For men with diabetes, one of the most common concerns and complications is erectile dysfunction (ED). On average, men with diabetes tend to develop ED 10 to 15 years earlier than men without diabetes. With age, ED will become more common. Up to 50% to 60% of men, older than age 50 and who have a diagnosis of diabetes, will struggle to achieve an erection.
What is ED?
Erectile dysfunction occurs in men who struggle to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. Physical or psychological factors can cause ED, sometimes even both. Understanding the root cause of ED can be complex as sexual desire begins in the brain. Signals from the brain are sent through the nervous system and blood vessels leading to the penis to initiate an erection.
Testosterone, the male hormone, also plays a role in sexual desire and achieving an erection. Among men with diabetes, ED is commonly caused by damage to blood vessels and nerves, often due to consistently high blood sugar levels. Both neuropathy and cardiovascular disease can increase the risk of ED which also further reduces blood flow to the penis.
Best ED medications for men with diabetes
Fortunately, when treating ED, several medications can be effective. Any man, who has concerns about his erectile health or sexual performance, should talk to their primary healthcare provider. Some ED medications can have side effects such as headache, flushing, upset stomach, and vision problems or may interact with other medications a man may be taking. By discussing their concerns with their doctor, they can together determine which ED medication is right for them.
Here is a look at which medications for ED ranked best for men with diabetes:
- Viagra – (Generic name Sildenafil) Viagra is a PDE5 inhibitor and, when prescribed in low doses, it is also able to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension. It works by increasing blood flow to the penis when a man is sexually aroused. Viagra will begin working within 30 minutes to an hour.
Pros of Viagra:
- Several varieties to choose from
- A quick response after taking
Cons of Viagra:
- It may have side effects lasting longer than other ED medications
2. Cialis – (Generic name Tadalafil) Cialis is a PDE5 inhibitor. It can be used once a day or as needed and the effects can last up to 36 hours. To reach its peak potential, it takes about 2 hours before effective.
Pros of Cialis:
- Relatively fast-acting
- Can be used daily
- Longer lasting than other ED medications
Cons of Cialis:
- More costly than other ED alternatives
- Only available in pill form
3. Levitra – (Generic name Vardenafil) Levitra is another PDE5 inhibitor. This ED medication can be taken within 25 to 60 minutes before sexual activity. The effects can last up to 5 hours.
Pros of Levitra:
Cons of Levitra:
- More costly than other ED medications
- Not as long-lasting as other ED pills
- Only available in pill form
4. Stendra – (Generic name Avanafil) Stendra is also a PDE5 inhibitor that has the advantage of working more quickly than other ED pills. Once ingested, Stendra takes effect within 15-30 mnutes and can last up to 3-5 hours.
Pros of Stendra:
- Taken daily with or without food
Cons of Stendra:
- Very costly
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.