Drugs & MedicationsUrogenital

OTC DRUG FOR ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION

I must warn you, the reader, in advance, this blog is rated “R” and contains information that is of a sensitive, intimate nature and may offend some. 

There. I’ve warned you so read at your own risk.

Erectile dysfunction is a touchy subject, no pun intended. It affects men of all ages, sizes, and shapes, and is responsible for the development Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis. These drugs have earned their inventors and manufacturers billions of dollars, and have millions and millions of satisfied customers, both male and female.

However, a lot of men can’t take phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitors, like Viagra, because of unpleasant side effects (flushing, blue vision, priapism—prolonged, painful erection) or because they are known to have coronary artery disease. That leaves a large number of patients in need of something they can rely on in place of Vitamin V. 

There is good news. Almost a year ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for use in the United States, a topical gel for erectile dysfunction. It is called Eroxon and was developed by a British pharmaceutical company known as Futura. The gel contains “a combination of volatile solvents which, when applied to the head of the penis, evaporate rapidly, stimulating nerve endings through an initial cooling effect followed by a warming sensation. This reaction releases nitric oxide, relaxing smooth muscle tissue inside the penis and increasing blood flow needed to obtain an erection.”

The drug “causes no side effects and is slightly more effective if applied by a partner.” Ya think so!? 

Of course, efficacy studies have been done. Two hundred and fifty men with ED used Eroxon over a 12-week period. Half of them used only the gel. The other half took Cialis for 12 weeks then used the gel for another 12 weeks. The gel caused erections within 10 minutes in 60.1% of men. In the Cialis group, only 44.9% achieved erection in 10 minutes. The gel group’s only complaint was a penile burning sensation. Cialis patients had delayed erections and 19.1% had headaches. The knock on Cialis is slow absorption by the gut, so it can take up to 2.5 hours to achieve an erection. That destroys spontaneity. 

I don’t know how available Eroxon is in pharmacies nor do I know what it costs, but I know there exists a huge market for its use. I think the “R-rated” part here is they openly and bluntly state the gel works better “if applied by one’s partner.” To that I say I suspect that’s true, but if that action is employed regularly, gel or no gel, ED may be much less of a problem.

References: Wolinsky H. OTC Solution for Erectile Dysfunction Medscape Medical News 2024 May 5.

Yafi FA, et al. Erectile Dysfunction Nat Rev Dis Primers 2016 Feb 4:2:16003.

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