Erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs do not cure erectile dysfunction or increase sexual desire. Instead, they are designed to help men get and keep an erection. Erectile dysfunction drugs are generally classified as either PDE5 (phosphodiesterase type 5) inhibitors or α-adrenergic blockers.
What Is Phosphodiesterase Type 5 (PDE5)
PDE5 is an enzyme that breaks down cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) in the smooth muscle cells of the corpus cavernosum (the two spongy bodies that fill with blood during an erection). By inhibiting the breakdown of cGMP, PDE5 improves blood flow into the penis, thereby allowing the penis to fill with more blood.
What Are the Different Types of Erectile Dysfunction Medications?
PDE5 inhibitors are the most common erectile dysfunction medications. These drugs work by inhibiting the PDE5 enzyme, which breaks down cGMP. By inhibiting PDE5, PDE5 inhibitors allow more cGMP to remain in the smooth muscle cells of the penis, which improves blood flow into the penis.
What Is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. Erectile dysfunction is a common condition affecting men of all ages.