Tadalafil: Overview & Uses on Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (sometimes called impotence) means that you cannot get or maintain a proper erection. There are several causes, the most common being due to a narrowing of the arteries that take blood to the penis.
How it Works
Tadalafil works by preventing the action of a chemical in your body, called phosphodiesterase type 5. This helps to relax (widen) blood vessels and improves the flow of blood to the penis following sexual stimulation. This helps to maintain an erection.
Tadalafil is available on prescription, but it is only prescribed on the NHS for men with erectile dysfunction resulting from certain medical conditions. If you are given a private (non-NHS) prescription, you will be asked to pay for the tablets.
Tadalafil is also prescribed for men with prostate gland enlargement. The prostate gland commonly becomes larger in older men. The condition is also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The prostate is situated close to the bladder, so its enlargement can cause problems with passing urine.
Common symptoms that are experienced are having to wait before your urine starts to flow, taking longer at the toilet, dribbling urine, and a feeling that your bladder is not quite empty. Tadalafil works by improving the blood flow to the prostate and bladder, and also by relaxing the muscles in these areas. These actions help urine to follow more easily.
There is various brand which is used to treat a completely different condition called pulmonary arterial hypertension - see the separate medicine leaflet called Tadalafil for pulmonary hypertension if you have been prescribed this brand of tadalafil tablets.
Before taking Tadalafil
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine can only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking tadalafil it is important that your doctor knows:
· If you have any disease, injury or deformity of your penis.
· If you have a heart condition, or blood vessel disease.
· If you have had an eye condition causing loss of vision.
· If you have low blood pressure or angina.
· If you have any problems with the way your liver works, or if you have any problems with the way your kidneys work.
· If you have had a stroke or a heart attack.
· If you have sickle cell disease.
· If you have ever had bone marrow cancer or leukaemia.
· If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines, and recreational drugs.
· If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
Additional information for men taking tadalafil for erectile dysfunction
· You and your partner will still need to engage in foreplay, just as you would if you were not taking a medicine for erectile dysfunction. Tadalafil will not cause an erection unless you are sexually aroused.
· Do not drink large amounts of alcohol before you plan to take tadalafil. Drinking too much alcohol can reduce your ability to get an erection and this may prevent you from getting the maximum benefit from the tablets.
· If you do not get an erection after taking tadalafil, or if it does not last long enough for you to have sex, discuss this with your doctor - do not take more tablets than you have been told to. Alternatively, if you feel the tablets are too strong for you, you should discuss this with your doctor too.
· You should not take tadalafil if you are using any other products or taking any other medicines to treat erectile dysfunction.