Many products have the potential to interact with medication commonly prescribed for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). Not all interactions will necessarily be harmful, but some could be. The website Public Citizen has produced a list of 56 products which, they say, have the potential to interact with the three most commonly used medications for ED: sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis) and Vardenafil (Levitra).
Medications for ED work on the principle of dilating blood vessels in order to increase blood flow to the penis. Because most prescriptions are for older men, it is not surprising to find that many are already taking other medication, the effect of which may also be to dilate blood vessels. Anyone who is being treated for a heart condition, for example, could easily find themselves in this situation.
Assuming that medication is properly prescribed, the doctor will be aware of any potentially dangerous interactions. Of course anyone who mixes prescription medication with ED medication sourced independently, is at increased risk of a potentially dangerous drug interaction.
The enzyme CYP3A4 has an important role in the metabolism of drugs. Various medications can increase or decrease enzyme activity. In turn, this can cause ED drug levels to increase or decrease. Brand name drugs such as Minitran, Nitrostat and Minipress are examples of drugs that have the potential to lower blood pressure to dangerous levels, if taken alongside ED medication. ED drug toxicity may result from interactions with drugs such as Vaprisol and Biaxin. Even grapefruit juice is cautioned against. Drugs that may inhibit the effect of ED medication include Tegretol, Mysoline and St.John's Wort.
The full list of 56 products is available on the Public Citizen Worst Pills.org website
Published On: January 07, 2009