Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition – around 25% of men have experienced some form of ED by age 30, and by 50, around 50% of men will have experienced ED. ED can be short-term, occurring occasionally due to external factors such as stress, alcohol or anxiety.

In many cases, longer-term ED can be caused by an underlying issue such as diabetes, poor circulation or issues with blood pressure. The most common treatments for ED increase blood flow to the penis, making it easier to achieve and maintain an erection. However, these treatments might not be suitable for people with some health conditions.

However, a new treatment for erectile dysfunction may come from a very usual place – the Brazilian wandering spider!


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How Can Spider Venom Help Treat Erectile Dysfunction?

Phoneutria nigriventer, or the Brazilian wandering spider, is a highly venomous spider species native to South America. The venom of this spider is known to cause symptoms that include high blood pressure, intense pain, nausea, tissue necrosis and prolonged erections.

It’s that last part that caught the eye of scientists, and may lead to an interesting new development in ED treatment. Most ED treatments are what is known as PDE-5 inhibitors. PDE-5 is an enzyme which temporarily causes blood vessels to tighten. This means that less blood flows through these blood vessels, particularly the smaller ones that supply the penis. A PDE-5 inhibitor prevents this enzyme from taking effect. This means the blood vessels are wider allowing more blood to flow to the penis, making it easier to get an erection. 

Viagra (sildenafil) is the most well-known of these PDE-5 inhibitors – these medications have been extensively tested and are well tolerated with minimal side effects. However, they are not suitable for all patients; they can’t be taken with nitrate drugs, and some patients with cardiovascular conditions (heart disease) will be warned of an increased risk of heart attacks.

Phoneutria venom works in a slightly different way. Rather than blocking the action of PDE-5, the venom seems to promote the production of nitric oxide (NO) in the body’s tissues, which promotes blood flow. In spider bites, this encourages the venom to travel throughout the body quickly, debilitating their prey. But, the molecule that causes this effect has been isolated and produced in a lab, without the rest of the venomous effects.

The molecule is being tested as a topical treatment applied to the skin. This should improve blood flow to the area it is applied to and make it safer for people with heart conditions.


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What Treatments are Currently Available?

As mentioned above, the most common form of ED treatment is PDE-5 inhibitors. Normally taken as a small pill 15-60 minutes before sex, these pills will help most people with their ED. For those who find these pills less effective, or cannot use them, there are alternative treatments.

Both restrictive devices (such as bands or rings) and vacuum pump devices can be useful in treating ED. A restrictive device prevents blood from exiting the penis, meaning that your erections will last longer. Vacuum pumps draw blood into the penis; when combined with a band to prevent blood from leaving the penis, these can help you achieve and maintain an erection.

In more severe cases, penile implants can be used. These implants are either inflatable or semi-rigid; these are often used when other ED treatments have failed, or in cases of specific health problems.

Here at Simple Online Pharmacy, we supply a variety of ED treatments. Not only do we stock industry leaders such as Viagra and Cialis, but we also stock generic treatments, such as sildenafil (generic Viagra), tadalafil (generic Cialis) and Vardenafil (generic Levitra).

Generic medications use the same active ingredients as their branded counterparts; they are just as effective as the name brands, but are able to be sold at a much lower price.

Ordering ED treatments such as Viagra in the UK requires a prescription. You can buy some ED treatments over the counter, including Viagra Connect and Cialis Together; you will still need to answer a few questions about your medical history before purchasing these.