Makers of Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction Encourage Sufferers to “Talk to Your Doctor”

Getting a Prescription

Every commercial about prescription medications tell you to do it. Even some over-the-counter preparations advise it. What they all want you to do is talk to your doctor about whatever might be the complaint and find out how their product can make your life better.

Since 1998, millions of men have been talking to their doctors about erectile dysfunction (ED). Even people like former Chicago Bears football coach Mike Ditka and former U.S. Senator Bob Dole have been telling folks how they talked to their doctors about the condition that used to be referred to as “impotence,” once a subject no man would admit to talking about – either to their doctor, or anyone else for that matter.

PDE-5 Inhibitors

All that changed with the introduction of the so-called PDE-5 inhibitors (such as Levitra, Viagra, and Cialis), a class of drug that relaxes the blood vessel muscles in the penis allowing men with ED to achieve an erection. What once was a difficult-to-treat, embarrassing condition suddenly could be cured by popping a pill.

Since 1998, more than 20 million men have been treated with Viagra, the first of these medications to win federal approval. Millions more have followed the drug manufacturer’s urging to “talk to your doctor about improving erection quality (EQ).”

Discussion Starters

Levitra’s website offers advice for men on how to go about discussing ED and EQ both with their doctors and their partners. Above all, the web site urges men not to wait but to adopt a “do-it-now” mentality. Because ED can be a sensitive subject (and because the manufacturer wants to sell its product), the website aims at overcoming the reticence many men might have discussing the subject.

In particular, men do not have to mention ED when making the appointment, instead asking only for a “check up” and waiting to discuss the nature of the problem behind closed doors with the doctor. Also, the site advises to discuss the problem up front, not to wait until the doctor is halfway out the door before mentioning, “oh, by the way … .”

What to Expect

As with any medical discussion with a physician, patients should be honest, direct, and specific about the problem, their sexual history, and the condition of their health. The doctor then can give informed advice which might include prescribing Levitra. This decision will be based not only on the complaint but on the possible side effects given each man’s individual situation.

The website also suggests exactly what to say to the doctor or partner as a conversation starter. Some of these would sound corny anywhere outside a Levitra commercial, but are intended to help the patient learn the essentials of what to expect from the treatment.

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