Pharmaceutical

Study: Viagra most effective for ED, but carries many side effects

viagra Study: Viagra most effective for ED, but carries many side effects Viagra is the most effective treatment for men who cannot get an erection, but users suffer more side effects while taking the drug compared to other erectile dysfunction treatments, according to a large analysis published in the journal European Urology.

Men who have trouble getting or keeping an erection have a variety of medication options. The first to hit the market was Viagra (sildenafil) followed by Cialis (tadalafil), Levitra (vardenafil) and Stendra (avanafil). The drugs are in a class of medications known as phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors, or PDE5 inhibitors. The drugs work by relaxing smooth muscle, allowing the penis to fill with blood.

All three erectile dysfunction drugs work similarly and start to work as soon as 20 to 30 minutes after taking the pill and can last up to four to 36 hours. They even carry similar side effects, including headaches, flushing, indigestion and nasal congestion. However, researchers at the University of Zurich, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands found that Viagra users had better outcomes but experienced side effects more often than users of other ED drugs.

Researchers combed through 82 studies on the drugs’ effectiveness and 72 studies exploring side effects. They found that the 50 or 100 mg doses of Viagra were the most effective while the 50 to 200 mg doses of Stendra were the least effective.

The 50-mg dose of Stendra produced the lowest rate of side effects. Levitra had the highest rate followed closely by Viagra and Cialis.

Viagra side effects are most often mild, but a newly revealed side effect of the drug has raised red flags among the medical community. Viagra affects the same genetic pathway that allows skin cancer to be more aggressive. This finding has led to research that found that men who are using Viagra – as well as men who have used the drug but are no longer taking it – are at an increased risk of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.

Source: NY Daily News