Following Prescriber Instructions Is Vital for ED Medication Effectiveness

nov16-1If you have trouble getting or keeping an erection that’s firm enough for sexual intercourse more than 25 percent of the time, you have an erection problem. You may not be able to get an erection at all, or you may lose it during sex. When this condition continues, you have erectile dysfunction (ED), which affects an estimated 140 million men worldwide. Seeking treatment before it goes on too long can help your self-esteem and harming your relationship with your partner.

Receiving a prescription for an oral phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitor that increases blood flow to your penis is the first step in overcoming ED. But a recent study shows that how you take your new medication can determine whether or not it works. Researchers discovered that over two-thirds of ED patients who weren’t benefitting from their medications were taking them incorrectly.Most responded well after education on proper administration, according to a report in the journal Urology.

Interview Discoveries

Between January 2010 and June 2011, urologists referred 250 men who presented with ED despite phosdiesterase-5 inhibitor treatment to a University Hospital in Madrid, Spain. Doctors used the International Index of Erectile Function to measure ED. Medication use included 39 percent Sildenafil, 37 percent Tadalafil, and 24 percent Vardenafil.

Javier Romero Otero, M.D., from the Department of Urology, and his colleagues conducted a structured interview to evaluate the most frequent patient errors when taking ED medications. They asked the men about six main areas related to poor treatment response including adequate sexual stimulation, if patients had tried other ED medications, if they took the drugs on an empty stomach on six different days at maximum dosages, and if they waited at least one to two hours before initiating sexual activity.

Deviations from recommended medication use occurred at least once in 172 (69 percent) of subjects, twice in 42 percent, three times in 28 percent, and four or more times in 7 percent. The most common error in 41 percent of patients was not trying more than one ED medication. One-third of the men didn’t take their ED drugs on at least six to eight different occasions, which is necessary before the improvement curve begins to plateau. Almost one-third failed to take maximum dosages. About one-fifth didn’t take their medications on an empty stomach, a requirement for Sildenafil and Vardenafil.

Reeducation Results

nov16-2Because two-thirds of nonresponders were using their ED medications in suboptimal conditions, the researchers offered them a reeducation intervention program. Of the 172 men with incomplete or incorrect use, 115 (66.9 percent) accepted and 57 (33.1 percent) declined. Among the 115 men who learned how to use their ED drugs correctly, treatment was successful in 88 (76.5 percent) false nonresponders. The other 27 (23.5 percent) turned out to be true nonresponders. Study investigators found no significant differences for responses between the three medications.

The researchers advise that patient education on the most effective use of ED medicines is vital to avoid false nonresponders. They concluded that most ED patients can become responsive if doctors explain proper administration conditions in detail initially or provide reeducation as necessary so patients will know what directions to follow.

Prescription Treatment Options

For relief from your ED symptoms, buy Sildenafil (generic Viagra) that lasts about four hours. If you want the ability to achieve and maintain erections during a typical 36-hour period, buy Tadalafil(generic Cialis). These medications work only during sexually arousal. They start to take effect in about 15-45 minutes.

Approximately 15 percent of men experience Sildenafil side effects. The most common ones are facial flushing (one in 10), headaches (one in six), stomach pain, nasal congestion, nausea, diarrhea, and an inability to differentiate between green and blue colors.

The most common Tadalafil side effects are facial flushing (reddening), headaches, upset stomach, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, and nausea. If you experience a painful prolonged erection that lasts more than four hours, seek medical care.

ED Causes

An erection involves your brain, nerves, hormones, and blood vessels. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, anything interfering with these normal functions can lead to ED. Common causes include:

  • Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart and thyroid conditions, poor blood flow, depression, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease
  • Nicotine, alcohol, or cocaine use
  • Low testosterone levels
  • Poor communication with your partner
  • Repeated feelings of doubt and failure
  • Stress, fear, anxiety, or anger
  • Nerve damage from prostate surgery
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Unrealistic sexual expectations, which make sex a task instead of a pleasure

Lifestyle Modifications

These healthy habits can help support your ED treatment:

  • Limit smoking and alcohol use.
  • Take time to relax.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Exercise and eat a healthy diet to encourage good blood circulation.
  • Talk to your partner about sex and your relationship.

    If you have trouble sharing your anxiety about your sexual performance, counseling can help you and your partner deal with your ED.