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Mid adult man, in thought

Viagra, Cialis, Levitra: What’s the Difference?

Mid adult man, in thought

Erection health issues don’t have to signal the end of an active sex life.

Concerns about erection health aren’t new, and they affect many men. The ability to achieve, and maintain, an erection is something most men desire. When there is an interference with the body’s ability to produce an erection, any number of problems might be the central cause.

Fortunately, erection health medications work around many of those problems, whether they stem from a health condition such as diabetes, or a physical issue such as blood vessel blockages or damaged nerves.

Most erection health medications are closely related and work in basically the same way. But there are differences that might make one of them a better choice for you than another.

Here’s how Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, and the newer Staxyn and Stendra, compare:

How Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra are Similar

Each of these erection health medications is a phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor. They all help counter the effects that PDE5 has on healthy erections, and preserve or enhance the effect of Cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP).

cGMP is responsible for relaxing smooth muscle cells in the penis. It’s also found in other areas of the body, such as the eyes and lungs. When smooth muscle cells in the blood vessels are relaxed, more blood can flow into the penis, which is necessary for a healthy erection to happen.

When nerves near the bottom of the spine receive the brain’s stimulation signal for an erection, nitric oxide is released into the penis, according to the 2004 study published in the US National Library of Medicine, “Mechanisms of action of PDE5 inhibition . . .”  This release of nitric oxide causes the production of cGMP to begin, which leads to more blood flowing into the penis and less flowing out.

PDE5 is an enzyme that breaks down cGMP in the penis. PDE5 inhibitors help encourage stronger erections by blocking the degrading effects that PDE5 has on cGMP.

Where a PDE5 inhibitor is present, cGMP is preserved. The result is often better erections, or erections where none were possible before. This is often true for men with conditions that impair erection health, and for men who want firmer erections than what is usual for them.

Erection problems can affect men of any age.

Erection problems can affect men of any age.

How these Three Medications Differ from Each Other

Although Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra are all PDE5 inhibitors, there are subtle differences. Viagra’s active ingredient is sildenafil. Cialis contains tadalafil, and Levitra has vardenafil.

Viagra (sildenafil) and Levitra (vardenafil) are similar in molecular structure, but Cialis (tadalafil) has a different structure, according to the 2006 study, “Comparison of Phosphodiesterase Type 5 (PDE5) Inhibitors,” published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice.

One difference is the effect that certain foods have on the medications. Fatty foods can lessen the effectiveness of Viagra and Levitra. Fats both delay absorption and reduce absorption of the medication. Conversely, fatty food doesn’t alter the way Cialis works.

Another difference is how quickly, and for how long, each of the erection medications work, explains the 2006 study. Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis may work in a matter of minutes, but each drug is taken a bit differently.

The 2004 study shows that for Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis, the rate on onset is usually between 30 and 60 minutes, but onset time can happen a lot sooner.

Viagra should be taken 60 minutes before sexual activity, with onset time ranging from 14 to 20 minutes. Levitra should be taken 25 to 60 minutes before sexual activity, but can work much faster — 10 minutes. Cialis is recommended 30 minutes before sexual activity, but can work in as little as 16.

Another difference is how long these drugs are effective in the body.

Viagra and Levitra continue to work for period of 4 to 5 hours. This means you can take either of them, and not worry that a sexual encounter has to occur right away.

Cialis has the longest duration of effect, which gives the most freedom. It stays active for as many as 36 hours.

How Other Erection Health Medications Compare

With a range of medications, you can be ready for spontaneous romance.

With a range of medications, you can be ready for spontaneous romance.

New erection health medications are on the market now, so you might wonder how Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis compare to newer Staxyn and Stendra, and even Cialis Daily.

Cialis Daily is essentially the same as Cialis, but the dosage is different and it’s taken every day instead of on an as-needed basis. This lets you forget about preparing for a romantic encounter, because your body will always be ready.

Staxyn, which became available in 2011, contains the same ingredient as Levitra — vardenafil. It’s available in a 10 mg dose, and is designed to be taken as needed. Staxyn can work as quickly as 20 minutes.

The main benefits of Staxyn are that it dissolves under the tongue instead of swallowed with water, and it can work quickly. Because it’s has the same ingredient as Levitra, food won’t interfere with the way it works.

The newest of all PDE5 inhibitors for erection health, Stendra became available in 2012. This medication is the most dependably “on demand” of all PDE5 inhibitors. In 80% of men, it works in as little as 15 minutes and the effectiveness lasts up to 6 hours, according to the maker, Auxilium Pharmaceuticals .

Stendra, which contains the PDE5 inhibitor, avanafil, is available in 50 mg, 100 mg, and 200 mg pills. It can be taken with or without food.

PDE5 inhibitors aren’t magical cure-alls that create an erection, and they’re not right for everyone.

You shouldn’t expect to take an erection health medication and have an erection happen automatically. The medication stays in the body for a period of time, and only goes into action when it’s needed.

Where low libido is a problem, these drugs might not work. Sexual stimulation is essential for any PDE5 inhibitor to help facilitate an erection. If libido prevents stimulation from happening, there is no signal for the brain to transmit, which means the erection process won’t get off the ground.

Men who take nitrates should never take a PDE5 inhibitor except on the advice of their doctor. Any of these medications can cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure.

For many men, Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, and newer PDE5 inhibitors, are safe, effective, and offer relief from the common problem of erection problems. They’re well tolerated, and side effects are minimal. When you’re ready to think about improving your sexual health, talk with your doctor and learn even more about all the ways these popular medications can work for you.

eDrugstore.com sells Viagra, Cialis, Cialis Daily, Levitra, Staxyn, and Stendra, all of which are scientifically proven medications that can improve erection health. We offer complete privacy and the convenience of online ordering, and your shipment arrives in discreet packing right at your door. If you’re ready to try something that works, see what eDrugstore.com has to offer.

 

Don Amerman has spent more than three decades in the business of writing and editing. During the last 15 years, his focus has been on freelance writing. For almost all of his writing, He has done all of his own research, both online and off, including telephone and face-to-face interviews where possible. Don Amerman on Google+