Whether you plan on taking Sildenafil (Viagra), Vardenafil (Levitra), or Tadalafil (Cialis) to treat erectile dysfunction (ED), it’s important that you do so under the right conditions to ensure the highest effectiveness.
Just like any other medication, the effectiveness of ED medications can be influenced by a number of factors, such as the type or amount of food you’ve had, or what other medications you are taking.
To understand how to improve the effectiveness of ED medications means you will get better results, but more importantly, it helps to keep potential side effects out of the bedroom.
For this purpose, we have compiled a list of 5 steps that help you get the most out of every tablet.
Before you take ED meds check if they are safe and suitable for you
Some ED meds have been on the market for over 20 years, and if we have learned one thing over that time is that they are generally safe to take. Even so much, that the MHRA has recently reclassified Sildenafil from prescription-only to over-the-counter status.
However, just like all medications, ED meds, like Sildenafil, can have unwanted effects (drug interactions) when taken together with other medicines.
If you think you might be taking medicines that have negative drug interactions with Sildenafil it’s best to speak to your GP before proceeding with ED meds.
If you currently take medication for high blood pressure (e.g. nitrates), you should avoid Sildenafil as the combination of these drugs could lower your blood pressure too far, which could increase your risk of heart problems.
It’s also important that you do not combine multiple types of ED meds, such as Sildenafil and Tadalafil. If you feel that your current treatment plan is not effective you should speak to your GP to increase your dosage or see what other alternative treatments may be suitable for you.
Avoid big or greasy meals before taking ED medicines
ED medication can be taken on an empty or a full stomach without any issues. But generally speaking, big meals will slow down the absorption and it might mean that the tablets are less effective for you.
Especially fatty or greasy meals, like burgers, chips, or cheesy pizza tend to significantly reduce the absorption into your body, which means it can take longer for the medication to take effect and it might also reduce the efficacy and hence reduce intended results.
This doesn’t mean you should starve yourself, but you are best off sticking to moderate-sized light meals, such as salads, fruits, fish or lean meats like chicken breast. Besides a better short-term effect, a healthy diet can also help you get your ED under control in the long term.
You should also avoid drinking too much alcohol, as having too many drinks lowers your ability to have an erection, and it thus makes Sildenafil and other ED meds less effective.
Take Sildenafil 30 minutes before sex
Most medications don’t work immediately, and ED medications are no different. With that in mind, you need to plan just a little bit ahead before you can head to the bedroom.
Sildenafil typically takes around 30 to 60 minutes to take effect. But in some instances, it might be much faster, or slower depending on a number of factors (e.g. fatty foods, as discussed above).
You don’t want to take the medicine too early, as this might mean it hasn’t taken full effect yet and you could end up in exactly the situation you tried to avoid by taking Sildenafil in the first place.
Get yourself in the mood and relax
ED medications can help you get and maintain an erection, but they cannot do all the heavy lifting for you, in fact, the medication will not work unless you are sexually aroused.
Before taking ED meds you should ensure that you are in the right mindset to do so and that you (and your partner) are comfortable with each other.
Erectile dysfunction is caused by a number of reasons, many of which are psychological, such as stress, performance anxiety or stage fright. Even when you have taken Sildenafil you might feel the pressure, so it’s important that you try to relax as much as possible. Often it helps to talk with your partner about it.
If you feel like you are not seeing any improvements after taking ED medications like Sildenafil, keep relaxed and give your body more time to adjust. You might also want to discuss with your GP if a higher dosage or alternative treatments are more suitable for you.
Change to a healthier lifestyle
While erectile dysfunction is easily treated with ED medications like Sildenafil, Vardenafil, Tadalafil, it is also important to address the underlying issues, which in many cases can be related to lifestyle and diet.
ED can be the result of a number of conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. But ED can also be caused by psychological factors, such as working in a high-stress environment.
One way to improve the efficiency of taking ED medication is to address these issues through a healthy diet, regular exercising or through lifestyle changes such as a better work-life balance.
Even small changes in your health (mental and physical), can cause big changes in the way your body responds, including your ability to get and maintain an erection.
For more information about how you can treat ED without medication, you should read our blog post on this topic.