What is Vitaros cream?
Vitaros cream is a prescription medicine used to treat erectile dysfunction (also known as “ED” or impotence). Erectile dysfunction is a very common condition, particularly amongst men over the age of 40. It is characterised by an inability to achieve and maintain an erection, making sexual activity very difficult.
Erectile dysfunction can be caused by many different things, and so treatment options vary. If the ED is caused by an underlying condition such as diabetes then medical treatment for this condition will take precedence. Counselling is usually advised if the root cause of the impotence is psychological. Often, additional treatment with an ED tablet such as Viagra or Cialis is needed to help with the problem, at least in the short term.
Read on to learn more about how Vitaros can treat ED, and how it differs from other treatments such as Viagra.
How Vitaros cream works
Vitaros cream contains the active ingredient alprostadil. Alprostadil is a vasodilator, which means it helps to widen the blood vessels, increasing blood flow. When applied directly to the penis, alprostadil allows more blood to flow to it, enabling an erection. ED tablets such as Viagra work in a similar way, by enabling greater blood flow to the penis.
Within five and 30 minutes of applying Vitaros cream, you should get an erection and be able to have sexual intercourse. The effects of Vitaros normally last for one or two hours, during which time you should be able to have normal, satisfying sexual intercourse.
How to use Vitaros cream
Vitaros cream must be applied directly to the head of the penis, using the applicator supplied. Before using it you should make sure you are otherwise prepared for sexual activity, as your erection will happen fairly quickly. You should then wash your hands and follow these steps:
- Hold the tip of your penis and gently move the skin to widen the opening to your urethra. If you are uncircumcised, carefully pull back your foreskin to expose the hole.
- Hold the applicator containing the Vitaros over the opening of your penis and carefully apply the cream until it is all gone. The cream should enter the opening of your penis, however it is normal for some excess to spill over onto the surrounding skin.
- Keep your penis upright for 30 seconds and during this time gently rub the excess cream into the opening of your penis and the skin surrounding it.
- Dispose of the applicator and wash your hands.
If you are going to have penetrative vaginal sex, you should not need to take any precautions. However if you are going to have anal sex or oral sex, you will need to use a latex condom. You should also use a condom when using Vitaros under the following circumstances:
- Your partner is pregnant or breastfeeding
- Your partner may soon become pregnant
Vitaros cream should never be used more than once in 24 hours, and should only be used 2-3 times a week. If you suffer from impotence and you want to have regular sex, you may be better suited to ED tablets. Cialis Daily is a particularly good option, as this is taken every day and allows you achieve an erection at any time.
Vitaros efficacy & side effects
Studies have reported that 52% of men reported better erections after using the cream, compared to 20% who used a placebo cream. By comparison, 74% of men taking 50mg tablets of Viagra reported improved erections, compared to 25% who used a placebo.
Like all medicines, Vitaros cream is associated with some side effects. The most common are:
- Pain, itching or tenderness in the penis
- Tingling or throbbing in the penis
- Swelling in the skin of the penis
- Inflammation around the head of the penis
- Mild burning or itching in your partner’s vagina
Less common side effects include dizziness, fainting, and numbness in the penis. In some cases, it is also possible to get an erection that lasts longer than four hours. This is known as priapism and requires medical attention. A full list of side effects comes in the leaflet included with the medication.
Vitaros vs Viagra
If you are suffering from erectile dysfunction and unsure which treatment is right for you, read on to learn more about the key similarities and differences between Vitaros and ED tablets like Viagra.
- Cream applied directly to the penis
- Enables an erection in 5-30 minutes
- Lasts 1-2 hours
- Approximately 52% effective
- Can cause vaginal side effects in female partner
- Requires a condom for oral or anal sex
- Cannot be used more than 2-3 times a week
- Tablet taken orally
- Enables an erection in 30-60 minutes
- Lasts 4-6 hours
- Approximately 74% effective
- Does not require condom use
- Cannot be used more than once a day
- Cannot be taken in combination with certain prescription medicines (e.g. nitrates)
It’s important to note that Vitaros is not intended for use in combination with Viagra or any other ED tablets. If you have used either, you should wait at least 24 hours until using Vitaros or an ED tablet again.
You can learn more about ED medicines like Viagra and Vitaros at our online erectile dysfunction clinic.