Getting The Most Out Of Your ED Medication

5 Tips To Set Yourself Up For Success

Disclaimer: Your healthcare provider is the best source of health and medical information. Articles written by UPGUYS are informed by peer-reviewed studies and research, as well as governmental health authorities and agencies—but they cannot replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns you might have. 

Feature Photo - Credit: Bruce Mars / Unsplash

It’s difficult to imagine a world in which effective treatments for erectile dysfunction do not exist. For the last 20 years, sildenafil (brand name Viagra®) tadalafil, vardenafil and other oral medications have proven to be effective treatments in helping men get and maintain erections. However, some experts have suggested that around 30% of men do not respond to these types of medications when taken orally. 

A medical professional is always your best resource to help understand why medication for ED might not be working, or if you should be taking it in the first place. That said, here are a few simple tips to keep in mind that may help you get the most out of your medication. 

Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work the first time

There are several underlying causes that can lead to ED, ranging from the physical to the emotional to the psychological. Physical issues that require more blood flow to the penis and psychological ones, like performance anxiety or an unhealthy relationship, may require different approaches. 

Medications for erectile dysfunction come in different doses and different forms. If you don’t notice improvement in your erections after the first couple of times using the medication prescribed to you by a qualified medical professional, don’t panic. The solution could involve changing to a different drug or upping the dosage. Either way, you shouldn’t worry that you’ll never regain your erections—it may just require a different approach. 

Plan ahead of time

You will notice the effects of most erectile dysfunction medications within 15 to 60 minutes of taking them—but the amount of time it takes to start working (and how long it will last) can depend on a variety of factors, including the particular drug you’ve been prescribed and your own body’s metabolism. 

Your best bet is to take ED medication 30-60 minutes before engaging in sexual intercourse. If you take it too close to the time when you’re about to get down, you won’t have given the drug enough time to take effect. Conversely, if you take it hours before, the desired effect might not be there when you need it most. Set yourself up for success by reaching for your ED meds half-an-hour- to an-hour before sexual activity. 

Credit: Ali Yahya / Unsplash  

Eat healthy, be active

Like most medications, erectile dysfunction treatments work better in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle. Chief among healthy lifestyle factors you can start to implement right now is light cardio exercise and eating healthy, whole foods. 

A 2018 review of 10 different academic articles found that 160 minutes of exercise per week for 6 months helped to decrease instances of ED caused by inactivity and cardiovascular diseases. Researchers at Harvard also point to a study in which men with 32-inch waists experienced ED about half as much as those with 42-inch waists. And while you’re helping out your heart health with exercise, focus on maintaining a diet full of healthy fats (think fish, avocados), fresh fruits and vegetables, and nuts like almonds and walnuts. 

Look to avoid unhealthy high-fat foods like hamburgers, steaks and lasagna before having sex. These fats are harder for your body to metabolize and can have an effect on ED medications taking action in the bloodstream. 

Tell your doctor about medications you’re taking

Your doctor or pharmacist absolutely needs to know about any medications you’re currently taking, as well as your medical history. Several common medications prescribed for high blood pressure, HIV, and other conditions can interact with sildenafil and cause adverse reactions. 

It’s also important to disclose any regular intake of non-prescription medicine, as well as vitamins and nutritional supplements. A qualified healthcare professional will be able to assess the medications you’re currently taking and how they might interact with sildenafil or other ED treatments.  

Make sure you’re taking the real thing

Counterfeit erectile dysfunction medications have flooded Canada in recent years, usually purchased online for a fraction of the price of legitimate ED meds. Not only can these drugs be ineffective in treating ED, they often contain ingredients that can be dangerous to your health. You should never take any medication for erectile dysfunction (or any other medication for that matter) that hasn’t been explicitly prescribed to you by a qualified health professional.