Vitaros Cream for Erectile Dysfunction

Is a topical cream for the treatment of erectile dysfunction more convenient than Viagra?

Viagra has now been available in the UK for more than 20 years and its introduction in 1998 was groundbreaking for the treatment for erectile dysfunction.

What is erectile dysfunction? It is defined as ‘the inability to achieve or maintain an erection long enough to have satisfactory sexual intercourse. Viagra (sildenafil) was able to provide substantial relief for impotence but sadly it came with some effects that were not acceptable for some potential users. 


How Viagra (sildenafil)  works

Viagra does not cause a man to be sexually aroused and it is only effective if you are sexually aroused. When a man becomes sexually excited, the nerves which supply the penis cause nitric oxide (NO) to be released. The NO stimulates an enzyme which in turn produces a messenger called cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). The cGMP relaxes the smooth muscle cells so that the arteries in the penis dilate and blood can engorge the tissue of the penis more easily. Viagra works by maintaining the levels of sGMP in the smooth muscle cells.

If you are not turned on, the brain will not produce the nitric acid and so the sGMP will not be produced.


Who can take Viagra?

Viagra is taken by men 18 and over.  It is not for the use of children or women.  The active ingredient, sildenafil, is also found in Revatio, a drug given for pulmonary hypertension and can be taken by women and children aged 1 and above

However, Viagra is not suitable for everyone:

  • If you are allergic to sildenafil

  • If you are taking nitrates to treat chest pain

  • You have a serious heart or liver condition

  • You have recently had a stroke or heart attack

  • You have low blood pressure (hypotension)

  • If you have a rare inherited eye condition such as retinitis pigmentosa

In addition, it is advisable to speak to your doctor before taking viagra is you have sickle cell anaemia, have a deformity of your penis or Peyronie’s disease, you have a heart problem and if you have a stomach ulcer or bleeding disorder such as haemophilia.

This leaves a substantial number of men who cannot even try Viagra to treat erectile dysfunction. In addition, there are side effects to consider.


Side effects of Viagra

As with many medicines, there are side effects, some common and others less so. For some people, these side effects may be so severe that the side effect is actually worse than the ED.

Common side effects include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hot flushing
  • Indigestion
  • Disturbed vision
  • Stuffy nose
  • Dizziness

Rarer but more serious side effects include:

  • Chest pains
  • Prolonged and sometimes painful erections (more than four hours)
  • Sudden decrease or loss of vision
  • A serious skin reaction which may include fever, peeling and swelling of the skin, blistering of the mouth, around the genitals and around the eyes.

In the case of serious side effects, it is imperative that you should stop taking the Viagra and seek medical attention immediately. In very rare cases anaphylactic shock may occur.


What is Vitaros cream?

Vitaros cream is a cream developed for the topical treatment of erectile dysfunction.  Its active ingredient is alprostadil which can also be administered in the form of injection; this chemical is actually produced naturally when a penis becomes erect.

The Vitaros is applied to the opening (meatus) of the penis with a special applicator and should be applied between five and thirty minutes before intercourse. The resulting erection will last 1 – 2 hours but should not be used more than 2 – 3 times a week and no more than once a day.


Side effects of Vitaros Cream

  • It is very rare for the erection to last too long and it usually subsides after ejaculation has occurred. If it does not and if it becomes uncomfortable try vigorous exercise which usually works or apply an ice pack (do not use this for too long).  Consider using an over the counter decongestant, Sudafed for example but check with the pharmacist first. If the erection lasts for more than 4 hours, seek medical attention
  • Skin rash or discomfort
  • Your partner may have internal itching or burning
  • If your partner may be pregnant, is breastfeeding or is of childbearing age it is advised that a condom is used as a barrier to the cream
  • Vitaros should not be used if you have Peyronie’s disease, have sickle cell anaemia, leukaemia or multiple myeloma as these may cause a prolonged erection


What are the advantages of Vitaros cream?

There are fewer side effects associated with Vitaros because it is not taken systemically. Side effects that it is not likely to cause include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Flushing
  • Indigestion
  • Dizziness
  • Stuffy nose
  • Visual disturbance

The result of this is that many more people can consider this cream over Viagra in their treatment for erectile dysfunction.