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At present there are three FDA-approved drugs on the market to help men with erictile difficulties. These are Viagra, Levitra and Cialis. All three are scientifically proven to deal with erectile problems. (There are all sorts of herbal substances on the market that claim to help with erectile difficulties, but they have not recieved government approval as effective.)
Viagra was the first erectile drug to come onto the market, in 1998, with FDA approval. In 2003, Levitra was introduced into the market with FDA approval. Cialis is the third drug that has been approved (2003) for dealing with erectile problems.
Both Viagra and Levitra are effective for 4 hours, so a man who responds to his partner within those four hours is likely to have a firm erection and sexual climax. Cialis is effective for 36 hours, which gives couples a much longer "window of opportunity" to engage in sex.
Some people experience unwanted side effects from using erectile drugs--such as nausea, headaches and muscle aches. These people need to consider whether the relevant side effects can be tolerated for 4 or 36 hours.
Dangers of Drugs for Erectile Problems
Viagra, Cialis and Levitra - which are medications used for erectile dysfunction (E.D.) are typically used by men who are 30 years old and older; however, some young men explore using these drugs in hopes of having sronger sexual responses. In a study of 234 men on three college campuses, researchers in Chicago found that six percent of the college men reported that they had used one or more of these E.D. drugs (Springen, 2006). These men were 18 to 25 years old, and about half of them used the medications to treat erectile problems, but the other half used the E.D. drugs in hopes of having more intense sexual experiences.
There are at least two serious problems that young people need to understand bfore exploring E.D. medications. First, more than half of the men in the Chicago study took E.D medications while also using alcohol or illicit drugs (including methamphetamines and ecstasy). Many of these men were merely exploring the possibilities that might emerge from combining a sex drug with a mind-bending drug - without thinking about possible drug-interaction effects. Many people do not know that combing some recreational drugs with E.D. medications can lead to a sharp decline in blood pressure, which can create dangerous health risks.
Second, taking sex medications and mind-bending drugs is likely to occur when young men are thinking about having sex, and wanting a wild ride. But the cognitive distortions introduced by alcohol or illicit drugs can impair a man's capacities to think straight about the need for using condoms and other birth control precautions. This increases the risks of contracting STDs or pregnancy. The drugs may also lead a man to have sex with a partner that he would not have wanted to have sex with if they were not inebriated.
If a young man does not have E.D., the medications do not really make erections any stronger. However, they can make the refractory period shorter.
Springen, Karen. "Viagra not just for dad." Newsweek, p 12, May 15, 2006.