Scientists compared seven existing drugs to treat erectile dysfunction

Viagra is the most effective treatment for erectile dysfunction, but an analysis of 150 clinical trials reveals that it also has a higher side-effect rate than other options.

Its generic name is sildenafil. Men who are concerned about these potential side effects of Viagra, such as headaches, hot flushes, indigestion and nasal congestion, may start with Cialis (tadalafil), according to the authors in European Urology.

If that does not work, users in some countries can try Zydena (udenafil).

Many men can not have or maintain an erection, especially with age, but the National Institutes of Health of the United States clarify that erectile dysfunction (ED) is not a natural aging process.

The review compared seven drugs for ED in the family of phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors (PDE5i, for its acronym in English). These products inhibit the action of an enzyme that reduces the potency of the erection.

Viagra, Cialis, Levitra (vardenafil) and Stendra (avanafil) have that effect and are approved in the United States. The rest, Zydena, Helleva (lodenafil) and Mvix (mirodenafil), are only authorized in other countries.

PDE5i are the first-line treatment for ED, but they only help 60-80 percent of users and many stops taking them, said Dr. Alexander W. Pastuszak, of the Department of Urology at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. , Texas, and who did not participate in the study.

The team from the University of Zurich, the Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland) and the Medical Center of the University of Maastricht (The Netherlands) reviewed 82 studies on the effectiveness of drugs and 72 studies on their adverse effects.

All the drugs were more effective than placebo and, in general, safer and well tolerated.

The doses of 50 or 100 mg of Viagra seemed to be the most effective: 50 percent better than placebo. The lower doses were not as effective. Stendra, in doses of between 50 and 200 mg, was among the least effective, with only 20-30 percent more useful than placebo.

The 50 mg dose of Stendra recorded the lowest rate of adverse effects in the group (8.5 percent). The 20 mg dose of Levitra, on the other hand, had the highest rate of side effects (25 percent).

The highest doses of Viagra and Cialis caused adverse effects 21-22 percent of the time.

“Viagra has a known effectiveness and safety profile and remains an important option for men with ED,” said a spokesman for Pfizer, which produces the drug.

“His study has already accumulated more than 15 years in more than 136 clinical trials completed and ongoing with more than 23,000 men with ED,” he added.

The adverse effects depend on each drug and the enzymes that the product can inhibit, Pastuszak explained. Visual changes are one of the main side effects of Viagra, while Cialis often causes muscle pain.

He said that urologists know both the effectiveness and the adverse effects of the treatments available for ED, so these new results will not surprise them.

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