Background of ED
Erectile dysfunction is defined as the persistent inability to attain and maintain an erection sufficient to permit satisfactory sexual performance.
Erectile dysfunction is one of the most common health conditions affecting men. EAU guidelines from 2020 indicate a prevalence of 52% of men aged 40-70 years with erectile dysfunction (ED). 4 ED is very common in Ireland, one in 5 Irish men experience this regularly.
Causes of ED
There are many causes of ED which can result from both physical and psychological conditions
• Conditions such as heart disease, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure diabetes, metabolic syndrome, parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis
• Certain Prescription medication (10-25% of ED causes are drug induced)*
• Treatment for prostate cancer
• Tobacco Use
• Excessive substance abuse such as alcoholism
• Sleep Disorders
• Low Testosterone
• Depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions
• Relationship problems
* Common medicines that cause ED are antidepressants, antihistamines, high blood pressure medicines and diuretics of which thiazides are the most common cause of ED following by beta blockers. Other classes of medications include Parkinsons disease medicines, chemotherapy and hormonal medicines, opiate analgesics and recreational drugs.
We would always advise men who are unsure of the reason behind their ED to speak confidentially to their pharmacist, we always recommend a visit to a GP to ascertain underlying conditions that might cause this.
Modifiable risk factors that can help improve symptoms of ED include losing weight, exercise daily, stop smoking, eat a healthy diet and reduce stress and anxiety.
Treatment of ED
Sildenafil has been licensed for the treatment of ED since 1998 and is available in three different strengths on prescription.
Sildenafil 50mg (Viagra Connect) is available without a prescription to those over 18 from the pharmacy, following consultation with a pharmacist which can be done in the privacy of a consultation room.
Studies have reported that patients sought out online platforms for accessing ED treatments citing convenience, shame and discretion as treatment barriers. 2 Pharmacists have a key role to allow customers access to medication in an environment that encourages them to seek treatment, be afforded counselling, and thus building a trusting relationships. 3
At McCabes Pharmacy there is the option to Click & Collect. The customer completes an online consultation form on the website and collects their medication in store from the pharmacist, after answering a few questions to ascertain if it is indeed the most appropriate medication for their needs. This has proved to be a very popular service, by nature of its discretion.
References vailable on request