What are PDE5 Inhibitors and why they are important

One of the key components of a successful relationship is the frequent sexual activity between the couple. Unfortunately, a percentage of men face erectile dysfunction issues. This is where science steps in to resolve this problem. 

PDE5 inhibitors are considered to be the most effective solution. This is the main reason why they can be found in very popular drugs prescribed to patients like Viagra and Cialis. What they do is to disrupt and even prevent the actions of a particular group of enzymes, the cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase type 5. This group gradually reduces the blood flow towards the cavernous bodies (corpora cavernosa) of the penis. 

pde5 inhibitorsThe proper function of the human penis depends, initially, on the release of nitric oxide in the aforementioned parts (the cavernous bodies) after adequate sexual stimulation. This, in turn, “triggers” guanylate cyclase, another enzyme, to augment the concentration levels of cyclic guanosine monophosphate nucleotides. This complicated procedure is necessary to achieve an erection. 

The inhibitors have also been detected by researchers in the wall muscles of human lungs, so after the necessary trials, the inhibitors have also started being used to treat conditions like pulmonary hypertension. It is also important to mention that they were discovered while scientists researched types of effective treatment angina pectoris, known to most people as angina, a term to describe intense chest pains. 

The only issue of the PDE5 inhibitors is their inability to inhibit only the desired group of enzymes. There have been cases of high dosage during which PDE6 or PDE11 groups were also affected, causing symptoms like vision changes, since the former is present in the retina. 

In closing, here is a list of all known PDE5 inhibitors used in modern medicine for anyone who wants to search for additional information:

  • Avanfil
  • Benzamidenafil
  • Lodenafil
  • Mirodenafil
  • Sildenafil
  • Vardenafil
  • Tadalafil
  • Zaprinast
  • Udenafil
  • Icariin
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