If your erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs don’t have you rising to the occasion, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of luck. Many men who fail to respond to ED meds are taking them incorrectly, finds new research from Spain.
In the study, 69 percent of guys who reported that their penis problems persisted even after taking PDE5 inhibitors—first-line ED drugs such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra—were making some errors when downing the pills.
The researchers offered these patients a “re-education” program to help them better understand how they should use the meds. Of the guys that accepted, 77 percent then responded favorably to the ED drugs.
The problem: Many men aren’t given enough information on how to use the drug when they’re prescribed it, says Jacob Rajfer, M.D., professor of urology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
See how men commonly misuse ED drugs, and learn from their mistakes.
DON’T EXPECT A MIRACLE.
Most guys know that these meds don’t magically give them an erection. Still, 3 percent of study participants reported they weren’t getting enough sexual stimulation when trying them out.
If you’re not aroused, you might as well have just popped a placebo. That’s because of how the drug works in your body.
When you get sexually excited, your brain sends a signal via the nerves down to your penis. This releases a chemical into the muscle of the penis, which then sparks the production of another chemical—the one your ED meds work on to give you a boner. If you’re not aroused, that second chemical wouldn’t form in the first place.
“We tell men not to take the drug and expect miracles happening without doing some work—foreplay, things like that,” says Dr. Rajfer. “It will not work unless you have some form of sexual stimulation, be it touch, taste, smell, whatever that is.”