Erectile dysfunction is a condition that affects nearly half of men over 40.
For most men facing ED, erectile dysfunction pills are generally considered safe to use as prescribed by a doctor. While this article focuses around ED pills and safety, safe does not always mean preferable. Prescription pills are a one-size-fits-all solution to a highly unique set of underlying causes that men experience.
For this reason, patients with sexual impotence who are seeking a chance to have a healthy sex life once again should opt for a customized erectile dysfunction treatment plan that is based around a specialized diagnosis on a case-by-case basis. In many instances, ED prescription pills are avoidable.
Should you continue to review the safety of ED pills, note that if you have a heart disease, it’s important to disclose your medical history to your doctor.
ED pills such as Viagra carry the drug sildenafil. Sildenafil is part of a group of medications called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. It stops phosphodiesterase type 5 enzymes —which are found in the heart, lungs, and penis—from working too quickly in the body.
The features of PDE5 inhibitors are what some patients find concerning. Here’s what this drug does:
- It drops systolic blood pressure
- It interacts negatively with certain medication
Thus, if you suffer or are getting treatment for certain types of heart disease, you should consult a men’s health clinic before using this type of drug. Severe cardiovascular complications cases can occur.
If you aren’t suffering from any moderate to severe heart diseases, erectile dysfunction drugs are considered safe for general use.
Are ED Pills Safe For People With Heart Disease?
While ED pills are generally considered safe for people without heart disease, people with a history of heart complications may need to take some precautions.
Some with severe heart complications should not take the drug at all.
The best thing to do is talk to a men’s medical health clinic to address your concerns, to receive a diagnosis and treatment plan that is specified to your unique set of underlying causes.
There’s an inseparable link between erectile dysfunction and heart disease.The reason for this is because they both have ties to vascular disease, which can affect how blood vessels allow the passage of blood through various parts of the body.
- Atherosclerosis: Plaque builds up in your arteries (accounts for 50-60% of ED cases for men over 60)
- High cholesterol: Fat build up in the blood
- Hypertension: uncontrolled high blood pressure
PDE5 inhibitors can also drop your blood pressure. This is mostly a problem for people with heart disease because any decrease in the body’s pressure could lead to fainting or even a heart attack.
There is also a risk that PDE5 inhibitors will interact negatively with certain medications.
Before taking ED medications, let your doctor know about your condition so they can give you a thorough reading on your specific history.
What Heart Conditions Are Bad with ED Pills?
One of the characteristics of ED pills like Viagra is the lowering of the systolic blood pressure in your body.
On its own, this drop can restore back to normal in a healthy human body.
However, for certain heart conditions, such a drop can be quite dangerous for your heart and body to handle.
Here’s a list of the heart diseases that may be exacerbated by ED drugs:
- Severe Heart Failure: The heart doesn’t pump enough blood for the body’s needs; low blood pressure
- Significant Aortic Stenosis: The heart valve constricts blocking blood flow in the main artery
- Ischemia: Heart muscle periodically fails to get enough blood flow; sometimes accompanied by chest pain.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: Genetic disorder where heart’s walls increase in thickness
If you have the heart conditions listed above, it’s prescribed that you don’t take the ED pills on this list.
An ED medical professional can clear you for it if you don’t have severe cases; but generally, it’s safer to avoid ED pills and opt for lifestyle treatments instead.
What Drugs Are Bad or Have Side Effects with ED Pills?
Just like many ailments, there are certain drugs that don’t interact well when taken together with ED pills.
While doctors can adjust the drug dosages as necessary to account for ED pills, there’s one class in particular that you should avoid: nitrates.
Nitrates are prescribed for people with heart disease to help treat chest pain. Just like ED pills, these drugs help dilate the blood vessels by allowing more blood to flow into the body.
Drugs that fall under this category include:
- isosorbide dinitrate
- Isosorbide mononitrate
- Sodium nitroprusside
- Amyl nitrate
The problem is that ED drugs can also deprive oxygen of reaching vital organs in our body, most notably our brain. If you take nitrates, patients may suffer from a heart attack or fainting spells because of the lack of blood flow.
Aside from nitrates, there are several other heart disease medications that shouldn’t be taken together with erectile dysfunction pills.
Drugs that under no circumstances should be taken with ED pills include the following (but are not exclusive to) :
- Isosorbide Mononitrate
- Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate
Drug administration with ED that may cause minor side effects include the following (but are not exclusive to):
In cases where you may have multiple drug interactions, your doctor may prescribe different dosages to best treat erectile dysfunction–or avoid ED pills altogether and recommend a customized approach to ED treatment.
Other Alternatives to Erectile Dysfunction Pills
If you have heart problems, it’s best to take precautions with medications that could exacerbate the problem.
When ED pills are not recommended for people with heart conditions, there are other alternative treatment plans available for erectile dysfunction.
Your doctor prescribes what works best for your condition. Alternative treatments that may help erectile dysfunction include:
- Sex therapy: This therapy can help uplift your psychological wellbeing and calm anxieties that may worsen your ED.
- Exercise: Since ED is tied to the cardiovascular system, medical professionals recommend men to perform aerobic exercises and weight training to circumvent ED.
- Eat a healthy diet: A diet rich in produce, lean protein, healthy fats, and vegetables can contribute to better sexual health.
- Decrease the use of vices: Smoking, drinking alcohol, and doing other types of drugs are overall health risks that can worsen ED symptoms (and are also bad for the health in general)
ED treatment comes in many forms, as the underlying causes of ED vary significantly, from Peyronie’s Disease to obesity. Disease crossovers make it hard for doctors to immediately address all health concerns with a single pill.
Fortunately, alternative lifestyle modifications can still help people with ED to reclaim healthy sexual life again.
If you want advice specific to your health history, consult a trained professional to get a clearer diagnosis based on your unique circumstances.
Call the team at Priority Men’s Medical Center in Atlanta, Georgia now to schedule an appointment for a medical consultation. Meet with an experienced team of professionals, specifically trained to help men treat erectile dysfunction issues, premature ejaculation, low testosterone, among other sexual health problems.