prior to sexual activity. The lowest dosage is generally 10 mg. The maximum dosage is one pill a day. You can take these on either a full or empty stomach.

Vardenafil (Staxyn)

Staxyn is different from other ED drugs as it is not swallowed down with water. The pill is placed on the tongue and is allowed to dissolve gradually. This has to be done around an hour before sexual activity.

The pill should not be chewed or split. It can be taken either on a full or an empty stomach but not with any liquids. The dosage per pill is 10mg and it can be taken only once in day.

Tadalafil (Cialis)

This is a pill that is taken orally and begins to take effect around half an hour after it is taken. It causes an improvement in erectile function for around 36 hours. Its lowest dose is 10mg and the dosage can be increased as necessary. It is to be taken when necessary but not more than once in a day. It can be taken on a full or an empty stomach.

It also has a once-a-day pill of a dosage of 2.5mg that has to be taken at the same time daily.

 

RISK FACTORS AND SIDE EFFECTS

Risk factors and side effects

Prior to taking any medication for ED, you should inform your doctor about all your preexisting health problems, if any. Also, discuss any other medications or food supplements that you are presently taking. A few of the ED medications react with other medications causing dangerous side effects.

ED medications should not be taken if:

  1. You are taking nitrates that are generally prescribed as a remedy for chest pain (angina)
  2. You have hypotension (low blood pressure)

Besides, your doctor could advise you against using ED medication if:

  1. You take particular medications that could react with your ED medications and cause side effects.
  2. You have hypertension (uncontrolled high blood pressure)
  3. You have a diseased liver
  4. You are on dialysis for diseased kidneys

The most commonly occurring side effects of ED medication is temporary and includes;

  1. Aching muscles
  2. Stomach upset or indigestion
  3. Back pain
  4. Stuffy or runny nose
  5. Headache
  6. Flushing

Although not common, some ED drugs can cause a priapism which is an erection that refuses to go away. This is an extremely painful condition and could damage the penis. You should seek medical intervention if your erection lasts for more than 4 hours.

One other side effect of ED medication that is not very common is the impairment to hearing and vision, including color vision.

NATURAL REMEDIES

Natural remedies used in the treatment of ED

You may not be able to take oral drugs to treat ED if you have been taking other oral medications to treat some other health problems. Certain natural remedies are available for the treatment of ED and could provide relief from its symptoms; however, they have not been sufficiently researched upon to determine their potency. A considerable number of these products make claims of curing ED; however, the research into these is insufficient to reinforce such claims.

Whichever alternative you fix on, consult your doctor before you begin using it. Your doctor will help you take an informed decision on the best choice of medication for you.

L-arginine

This is an amino acid used in treating ED. A study in 1999 discovered that L-arginine in the oral form was synonymous with using a placebo to treat ED. However, another study on the same issue, discovered evidence that taken in high doses, L-arginine could enhance blood flow and help in curing ED. The probable side effects of this manner of treatment could include diarrhea, nausea and cramps. This medication should be avoided if you are on Viagra.

Acupuncture

This is a healing technique that has been practiced from ancient times and was used to cure various health problems. Now it is being suggested that acupuncture can cure ED, but there is hardly any evidence available to prove the same.

In 2016 a systemic review conducted on acupuncture, failed to prove that it alone was responsible for curing ED. The authors of the study did however note that the sample studied was small in size and that the quality of the studies conducted was poor. They advocated more research on the technique.

In case you intend to try acupuncture techniques to cure your ED ensure that you visit a qualified and certified practitioner.

Red ginseng

This is a kind of herbal food supplement. A systemic review on seven studies conducted in 2008, discovered that red ginseng could be beneficial in the treatment of ED. The researchers however, advised that higher quality studies be conducted to determine more accurately the probable benefits and hazards of using red ginseng to treat ED.

Prior to giving red ginseng a try, discuss with your doctor on whether it would be suitable for you and about the dosage that you could need. The side effects of using red ginseng could include headaches, gastrointestinal ailments and sleep problems.

Your doctor needs to be informed about any other medications that you are taking as they could react with ginseng and cause dangerous side effects. If you are on medication for diabetes, use ginseng with caution as it could lower blood sugar levels.

 

TAKEAWAY

What could you do now?

Your ED could be symptomatic of a medical condition that hasn’t been detected as yet. Therefore, a consultation with your medical practitioner is absolutely essential before embarking on treating your ED. Any additional symptoms that you could be experiencing should all be made known to your medical practitioner. He needs to know this as it would assist him in determining if the ED that you suffer from is an isolated condition or is being caused by another underlying problem. Your ED problem could be resolved by treating the underlying problem.

Tips to bear in mind when treating ED:

  1. ED medications should always be taken exactly as instructed by your medical practitioner if you are consulting one.
  2. Before increasing your dosage, discuss it with your medical practitioner and inform him of any noticeable side effects after.
  3. Do not assume that natural equals safe for use. Your natural or herbal dietary supplements could react with your other regular medications and cause side effects. Consult your medical practitioner or pharmacist, before you decide on any new course of treatment, even if it involves a natural supplement, and inform them of any side effects that you may experience.
  4. Mixing two kinds of treatment systems is not advisable as the interaction of both could cause harmful side effects. Using an oral, conventional medication, while simultaneously using a natural remedy is dangerous.

Apart from conventional drugs and natural remedies, you could also bring about a change in your ED condition by adopting a few changes in your lifestyle. These include;

  1. Avoid obesity and maintain a healthy body weight.
  2. Follow a regular exercise regiment in which aerobics are included.
  3. Limit your use of alcohol and completely avoid it if possible.
  4. Quit smoking.
  5. Ensure that you get adequate sleep every night.
  6. Give pelvic floor exercises a try. Some studies on the same have found that pelvic floor exercises should be the first line of approach in treating ED.

Some other treatment methods for ED include vacuum pumps, penile implants and blood vessel surgery. If after conventional treatment your ED problem still persists, discuss with your medical practitioner about other alternative methods of treatment that could be adopted by you.

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