Many prostate cancer patients and
other men with impotence are benefiting from sildenafil
citrate, which is trademarked as Viagra. This and other
similar drugs help maintain an erection by blocking
an enzyme, phosphodiesterase
type 5, found in penile tissues. Once blocked, a
chemical called cGMP,
which causes the smooth muscles of the penis to relax,
does not break down from PDE 5. Men, therefore, can
achieve and maintain more rigid and longer lasting erections.
These drugs do not act as aphrodisiacs. The body’s
libido provides arousal. The drug only supplies the
Since Viagra’s inception the
use of the drug has been on the rise, increasing in
popularity worldwide. Not only has it pioneered more
treatment options but it has also enabled people to
talk about impotence more freely. New drugs have developed
since sildenafil became available, including vardenafil
(Levitra) and tadalafil
(Cialis). During recovery from prostate cancer treatment,
most physicians recommend that patients start taking
one of these drugs in about 4 to 8 weeks. Viagra can
work in as little as 14-30 minutes, and Levitra should
be taken approximately 60 minutes prior to sexual activity.
Cialis can work in as little as 30 minutes and work
up to 36 hours. Ask your doctor for further information.
These drugs work well for most men, however they may not be suitable for men who have coronary artery disease or are taking medicines containing nitrates (chemical compounds) such as nitroglycerine or isosorbides. Consult your doctor before using the any of these drugs. Although side effects are unusual they can occur and include headaches, flushing, indigestion, runny nose, diarrhea, dizziness, and temporary vision loss or disturbance.
Right now several drug companies are hard at work on new approaches to treatment. One is developing a pill that works by manipulating an enzyme that is essential for erections. Researchers are also looking into ways to boost nitric oxide, the most important neurotransmitter for erections.