Priapism Risk is Low with Erectile Dysfunction Medication

Thrones health

Medically reviewed by Dr. Antonio Abreu, DNP
Written by Thrones Editorial Team

couple feeling frustrated in bed

In reality, there is no hard and fast rule for how long a penis should remain erect. Without the aid of any medication, an average male would be able to hold an erection for roughly 10 minutes.

For sure, there are plenty of males that would fall well beyond, or even below, this is the average. The difficulty in pinning down a specific figure is due to various factors, which may either be physical or psychological in nature. This can drastically affect the duration of an erection.

If you have ever watched or heard a Viagra commercial, you probably know that prolonged erections are never a good thing. Having a boner for an extended period is beyond what can be considered “exciting.” For it is definitely not that exciting, especially when pain begins to set in and be a feature of this extraordinary erection.

The 4-Hour Erection

An erection that lasts more than four hours is called priapism. It is a rare medical condition characterized by an involuntary and prolonged, often painful erection of the penis. The condition causes the blood in the penis to be trapped that may lead to permanent tissue damage without immediate urologic intervention.

If you experience an erection that lasts longer than four hours, it would be prudent to immediately proceed to the nearest emergency room or urgent care center. A doctor will then assess your case and recommend an appropriate treatment.

The causes of priapism are pretty much random. There are a variety of reasons for these symptoms, including trauma to the penis or underlying structures, illnesses, medications, or even toxins released from scorpion stings or spider bites.

Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Meds and Priapism Risks are Exaggerated

Men taking erectile dysfunction treatment (ED) medication are frequently faced with warnings of possible side effects, including priapism. The ED medications in question are classified as phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5i) inhibitors, namely: sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra).

Do note that priapism are erections that are not caused solely by any sexual stimulation. There are many underlying causes to having this condition, such as different kinds of drugs, not just PDE5 inhibitors or erectile dysfunction treatment medications. But do note that this condition is serious.

Conducted Study

PDE5i inhibitors and other drugs were compared in a study to determine their priapism rates and to identify the true data about PDE5 associated priapism to properly counsel patients. They commenced by looking into the data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Adverse Reporting System. The database information about the side effects of various drugs that are reported to the FDA.

They also consulted 240 medical studies about drug-induced priapism. The FDA database did yield 411 cases of drug-induced priapism due to ED drugs. However, it only accounted for only 0.7% of adverse events reported for PDE5 inhibitors. The more common side effects reported are headaches and ED.

They also found that second generation antipsychotics and trazodone had a much higher rate in causing priapism. In the review, only 2.9% of drug-induced priapism cases were related to PDE5 inhibitors. Second generation antipsychotics were connected to a third of the number of cases. In addition, 11.3% of the total were classified as “other” medications.

By these numbers, what we know of priapism being caused by taking ED medications is likely exaggerated to some degree. And by these numbers as well, the possible adverse side effects of taking PDE5 inhibitors or ED medications that causes priapism is decidedly low.

They have concluded that PDE5i-induced priapism is a rare event. Needless to say, they find that drug-induced priapism should be attributed to a wider spectrum of other medications that may cause this condition among men.

Conclusion on Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Meds

If you happen to find yourself having a four-hour erection, the sooner you must seek medical attention. Some form of available treatment may not be all that pleasant, such as draining blood from your penis using a needle.

Most people with priapism recover in no time once they seek medical attention quickly. Keep this in mind, for any medical issue, the longer you go without medical care, the risk of lasting problems may occur, this includes keeping normal erections.

Think of it this way, either seek treatment and forget about being embarrassed, or end up with a penis that might never rise to any occasion ever again. The obvious choice is not all that hard, isn’t it?

Thrones Health is a discreet telemedicine online service that helps concerned men and women with their sensitive healthcare concerns. Get started with an online consultation with one of our health experts today.

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