Half of the men between the ages of 40 to 70 have suffered from some form of sexual dysfunction – that is over 100 million males worldwide. More than 10 percent of the affected males complain of a complete inability to develop and maintain erections. There are more than a million men in Australia and New Zealand alone who suffer from the condition.
While erection issues are primarily considered aged conditions, today, the inability to hold and maintain and erection is quite common in men as young as 18 years old. Approximately 7 percent of the men falling within the 18 to 29 bracket also suffer from the condition.
Given its prevalence, it’s no surprise that there are a number of different treatment modalities available for men around the world and in Australia suffering from erectile dysfunction.
Read on to find out more about erectile dysfunction and its treatment options including the ever popular class of drugs known as the PDE 5 Inhibitors.
Here is an in depth look at what is it, how does it affect men, along with a full comparison of all the ED drugs used to treat the condition.
An Introduction to Erectile Dysfunction and its Treatment
Defined as the consistent inability of a man to develop and sustain an erection which is sufficient for satisfactory sexual activity, the medical term erectile dysfunction is also commonly known as impotence.
While men of all ages may have trouble with getting and keeping an erection firm enough from time to time, it’s the consistency of the condition which is concern-worthy. Emotional or physical stresses are common causes of the rare erectile issues, however, if the condition is on-going and long-term it can further increase the stresses and adversely affect a man’s self-esteem as well as their overall quality of life.
The most common – and recognizable – symptoms that help identify erectile dysfunction include:
- Persistent inability to get an erection
- Trouble maintaining an erection long enough for satisfactory sexual relations
- A reduced libido.
- Inability to gain an erection combined with premature or delayed ejaculation
As mentioned earlier, a rare erectile concern is nothing to be concerned about, however, there are a number of factors which contribute to persistent erectile dysfunction. These causes can be physical, or psychological, or a combination of both.
Some of the common causes of ED include but are not limited to the following:
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Heart Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Nerve injury
- Increasing age
- Peyronie’s Disease
- Prostate enlargement
- Pelvic or Spinal injuries or surgeries
- Thyroid imbalances
- Low testosterone levels
- High prolactin levels
- Recreational drug use/abuse
- Alcohol abuse
- Radiation therapy to the pelvic region
- Performance anxiety
- Fear of commitment or intimacy
- Generalized anxiety
- Mental health conditions such as Bi-polar disorder
- Relationship concerns.
ED is also caused in reaction to some prescription medications often used for the treatment of underlying medical conditions. Hypertensive medications, heart medications, Diuretics, CNS drugs such as amphetamines, anti-anxiety medicines, opioid based painkillers, anti-cholinergic drugs, cancer treatment medicines, and hormone therapy medications are all known to cause erectile dysfunction to a certain degree.
While most men are able to identify erectile issues themselves, the proper diagnosis of erectile dysfunction is only done through a thorough examination performed by a licensed medical health professional. Concerned patients are advised to seek help from their healthcare providers for a confirmed diagnosis and correct treatment of the condition.
A medical health provider records your health history, performs a physical exam to check for any abnormalities in your abdomen, penis and testicles along with performing a rectal exam to rule out an enlarged prostate.
Often times urine and blood samples are also collected to check for any underlying medical conditions as well as to check nerve function and blood flow.
As prevalent a condition as erectile dysfunction is, it makes sense for there to be a number of treatment modalities for patients to choose from in order to achieve the best results possible. From mechanical or prosthetic devices to psychological therapy and counselling, hormone therapy to penile injections, vacuum erection pumps to surgically place penile implants – the options are endless.
However, by far the most popular treatment option for erectile dysfunction is the use of a class of drugs known as PDE 5 or Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors. Here’s a look at the ED drugs commonly used today.
ED Drugs – A Comparison
The PDE 5 or Phosphodiesterase 5 is cyclic nucleotide enzyme which is responsible for mediating the degradation of Cyclic Guanosine Monophosphate – a second messenger compound in charge of managing the vasculature of the penile tissue.
The class of PDE 5 Inhibitors used for the management of erectile dysfunction have an inhibitory action on the breakdown of cGMP. This helps maintain the relaxation of the smooth muscles vascular tissues, thereby increasing and maintaining the flow of blood necessary for a proper erection however these drugs are largely ineffective without direct sexual stimulation.
That is because as part of the erectile process, the body releases Nitric Oxide (NO) when sexually stimulated. This NO is responsible for the activation of a specific enzyme that facilitates the increase in cGMP levels. If there is no sexual stimulation, there will be no cGMP production for the PDE 5 Inhibitors to prevent the breakdown of, resulting in flaccid penile tissue despite the administration of the potency drug.
There are a number of different PDE 5 Inhibitors available in the market – both natural and synthetically produced ones. The most popular ones include Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. Here is an in-depth look at each of the three PDE 5 Inhibitors most commonly used today.
Viagra was the first ever drug approved by the FDA for the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction. Produced by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, it was developed by British scientists in 1989 for the treatment of hypertension induced by cardiovascular conditions such as Angina. In the clinical trials held for the medicine, the drug proved ineffective for Angina related hypertension, instead helping with smooth muscle relaxation, allowing for better, and more effective erections.
Further study deemed the drug appropriate for the treatment of erectile dysfunction and in 1998 the ever popular little blue pill, made specifically for men was approved by the FDA.
Viagra contains the active ingredient Sildenafil Citrate. To be taken one hour to 30 minutes before sexual activity, Viagra provides a boost in a man’s sexual prowess for up to 5 hours following administration. While the medicine is available in 25mg, 50mg and 100mg doses, the most commonly prescribed dosage for the treatment of newly diagnosed ED is a 25mg tablet, once per day. The maximum safe dosage of the drug is upto 100mg Viagra per 24 hours.
Kamagra and Loverga are synthetic versions of Viagra’s core ingredient Sildenafil Citrate, created, developed and marketed by Ajanta Pharmaceuticals Limited in India, after Pfizer lost its exclusive patent protecting its right to production of Viagra in 2013.
While Viagra is only available in cities around Australia such as Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne as a prescription drug, available for purchase only through a valid doctor’s prescription, Kamagra Oral Jelly and Loverga are readily available for sale across the country as cheap, over the counter pills, legally.
Kamagra is commonly for sale in gel form for the treatment of male erectile dysfunction. Loverga, however, is an alteration of the same core ingredient that is Sildenafil Citrate, in a specific formulation made exclusively to treat sexual dysfunction in females.
By far the most popular PDE 5 Inhibitor for the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction, Cialis is FDA approved drug manufactured by Eli Lilly and Company. With an estimated worth of $1.45 Billion, Cialis is one of the most successful pharmaceutical formulations in the ED class of drugs.
With the core ingredient Tadalafil Citrate, Cialis was under Eli Lilly’s sole patents until 2017 only to be sold as a prescription drug in Australia and other countries around the world.
Available as small, yellow colored, almond-shaped film coated tablets, Tadalafil or Cialis is sold in dosages of 2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg, or 20mg. though the drug does need to be taken a minimum before sexual activity, it differs from its popular counterpart Sildenafil or Viagra in that it only needs 15 minutes before it proves effective. What’s more is that as compared to Viagra’s 5 hours, Cialis lasts for up to 36 hours. This has earned this Cialis the reputation of the ‘Weekend Drug’.
After the expiration of the Lilly patent, Cialis is now available for sale as its core ingredient Tadalafil as generic, over the counter versions, legally sold in pharmacies online in Australia and beyond.
Containing the active ingredient Vardanafil, with the formulation of Vardanafil Hydrochloride, Levitra is the third most popular drug used for the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction.
It’s manufactured and sold by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and was approved for production in 2003. Through Levitra is also a PDE 5 Inhibitor and works in much the same way as its industry counterparts, namely Viagra and Cialis, Levitra is also known to boost sexual performance along with erectile turgidity. This not only allows men to get and keep an erection, it also helps them maintain one with greater control for satisfactory sexual activity.
While Viagra has a very short-lived effective – only four or 5 hours at most – and Cialis can last upto 36 hours, Levitra strikes a balance between the two. The positive effects of Levitra can last for as long as 12 hours.
Available as tablets or pills, Levitra is sold in 10mg or 20mg doses across Australia. Though it is only available for purchase through a valid doctor’s prescription at the moment, Bayer’s patent for the drug expire in October of this year, allowing other pharmaceutical companies from around the world to manufacture alternate versions for sale as over the counter medicines.
Where to Buy ED Meds Easily in Australia
Medications for the treatment of erectile dysfunction in Australia are not quite that easy to purchase. Especially because they are largely sold under valid prescriptions obtained through licensed medical professionals.
This greatly limits the availability of the most essential treatment drugs for an embarrassing medical condition for men across Australia. However, luckily for those still wondering where to buy ED Meds from legally in the country, a majority of the PDE 5 inhibitors are easily available at pharmacies online in Australia. Certified pharmacies operating over the internet make it easy to buy drugs which facilitate sexual functionality without having to consult a doctor for the condition.
That said, it’s important to state that not all pharmacies are valid and vetted. Though they may offer cheap over the counter drugs which can be bought legally in Australia, there are high chances of the medicines being sold are not original formulations.
In fact, there is a great market for fake and counterfeit drugs for sale online. These fake medicines are known to either not contain enough of the core ingredient for optimal effectiveness, or they may cause unnecessarily extreme adverse reactions upon use.
As such, for people buying ED meds in Australia through online stores or pharmacies, it is important that you only purchase from reliable sources, or visit your medical health provider for quality assurance purposes before the administration of the medicine.