Are My ED Pills Duds?

April 18, 2019

Getting Blocked Below the Belt

Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects over 30 million men in the U.S. and remains one of the most common reasons men seek out a urologist. Low testosterone is becoming more of an issue and as a result, men are increasingly visiting testosterone clinics looking for solutions.

ED rates have increased during the last twenty to thirty years, especially among younger men. According to a study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine, one out of every four erectile dysfunction patients is under 40 years old. Men’s health and wellness is coming into the limelight more and more, with testosterone replacement therapy at the forefront.

Most men seeking testosterone replacement therapy are treated with medications called PDE-5 Inhibitors. This is just a fancy name for the class of drugs most commonly used: Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, Staxyn, Tadalafil, Sildenafil, Trimix (injectable) – which work by increasing blood flow to the penis. These low t solutions are safe and most men are able to use them. They typically improve erections in about 80% of patients.

However, in order for these low t medications to be used safely and most effectively, there are some things you need to know.

Calling all ED Meds

In general, any medication prescribed for erectile dysfunction should be used exactly as prescribed. That means don’t exceed or double the dosage on your own without talking with your doctor first. It’s also important that you only take these medications once during a 24-hour period. Finally, don’t combine ED medications, unless directed by your doctor.

Why is this so important? Testosterone therapy dosages that are too high could put you at risk of having an erection for too long (priapism). Sure, that sounds like more of a blessing than a curse, but the truth is it can actually be a medical emergency. Priapism may cause permanent tissue damage to the penis preventing erections in the future, even with medication use.

These Rules Apply

Most of these testosterone replacement medications should be used 30 minutes before intercourse. Each has similar potential side effects. Viagra/Sildenafil can be a bit of a stickler with the rules. It’s most effective if taken in a very particular way. The “blue” pill works best if taken on an empty stomach. These side effects and best practices will be discussed with any testosterone specialist or at any men’s health and wellness clinic.

It is also important to know how to correctly take ED medications so they are most effective and safe. However, it’s also vital to understand what other medications may decrease the effectiveness and/or not cause the medications to work at all. Since testosterone replacement therapy changes some of the inner workings of the body, it’s important to know how that might affect or be affected by other medications.

Below is a list of classes of medications and substances that are often the biggest offenders in preventing ED medications from working as prescribed. If you’re taking a medication in these classes of drugs, don’t skip a dosage or stop taking them.

Oftentimes, there are other medications in that same class of drugs that can be prescribed that may not interact with ED medications. Here’s a list of the classes of medications (and recreational drugs) that may affect your testosterone replacement therapy:

The List:

-Alcohol
-Recreational Drugs: cocaine, amphetamines, marijuana, methadone, nicotine, opiates and barbiturates
-Narcotic Pain Medications
-Blood Pressure Medications
-Antidepressants
-Muscle Relaxers
-Anti-Anxiety Medications
-Anti-Seizure Medications
-Antihistamines
-Medications to treat or prevent hair loss/baldness
-NSAIDS (non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs)
-GERD or Heartburn medications (Histamine H2-Receptor Agonists)
-Prostate Cancer Medications
-Chemotherapy Medications
-Parkinson’s Disease Medications

Not all medications used to treat these chronic conditions are going to kill the effectiveness of your ED medication. There are some medications in these drug categories that are bigger bullies than others and likely a substitute can be prescribed. Men’s health and wellness clinics will be familiar with these situations. A testosterone specialist can help you navigate your medications so that you can get back to living your best life.

If you are taking any medications for the conditions above along with ED medications, contact Austin Urology Institute at 512-694-8888 to schedule a consultation to discuss the specifics.