Viagra Not Working? What To Do Next

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Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team
Published on June 15, 2022

Reaching and maintaining an erection is a complex chain of events that involves specific chemicals, hormones, and multiple systems in the body—and potentially an erotic internet search or two. This is complicated enough without the symptoms of erectile dysfunction.

If you have erectile dysfunction (ED) and don’t believe your prescribed medications are working as they should, you may want to explore other options with your doctor for enhanced sexual function.

Keep reading to learn more about improving your erectile function.

In this article, we’ll talk about the following: 

  • How Do ED Medications Work?
  • Why Is Your Viagra Not Working?
  • How to Troubleshoot ED Drugs Not Working
  • ED Medication Alternatives
  • Key Takeaway

How Do ED Medications Work?

Before genuinely understanding how ED medications work and seeking treatment, you must know more about erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction is when you can’t achieve an erection adequate enough for satisfying sex life. If you can get an erection, they may not last as long as you want or become as hard as you’d like them to be.

Regardless of the stigma surrounding erectile dysfunction, it is one of the most common sexual issues. ED affects the sexual health of many men around the world—the worldwide prevalence is expected to increase to 322 million individuals by 2025.

An erection begins with stimulation, which can be psychological (thinking of something that sexually excites you) or sensory (like sight, touch, or smell).

Read more: 7 Mind-Blowing Erectile Dysfunction Myths And Facts

Erectile dysfunction medications like Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil), and Levitra (vardenafil) are in a medication class called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. When you are sexually aroused, nerve messages trigger the production of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). Along with nitric oxide, this chemical relaxes smooth muscles in your penis’s arteries.

When you are more relaxed, you can get an erection because your blood flows freely. ED medications work by blocking the PDE5 enzyme. After you ejaculate, PDE5 breaks down cGMP, which signals your penis to release blood and turns off your erection.

While PDE5 inhibitors are highly effective at treating erectile dysfunction, you still need sexual stimulation for them to perform.  

Possible Side Effects

While most men aren’t bothered by side effects when taking ED medication, some experience the following:

  • Headache
  • Skin flushing
  • Indigestion
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Changes in vision (such as blurred vision or sensitivity to light)
  • Back pain

In extreme cases, an erection produced with the help of ED meds may not go away on its own. This condition, called priapism, is rare, but it’s painful and requires medical treatment.

If you experience an erection lasting longer than four hours, promptly seek medical attention.

Why Is Your Viagra Not Working?

If you struggle with erectile dysfunction, you may have been prescribed an ED medication such as sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), or tadalafil (Cialis). While these medications are effective for most individuals with ED, they don’t always work as expected. 

Here are some factors to consider if you’re in this frustrating situation.

Talk to your doctor if your ED medication is not working. Do not double up the dosage or take another ED medication on top of that.

You’re Not Patient

Erectile dysfunction medications are more effective once you’ve used them more than once. Anxiety surrounding taking the drug can play a role, but so can familiarity with the effects. 

Your healthcare provider may suggest masturbating after taking the medication first, so you know what to expect. If you take the meds for the first time before engaging in sexual activity with a partner, anxiety may compromise the results.

Also, be sure to take ED pills 30 to 60 minutes before you plan to have sex. It usually takes an hour before the medication starts working, but it can take up to four hours in some cases. You may need to give the medication longer to kick in to notice the results.

Your Expectations Are Too High

It’s essential to manage your expectations when taking an ED medication. Many men wrongly believe that erectile dysfunction pills will increase the size of their erections, improve their sex drive, or make them last all night. 

Unfortunately, these are just myths. 

Despite what you may have heard, ED medications don’t affect the size of your penis or turn you into a sex fiend. They can help you get and maintain an erection. If you expect anything more, you’ll be disappointed.

You Need a Higher Dose

If you’ve tried your current dose of ED medication a couple of times and aren’t happy with the effects, you may need to talk with your doctor about a higher dose.

Never adjust your dosage on your own. Schedule an appointment with a practitioner to discuss your options.

This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information provided in the articles cannot and should not replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns or the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.

You’re Drinking Too Much Alcohol

Alcohol is the enemy of all erectile dysfunction medications. 

While ED meds increase the blood flow to your penis, alcohol reduces it, which makes it harder to get an erection. 

Drinking alcohol will also decrease nerve sensitivity, which prevents adequate stimulation. If you’re taking ED medication, you should drink alcohol sparingly (or avoid it entirely). Failure to do so may increase the likelihood of medication side effects and impact your ability to get and stay hard.

You Have Underlying Medical Issues

If you have tried all of the above and nothing works, your issue may go beyond erectile dysfunction. 

Several underlying health conditions can cause symptoms of ED, including issues related to your hormones, nerves, and blood vessels. 

Talk to a practitioner about evaluating your overall health for other conditions that could be contributing to your ED symptoms.

How To Troubleshoot ED Drugs Not Working

If you’re unhappy with your current medication approach to erectile dysfunction, don’t give up on it entirely. There are a few things you can do to increase your chances of ED medication working for you.

Check Your Testosterone Levels

Viagra and similar medications are not as effective if your testosterone levels are too low. Some studies declare that as many as one in three men discussing erectile dysfunction with their doctor have low testosterone.

Combined with other factors, low testosterone levels can strongly contribute to erectile dysfunction, making a challenging situation even worse. If you suspect that low testosterone is the culprit, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider, who can evaluate this with you.

Try Taking Your ED Medication in Different Scenarios

Before deciding that ED medication isn’t for you, take it at least five times in the most optimal situation. You should also try it combined with masturbation to make sure you’re not suffering from a relationship issue. 

Some people have to take ED meds up to ten times before becoming comfortable with it. You’ll be more comfortable once you understand how the medication makes you feel and how it works. 

If you’re still in the trial-and-error phase, speak with your practitioner about your treatment so they can make suggestions and help you find a solution.

Rule Out STDs

Finally, while STDs are an uncomfortable subject to discuss, we cannot rule them out when talking about erectile dysfunction medication efficacy. 

Erectile dysfunction medications do not provide a barrier to STDs. Some STDs, including gonorrhea, HIV, viral hepatitis, and chlamydia, can lead to erectile dysfunction, which hinders the performance of ED medication.

For example, if you contract chlamydia and don’t seek proper medical attention, your prostate gland can become infected. This infection may lead to prostatitis, an inflamed prostate. 

Read more: Worst Foods for Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Try Something New

Even if you’ve had luck with ED medication in the past, sometimes your body can get used to a particular drug, and it stops working over time. In this case, you may need to change your dose or try an entirely new medication. 

If you’re currently taking Viagra, you may have better luck with Levitra or Cialis. Always discuss your options with a practitioner before adjusting your dose.

ED Medication Alternatives

If ED medications aren’t working for you, the good news is that some of the things you can do to alleviate ED symptoms don’t require a prescription. Other remedies for ED include non-oral drugs, lifestyle changes, penile devices, and natural therapies.

Lifestyle Changes

While using ED medication, it is vital to address the lifestyle factors contributing to erectile dysfunction. Some common lifestyle factors that contribute to poor blood circulation include:

  • Stress
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Lack of activity

To improve your overall health, consider making the following changes:

  • Exercise daily
  • Minimize daily stress
  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Eat a healthy diet

Making these changes and managing any existing health conditions is the most effective way to prevent erectile dysfunction.

Vacuum Devices

Another straightforward treatment for erectile dysfunction is using a penis vacuum device, also called a penis pump.

A penis pump is a simple device that creates suction around your penis. The suction of blood causes it to swell. Placing a ring at the base of your penis prevents blood from draining out. This is how you maintain the erection. 

To avoid damage to your penis, never leave a penis pump on for longer than thirty minutes. Your blood will circulate as usual once you remove it. 

Some men find that using a ring by itself helps them maintain an erection. It’s important to note that using a penis pump can cause damage to your penis’s blood vessels, which may contribute to any existing ED symptoms. 

Injectable ED Medications

If oral ED meds aren’t working for you, consider injectable versions.

Injectable ED medications are injected directly into your penis. This sounds scary, but many men who do not respond well to oral ED medications find injectable ones effective. 

On average, it takes five to 20 minutes to see results from an injection. The medication’s effects typically last 30 minutes to one hour, and you administer it up to three times per week.

Urethral Suppositories

Don’t love the idea of injecting medication into your penis? That’s understandable. 

Another option you may want to consider is an erectile dysfunction suppository. Urethral suppositories, or pellets, can be inserted into your urethra using a small, hand-held device. This method is referred to as the “Medicated Urethral System for Erections” (MUSE). 

Using MUSE can take five to ten minutes to get an erection.

Penile Implants

One option to consider is a penile implant, which involves placing a device inside your penis that creates an erection. The device consists of a semi-rigid rod or internal fluid mechanism. 

A penile implant is a significant surgical procedure and should only be considered if you’ve exhausted all other options.

Therapy

While most cases of erectile dysfunction are related to physical health conditions, sometimes mental health issues play a role in causing psychological ED. For this reason, you may see an improvement in your erections if you combine medication with therapy.

Cognitive behavioural therapy is one type of therapy that can help treat sexual health issues. CBT involves identifying and changing destructive or harmful thought processes that affect your wellbeing and sexual function. 

Experts believe that CBT can help individuals with erectile dysfunction improve their overall sexual health.

No matter which medication or treatment you may be testing for erectile dysfunction, working with a licensed therapist can help reduce anxiety, stress, or pressure in the bedroom.

Read more: 7 Natural Ways To Treat Erectile Dysfunction

Key Takeaway

Viagra not working? You’re not alone. An estimated 3 million Canadian men over 40 are affected by erectile dysfunction. 

If your prescribed ED medication isn’t working, it may be time to talk with a health provider. 

You may be able to relieve symptoms by adjusting your dose, changing certain lifestyle factors, or switching to different ED treatments. Making easy but influential changes to your lifestyle and habits may also help to improve your sexual function.

UPGUYS can easily connect you with a licensed Canadian medical practitioner who can discuss the many treatment possibilities with you.

If you are suffering from ED, don’t waste any more time and explore your medication options today.




Disclaimer
This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information provided in the articles cannot and should not replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns or the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.