Health and medicine

Everything you need to know about how potency drugs work

Everything you need to know about how potency drugs work
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You can find plenty of medications for erectile dysfunction (ED) on the market. Many of them can do more harm than good and even put your health and life at risk. It’s helpful to know what to look for when thinking about buying the right medications.

Oral medications are often the first choice when deciding how to treat erectile dysfunction. For most men who have trouble maintaining an erection strong enough for sex (erectile dysfunction), these medications work well and cause few side effects.

Sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn), tadalafil (Cialis), and avanafil (Stendra) are oral medications that reverse erectile dysfunction by enhancing the action of nitric oxide, a natural chemical produced by the body that relaxes the muscles of the penis. This increases blood flow and allows you to get an erection in response to sexual stimulation.


Although they work in a similar way, each oral medication has a slightly different chemical composition. These slight differences affect how each drug works, such as how quickly it works and wears off, as well as potential side effects. Your doctor will consider these factors, as well as other conditions you have and possible interactions with other medicines you take

When to use caution

Before taking any erectile dysfunction medication, consult your doctor. Erectile dysfunction medicines may not work or may be dangerous if:

  • you are taking nitrate drugs – commonly prescribed for chest pain (angina) – such as nitroglycerin, isosorbide mononitrate, and isosorbide diazotate,
  • you have very low blood pressure (hypotension) or uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension),
  • you have severe liver disease,
  • you have kidney disease that requires dialysis.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

Side effects

Most men who take oral medications for erectile dysfunction are not concerned about side effects. When side effects do occur, they can include:

  • flushing,
  • headache,
  • indigestion,
  • visual changes such as blue vision, sensitivity to light, or blurred vision,
  • blocked nose or runny nose,
  • back pain.

Rarely, more serious side effects may occur, including

Hearing loss or vision loss

Some men have had sudden hearing loss or vision loss after taking one of these medications. However, it is unclear whether the vision or hearing loss was directly caused by taking the medication or a pre-existing condition. If you are taking oral medications for erectile dysfunction and have a sudden loss of hearing or vision, seek immediate medical attention.

An erection that does not go away on its own

Called priapism, this rare condition can be painful and requires treatment to avoid damage to the penis. If you have an erection that lasts longer than four hours, see a doctor immediately.

Buying over the Internet

If you are buying medicine online check that the online pharmacy is legitimate. Never order medicine from an online pharmacy if the pharmacy cannot be reached by phone, if the prices seem too good to be true, or if you are told you do not need a prescription. Some illegal companies sell counterfeit versions of legitimate medicines that may be ineffective or dangerous. Make sure you have the right prescription and dosage. When you order medications – and receive them in the mail – make sure they are the exact dosage and type prescribed by your doctor.

Don’t be fooled into buying “herbal viagra.” Never take any medications that claim to be “herbal” or over-the-counter equivalents of oral medications for erectile dysfunction. They are not an effective alternative, and some contain harmful substances. When thinking about buying medications (such as kamagra), buy only those that have the appropriate, tested and approved active ingredient.

Photo by Damir Spanic/Unsplash

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