The side effects of erection drugs include nausea, head ache, and a slight case of death.
Yup, we just went there. A study conducted in 2000 found Sildenafil killed 522 patients in its first year alone, and 1,824 deaths through 2007 – usually by heart attack.
Other erection drugs don’t fare much better. Tadalafil is linked to 236 deaths and Vardenafil to 121. Much of this danger appears to stem from how erection drugs work.
Erection pills inhibit an enzyme called PDE5 from degrading a chemical in the corpora cavernosum –the long chambers in your penis that fill with blood and help you get an erection. This seems to put them at odds with several types of common medication – especially nitrates, which are used to treat heart and chest pain.
And they have other side effects that should be considered in any conversation about erection drugs with your doctor.
Study Links Erection Drugs to Fatalities
The study consisted of a Freedom of Information request from the FDA. It found 1,473 adverse effects linked to Sildenafil in its database – information that is admittedly hard to interpret without comparing it with a similar population not taking the drug.
Also, the study leads say there’s no reason to panic. While erection drugs like Sildenafil are linked to fatalities, given the numbers of men who take the drug, most patients with low risk factors should probably be OK.
Still, erection drugs aren’t all beer and skittles. The three most popular erection medications seem to have caused, or at least contributed to, 2500 non-fatal heart attacks between 1990 and 2014.
The key takeaway here? Erection drugs come with side effects that warrant a discussion with your doctor.
Other Serious Side Effects Linked to Erection Drugs
Erection drugs may not kill you, but they can definitely make your life miserable. One estimate suggests 10 to 15% of patients will get a head ache. Up to 10% of men taking erection drugs will have an upset stomach and 2 to 11% will experience flushing. The side effects of erection drugs include:
Headache – This is the most common side effect of erection drugs. It’s caused by the quick change in blood flow cause by higher levels of nitric oxide. And it’s common among all erection drugs, so changing brands may not fix the issue.
Body Aches – Erection medications can make your body hurt – particularly in the lower back. Your doctor may recommend an over the counter pain killer to go with your passion.
Digestive Problems – You’re at higher risk of digestive problems with erection drugs, including diarrhea and indigestion. Dietary changes may be required, like swapping caffeine or alcohol with water.
Dizziness – You might get dizzy too. The increase in nitric oxide can lead to discomfort and fainting – although that’s uncommon.
Vision Changes – Erection drugs are no friend of your vision. Among other things, they can temporarily alter your eyesight and lead to blurry vision. They are not recommended for men with existing vision problems and need immediate medical intervention if complete vision loss occurs. Rare, but possible.
Flushing – As the name implies, flushing is temporary skin redness. It usually starts on your face and may spread to other parts of your body. This can be mild (like blotchy skin), or more severe, like a rash.
Congestion or Runny Nose – Erection drugs can make you congested and/or give you a runny nose. This should clear up on its own, but you’ll want to speak with your doctor if it does not.
Minor Vs. Severe – When to See a Doctor
Mild side effects are common with erection drugs. But mild can turn ‘severe’ in some (albeit rare) cases, and they need attention quick. Severe side effects of erection drugs include:
Priapsim – An erection that lasts longer than four hours. While this may sound enjoyable, it’s actually quite painful, and can permanently affect to get or keep an erection in the future.
Sudden Changes in Hearing – See a doctor quick.
Sudden Vision Loss – Same as above.
Our Stance On Erection Drugs
Men’s Best is a review site for natural health supplements that help male quality of life, whether that’s at work, the sports field or in the bedroom. But we’re not the only members of Team You – your doctor ranks higher than we do.
Follow your doctor’s advice. Straight up, that’s more important than anything we can tell you. If that means your doctor tells you to take erection medications, that’s your plan.
Of course, if you’re asking for our input, the second thing we’d tell you as believers in natural health is that many guys (and a few doctors) look to erection drugs before reviewing lifestyle issues that may be responsible for your hardness issues. For example, many guys can’t get hard because they’re overweight or, more ominously, have heart problems. And believe us, that makes getting a hard on a distant second in among your wellness priorities.
So, if you’d like our ‘Men’s Best’ two cents on erection drugs, it’s this:
1 – Always, Always, Always speak with your doctor if you can’t get an erection.
2 – If your doctor tells you to take erection drugs, do it.
3 – Focus on healthy lifestyle before sexual performance.
4 – Natural sex supplements should only be used in mild cases of erection difficulties or if you’re in good shape already and simply want to enhance your sexual performance.
Lifestyle Tips to Keep Your Erection
Are we now clear on our stance with erection drugs? Cool – now, let’s get back to lifestyle tips that affect your sexual performance. Because your ticker is really a reflection of the rest of your body, and the habits you follow. These tips are a boot camp for Erection Central, and can help you get and keep that monster erection when you’d like to play.
Watch Your Diet – You are what you eat. And if you want an erection, it’s good to be a fruit, vegetable, whole grain and/or healthy fat like nuts, fish or olive oil. Want us to get more specific? Try walnuts, salmon, eggs or asparagus, among others. The Mediterranean Diet is good. Fatty and processed foods, not so much. And remember that all of this depends on aby food allergies you may have.
Maintain a Healthy Weight – Yup, we know, you’ve heard this before. But being on the heavier side can lead to many ailments that reduce your chances to get a hard on.
Avoid High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol – The basics count, friend. High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage your blood vessels, which send blood to – any guesses? Speak with your doctor about both of these issues, especially as you get older
Moderate Your Booze, or Don’t Drink – Yup, we are officially trying to make life miserable. But look at it like this – you’re trading alcohol (and other body vices) for sex. Chronic heavy drinking can damage your liver and mess with your male sex hormones, none of which are good for a hard on.
Exercise Often – Plenty of evidence links regular exercise to better sex. Running, swimming and aerobic exercise are shown to reduce erection problems.
There is a caveat to this. Avoid exercises that put pressure on your perineum – that area between your scrotum and anus (yes, we just said anus). Bike riding, while a great cardio workout, can lead to issues in the bedroom.
Watch Your Testosterone – Testosterone tends to decrease after 40. That can affect your sex drive and stamina. It doesn’t help your erection either. A chat with your doctor about your T levels likely can’t hurt.
Avoid Steroids – Intensity and consistency builds muscles – not steroids, which can actually shrink your testicles (nice!) and their ability to make testosterone.
Don’t Smoke – Really dude? Don’t do this for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being your ability to get hard.
Choose Your Sex Positons Carefully – Ironically, some sex positions can actually lead to penis injuries. This can be a matter of trial and error. If it hurts, try another position.
Manage Stress – Stress is an erection killer because it boosts adrenaline, which contracts the blood vessels. That doesn’t do your penis any favors – something you might alleviate with stress management and/or whatever helps you feel good emotionally.
You live once. Erection drugs may help, but they have side effects. So focus on your daily habits and toue erection may thank you.