All medications that are used for treating any type of disease or health condition can cause side effects. However, many people who take a specific drug or a combination thereof experience no side effects or might experience only minor side effects.
A side effect is an unwanted reaction by the body to medical treatment. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, and complementary medicines. Most side effects can be managed, while some can be terminally serious.
Erectile dysfunction meds are some of the most widely used prescription medications available today. The plus factor of their popularity is that they also became some of the most well understood.
Part of this is due to the numerous studies that were conducted to observe the drugs’ direct effects, their side effects, how soon they take effect after ingestion, their half-life, and other pertinent factors that affect how each erectile dysfunction meds affect the body.
Here, we will present four of the most commonly used prescription ED medications and discuss over-the-counter (OTC) medications that can help relieve them.
But before we dive in, let us state that ED medications taken properly and under the guidance of your health professional are usually mild in about 25% of patients. In those that do get them, 75% of patients report that side effects go away in about a month of use, or they dull significantly.
Common Side Effects of Erectile Dysfunction Meds
As we have mentioned above, all prescription medications can cause side effects, including ED medications. These prescription medications increase the levels of nitric oxides in your blood.
Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, which means its main effect is to make your blood vessels widen to help increase blood flow. More blood means in your penis makes it much easier for you to get and maintain an erection when you become sexually aroused.
Listed below are the most common side effects of ED medications.
- Headaches — it is the most common side effect associated with ED medications. The main cause of these headaches is the sudden change in blood flow from the increased levels of nitric oxide. Simply switching ED medications won’t necessarily alleviate your symptoms, since they all function the same.
Mild dehydration can be experienced after taking ED medications. This is caused by these medications being a mild diuretic. On its own dehydration can cause headaches.
This can be reduced by drinking plenty of water with your ED medications.
- Dizziness — The increased nitric oxide in the blood can also cause some men to be dizzy. It is usually mild but can cause some discomfort during everyday activities. In rare situations, dizziness from ED medications can lead to fainting. If you faint from your ED medication of choice, see your doctor right away.
- Indigestion and Diarrhea — ED medication may also cause digestive system side effects. To help relieve this minor inconvenience, making some dietary changes may reduce an upset stomach. Avoiding caffeinated beverages, alcohol, or juice may help.
- Flushing — ED medications may cause temporary periods of redness of the skin. They may develop on your face and may spread to other parts of the body. In severe cases, they can manifest rashes. Though their appearance may seem uncomfortable, they aren’t typically harmful.
- Nasal Congestion and Runny Nose — is another common symptom of ED medications. In most cases, these side effects do go away without any intervention or treatment.
- Body Aches and Pains — some men experience muscle aches and pains throughout their bodies while taking ED medications. There are those who report having lower back pains.
- Changes in Vision — ED medications can literally change the way you see things. They may temporarily alter your eyesight and cause blurry vision. Taking ED medications is not advisable for those who have had vision loss or any retinal disorder. Seek immediate help if you experience complete vision loss or changes that don’t subside or go away.
Relief from Mild ED Side Effects with OTC Medications.
If any of the symptoms above become bothersome, you can take OTC medications to help. Taking aspirin for headaches or flushing sensation can be taken with your ED medication if these symptoms manifest. Aspirin and acetaminophen can also alleviate body aches and pains.
You can take Tylenol for headaches alone on an empty stomach. If, however, you have already eaten, Ibuprofen/Aleve can work wonders.
If you experience nasal congestion, runny nose, or sinus pressure, use Flonase. Omeprazole for reflux. All of which can be taken with ED medication.