© 2018 How Do Erectile Dysfunction Drugs Work?
The class of drugs that Levitra, Viagra, Stendra, and Cialis belong to are called PDE5 inhibitors. They work by relaxing tight blood vessels, allowing more blood to surge into the penis and cause an erection, says Gregory Bales, M.D., an associate professor of urology at the University of Chicago.
The little pills do the trick for more than two-thirds of men with erectile dysfunction (ED). They also work for guys who simply need them for a short time to get their “confidence back,” says Michael Eisenberg, M.D., director of male reproductive medicine and surgery at Stanford University.
(To determine whether you have ED—and for step-by-step instructions on how to fix it with or without medicine—check out The Men’s Health Guide To Erectile Dysfunction.)
ED drugs also reduce the recovery period between bouts of sex, which can be helpful for the 40 percent of men who suffer from premature ejaculation and come in 1 to 2 minutes, says Harry Fisch, M.D., clinical professor of urology and reproductive medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College/New York Presbyterian Hospital, and author of Size Matters.
“Even if it is premature [the second time], at least it’s another 2 minutes. You can have overall more erections.”