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About 70% of men with erectile dysfunction (ED) experience the desired therapeutic effects after taking ED pills. However, the results may vary significantly from one man to another. For instance, men with certain health problems, such as diabetes, may not respond well to such medicines. Another important question is whether some ED medications are more effective than the others. The answer is provided in this article.

Initial Information on ED

ED affects millions of men all over the world. Such a condition means trouble achieving and/or maintaining an erection for sexual intercourse. Not all difficulties with an erection should be considered a dysfunction since those may be temporary conditions that will go away quickly.

However, if problems with an erection occur frequently, then it can be ED, which should be diagnosed by a doctor. Such a condition may occur for various reasons, such as underlying health problems, stress, limited blood flow to the penis, etc.

ED Medications Available in the US

Oral ED drugs are often the first choice in treating ED. Most men can use them without suffering from serious side effects. Currently, there are the following ED medications that have been approved by the FDA to be used for managing this dysfunction in the USA:

  • sildenafil (produced by Pfizer, sold as Viagra);
  • vardenafil (produced by Bayer, sold as Levitra);
  • tadalafil (produced by Eli Lilly, sold as Cialis);
  • avanafil (produced by Vivus, sold as Stendra).

Effectiveness of Different ED Medications

Sildenafil has been found highly effective in treatment of ED of different severity in 69% of men.

Biochemically potency of Vardenafil is approximately ten times more than sildenafil, and the desired effects may be achieved with a lower dosage. Also, it is more selective than the other ED medicines, which means that it affects particular enzymes.

Tadalafil’s effects may last up to 36 hours, which makes it an ideal medication for weekends. 

The researchers have found avanafil effective in managing from mild to severe ED. Also, its effects may be experienced in just 15 minutes.

Today, the first-choice medications for treating ED based on the effectiveness and safety are sildenafil and tadalafil; however, all the ED medications that have been approved by the FDA are considered to bring relatively identical effects.

How to Increase the Effectiveness of ED Drugs

ED pills may work perfectly in the dosage prescribed by a healthcare specialist. However, some factors may decrease or increase their effects. Therefore, in order to ensure the achievement of the desired therapeutic effects, it is recommended to follow the following recommendations:

Taking an ED Medication on an Empty Stomach

While ED medications can be taken with or without food, taking one on an empty stomach increases the chances that it will start working quicker. Large fatty meals may slow down the absorption of medications, which decreases their effectiveness.

Particularly, it is recommended to refrain from eating chips, hamburgers, pizza with lots of cheese, etc. when using an ED medicine. However, it does not mean that you should be hungry as you can have moderate-sized meals. A good choice would be salads, fish, chicken breast, etc.

Avoiding a Drug Interaction

A drug interaction ranges from mild to severe. Being combined with certain medicines, your ED drug may not work properly. Moreover, using different medications may cause serious problems due to possible interaction. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to consult your healthcare provider on which medications and substances can be used along with your ED medicine.

Particularly, you should avoid combining nitrates used for lowering blood pressure with sildenafil since your blood pressure can drop too much. Also, using several ED medications at once to achieve greater effectiveness may be dangerous for your health.

Avoiding Drinking Too Much Alcohol

Alcohol consumed in large amounts can lower a man’s ability to achieve an erection, which, consequently, decreases the effectiveness of an ED medication. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid consuming more than 2-3 units of alcohol, which can be, for instance, one glass of beer or wine.

Increasing Dosage

A dose recommended by a healthcare provider can be adjusted over time if needed. If you do not experience the desired effects after taking an ED drug, you should consult your doctor, who can recommend increasing the initial dose. Increasing your dosage without talking to a healthcare specialist first may be dangerous. In any case, you should not take any ED drug medicine in more than a maximum recommended daily dosage.

Changing Lifestyle

Improving a health condition can help in achieving greater effectiveness since it can manage an underlying problem. ED may be a result of such problems as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, excessive weight, and others. In this case, proper dieting and exercising can help manage the problem.

ED may also occur due to psychological factors, such as dealing with highly stressful situations. In this case, it is recommended to use various relaxation techniques, such as meditation, and avoid stress. In case of serious psychological problems, a consultation with a specialist may be needed.

Creating a Special Mood

None ED medication will work only by taking it. Such medicines will bring the desired effect in combination with sexual stimulation. Therefore, it is important to have a proper mood and be in the right environment in order to allow the medication to work as it should.


There is no single recommendation for everyone regarding an ED drug. While the most commonly prescribed drugs are sildenafil and tadalafil, other ED medications may work better for certain men.

The only right way to determine the most effective medication and its dose is by using different ED drugs. While effectiveness is very important, it is crucial to choose the drug that does no harm to your health. Therefore, the best option would be an ED medication that brings the desired effects and causes no or mild side effects.