When we talk about treatment for erectile
dysfunction, there are many different options. There’s medications that can be taken, which
may include FDA approved medications, such as Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra.
There’s injection therapy to the penis, where various compounds can
be injected directly into the penis. There’s also use of devices, such as
vacuum devices, to act as an aid to facilitate erections. There are what
we call suppository pills that can be inserted into the urethra that deliver
medications directly to the penile tissues. All these would be considered
conventional FDA approved therapies for erectile dysfunction. There’s a category of therapies which we would
put into the category of alternative medications, or alternative meds.
And these may include herbal supplements, various products that you can
find on the market. With regard to some of these treatments, they may be effective.
However, there should be some caution when utilizing any of these
particular compounds. There are some products which have been shown to be
effective, and may facilitate erections, and probably are safe in the short-term.
But we don’t have significant studies to evaluate their efficacy
or safety in the long-term. These include things like DHEA, L-arginine,
ginseng. So, these are herbal products that sometimes can help with erectile
function. There’s a product called Yohimbine, which
is a naturally occurring substance, which also can help with erections.
However, this particular product has the possible side effect of low
blood pressure, dizziness, fainting. So, it probably should not be used
as the safety of the medication is not determined. There are other products on the market which
you will see being marketed as herbal Viagra. The FDA has put out warnings,
stating that these products contain a large number of compounds that are
not regulated and may not be known. Many of these products may actually
be spiked with products that are similar to drugs such as Viagra. And because
these are not regulated products, they can have serious potential
side effects, such as fainting, dizziness. So the FDA has put out a warning
saying practice extreme caution when using these types of products, and it
recommends against the use of these types of products. So, there are alternatives to conventional
therapies. The most commonly used treatments for erectile dysfunction happen
to be conventional therapies. However, many patients will see
many things being marketed. And the bottom line is you have to practice caution,
because the safety of many of these products is not clearly determined.