Viagra, Cialis, Levitra comparison

Erectile dysfunction is a problem faced by the vast majority of men, regardless of the age. Of course, men of mature and elderly age have problems with potency much more often, although young men aged 20 to 30 also suffer from them. Currently, there are reliable and effective medications for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. The most famous of them are Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. What do they have in common and how do they differ?

A large-scale clinical study of erectile dysfunction has shown that its prevalence among men aged 70 and older is 67%, and among those aged 40 to 70- 52%. In this, potency disorders are quite common in men aged 30 to 40 as well (39% of cases).

Potency disorders in men- not impotence, but erectile dysfunction

First of all, we should emphasize the fact that erectile dysfunction (ED) is not a disease that finally and irrevocably leads to the termination of sexual life. This is confirmed by the fact that the term “impotence” has long been removed from the lexicon of doctors; instead, they use another term– “erectile dysfunction”.

The use of the term “dysfunction” indicates that this is not the termination of sexual function in men, but only its impairment. This is also confirmed by the fact that in most cases, the use of adequate treatment methods allows to (if not completely cure ED) achieve a high-quality erection that provides a full sexual intercourse.

Erectile dysfunction can be treated in 95% of cases by the intake of the drugs from the group of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE-5).

IPDE-5 are the drugs of choice for the treatment of erectile dysfunction

Currently, the first-line drugs for the treatment of ED are phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE-5). The treatment of potency disorders (regardless of their origin) in men starts with them.

To date, there are about a dozen drugs in the IPDE-5 group. However, there are three most studied and commonly used of them- Sildenafil (produced under the brand name Viagra), Tadalafil (brand name Cialis) and Vardenafil (Levitra). Besides, there are many generics using these substances as an active ingredient.

The first and most studied of these drugs is Sildenafil, which has been used in clinical practice since the 1990s. It is known to most people as Viagra – a famous “blue pill”. Cialis and Levitra appeared a bit later.

We should note that all three drugs are quite similar in their main characteristics, level of effectiveness and safety profile. However, they have serious differences according to some criteria. What are their similarities and differences? We will try to answer these questions by comparing Viagra, Cialis and Levitra by the most important indicators for men.

Viagra, Cialis and Levitra: comparison of drugs by the main indicators

The speed of effect. This indicator is approximately the same for all three drugs. They start working in 25-30 minutes, and the highest level of action is reached within 30-60 minutes.

Duration of action. The undisputed leader by this indicator is Cialis, whose action lasts 36 hours. Viagra and Levitra act for 4-5 hours.

Effectiveness in the elimination of erectile dysfunction. The effectiveness of all three drugs is approximately equal – about 85% (according to various data, it varies from 80% to 87%). However, some sources indicate a higher effectiveness of Cialis (up to 89.2%).

Possibility of intake with food. Fat food reduces the absorption of Viagra by about 1/3 and, accordingly, the concentration of the drug in the plasma decreases. If the fat content in the dish doesn’t exceed 50%, the rate of absorption of Levitra decreases; however, if the fat content is 30% or lower, it doesn’t affect the pharmacokinetics of Levitra. Food intake doesn’t impact the action of Cialis.

Possibility of intake with alcohol. Viagra and Levitra shouldn’t be mixed with alcoholic beverages (or rather, it is not recommended to abuse them). It is allowed to take Viagra and Levitra together with a small amount of alcohol (up to 40 g of pure alcohol, which equals to 100 g of vodka, 0.5 liters of wine or 0.7 liters of beer). The use of Cialis doesn’t pose any restrictions on the simultaneous intake of alcoholic beverages.

Side effects. The undesirable effect of drugs from the PDE-5 group is due to their inhibition of not only phosphodiesterase type 5, but also other types of PDE, which causes their effect on the nervous, cardiovascular and respiratory system, as well as visual organs and mucous membrane. In this, all three drugs have mostly different application points: Cialis most often causes muscle and back pain, while Levitra leads to nasal congestion; however, all three drugs have such typical side effects as headache, hot flushes and dyspepsia.

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