April 30th, 2012
09:16 AM ET

New ED drug may work in 15 minutes

Look out Viagra - there's a new erectile dysfunction drug in town.

It's called Stendra (aka Avanafil) and it's newly approved by the Food and Drug Administration, making it the first ED drug to come out in almost 10 years.

Although Stendra has not been tested against what is known as the "Little Blue Pill," drug makers say that - for some men - it may work faster.

"If things are heated up, theoretically you can get improved function earlier, within 15 minutes, with this drug," said Dr. Irwin Goldstein, director of sexual medicine at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego, and co-author of a recent study about Stendra in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

"You can argue this is the first potential on-demand drug."

The "on-demand" drug could end up in high demand for men with ED who do not respond to drugs like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra.

Goldstein, who has authored more than 300 studies in the field of sexual dysfunction, said that early data suggests Stendra may perform faster than other ED drugs, but that must be proven in a larger, real-world population.

Goldstein and his team studied 1,267 men who took a 50, 100 or 200 milligram dose of Stendra - or placebo - about 30 minutes before engaging in sexual activity.

The men filled out questionnaires indicating, for example, how long it took before they engaged in sexual intercourse or became aroused.

"For some men it works in 15 minutes, for some men it took longer," said Goldstein.

To be clear, no one is suggesting that men should drop Viagra - or any other of the popular ED drugs– for Stendra.

"There is no drug that is the best," said Dr. Laurence Levine, a professor in the department of Urology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, who was not a part of the Stendra study. "Each patient's own chemistry may make one drug better than another. There are certain advantages and disadvantages to all of these drugs."

Stendra is another option in a field of effective and safe drugs, said Levine.

A small minority of patients experienced side effects after taking Stendra, according to the study, including headaches, flushing, nasal congestion and back pain.

And overall, patients taking any ED drug - all of which work similarly - should be aware of rare side effects like sudden loss of vision or hearing, according to the FDA.

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