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What is small, blue, and swallowed every 4 seconds somewhere in the world? Answer: Viagra®, the famous medicine against erectile dysfunction. When can it be prescribed? What are the differences with Cialis® or Levitra®?

Viagra® has been emulated for 12 years. Two other laboratories have invested in the magic pill market: Levitra® and Cialis®. These are the 3 best known.

It must be said that 30 million men in Europe are concerned. In France, in 2008, nearly 600,000 patients were treated in general practice for erectile dysfunction.

To understand how these drugs work, we must first go back to the very principle of erection. If we make a cut of the penis, we notice that it is composed of three reservoirs called erectile bodies: two cavernous corpuscles richly vascularized and a spongy body through which passes the urethra, a conduit which allows to eliminate also good urine than sperm.

Sexual arousal usually begins with the sight, smell and touch of a partner, signals that will stimulate the brain. The centers of the erection then activate and send orders through the spinal cord to the penis, thanks to the erector nerves. These nerves are directly connected to the vessels and erectile bodies of the penis. The arteries then dilate, and the cavernous bodies are in a few seconds irrigated by an influx of important blood, the small lakes are filled with blood, and the muscular fibers are relaxed. Result: the penis swells and gradually enters erection.

This last step is only possible thanks to a cascade of complex chemical reaction. The sexual stimulation causes, at the level of the cells which border the cavernous bodies, the release of a mediator substance: nitric oxide. It will act on a first enzyme that relaxes the muscle fibers of cavernous bodies and the influx of blood.

Then when the erector nerves control the emptying of the erectile bodies and thus the return to the normal state, this enzyme is destroyed by the release of another enzyme: the phosphodiesterase E5, responsible for inhibiting the blood flow towards the penis and of shorten the muscle fibers.

In cases of erectile dysfunction, the drugs can act at this precise stage: they block the phosphodiesterase, so nothing stops the influx of blood in the erectile bodies and erection of the penis.

As soon as they came on the market in 1998, erectile dysfunction drugs were a revolution.

At the medical level, quick results for a programmable erection ... and from the point of view of society, it seems that 12 years later, men who need a little medical boost to get an erection were uninhibited.

If Viagra®, Cialis® and Levitra® are primarily aimed at men who have difficulty in having an erection, some users use it not really therapeutic ...

Sociologists have found that these drugs were widely used by single men when starting a new relationship, a way to reassure ...