Phosphodiesterase-5 Inhibitors (PDE-5 Inhibitors) for Erection Problems and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
What To Think About
Do not take PDE-5 inhibitors if you are taking any medicine that contains nitrates, such as nitroglycerin. This combination can lower blood pressure dangerously, possibly leading to a stroke, a heart attack, or death. If you are taking a medicine called an alpha-blocker—used to treat high blood pressure or an enlarged prostate—check with your doctor before you take a PDE-5 medicine.
It is important that you tell all of your health care providers that you take this medicine. If you need emergency medical care for a heart problem, your health care provider will need to know when you last took this medicine..
These medicines may be linked to a rare type of vision loss. If you already have eye disease or vision problems (such as cataracts, glaucoma, or retinopathy), be sure to talk with your eye doctor (ophthalmologist) before you start taking any PDE-5 inhibitors.
Do not drink alcohol to excess (for example, 5 glasses of wine or 5 shots of whiskey) when you are taking tadalafil. Large amounts of alcohol can increase your chances of getting a headache or feeling dizzy, increasing your heart rate, or lowering your blood pressure.
Talk with your doctor about whether medicines for erection problems are safe for you if you:
- Have heart disease.
- Have heart failure or low blood pressure.
- Are taking drugs for high blood pressure.
Sexual activity is exercise. If you have a heart condition and have not been sexually active for a while, talk with your doctor to make sure you can safely engage in sexual activity.
If you eat a high-fat meal around the time you take sildenafil or vardenafil, the medicine does not work as well as it otherwise would. So many doctors recommend you take this medicine on an empty stomach. Tadalafil works without regard to what you eat.
If you are thinking about taking PDE-5 inhibitors for erection problems, it is important to include your partner in your discussions.
PDE-5 inhibitors can be prescribed by any doctor. You do not have to see a doctor who specializes in sexual health. PDE-5 inhibitors are also available on the Internet. If you obtain the medicine through this route, you should discuss its use with your doctor.
PDE-5 inhibitors may affect fertility. If you are trying to have a child, you may want to ask your doctor about how this medicine can affect your chances of conceiving.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Reference Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.