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- Viagra (active ingredient: sildenafil)
- Viagra Connect
- Cialis (active ingredient: tadalafil)
- Levitra (active ingredient: vardenafil)
- Spedra (active ingredient: avanafil)
The above list are erectile dysfunction treatments, of which Viagra and Levitra work for between four and eight hours after you take them. Cialis and Tadalafil last for longer – about a day and a half – so are more suited if you need a longer-lasting treatment, for example, over a full weekend.
All erectile dysfunction treatments start working within half an hour to an hour. The medication will work faster if you take it on an empty stomach. You can then eat an hour after taking it without affecting its effectiveness.
You should talk to your doctor about which erectile dysfunction treatment might be best for you, depending on whether you have taken one before and how often you intend to have sex.
If you find that PDE-5 inhibitors don’t work, you might want to consider whether you waited long enough for the erectile dysfunction treatment to kick in, whether you waited too long for the medication to kick in, whether you had a high enough dose, and whether you felt sexually aroused. You still need to feel sexually stimulated to get an erection when taking an erectile dysfunction treatment.
You can get all three types of PDE-5 inhibitors on prescription from your NHS GP, but in some cases you’ll be asked to pay the full cost of the medication (?17-?30 for 4 tablets depending on the pharmacy’s pricing). If you have: diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, polio, prostate cancer, a severe pelvic or spinal injury, spina bifida, or certain genetic conditions, then you may be entitled to an NHS prescription for PDE-5 inhibitors.
Likewise, if you have had one of the following medical treatments, then you may also be entitled to an NHS prescription for erectile dysfunction treatment: pelvic surgery, surgical removal of the prostate gland (prostatectomy), dialysis for kidney failure, a kidney transplant.
If a specialist centre decides that erectile dysfunction is negatively affecting your daily life, mood/behaviour, or your relationships, then they may also prescribe treatment on the NHS.
If you were getting treated for impotence before or on September 14 1998 then you may also be entitled to an NHS prescription (eligibility for impotence treatment was redefined in 1999, and people who were receiving treatment prior to that date are often still allowed to get it on prescription).