Daily use of a PDE5-1 inhibitor (Cialis)

A group of drugs called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors that can help men get erections.

Surgery for prostate cancer can damage the nerves that control erections. Starting treatment for erections soon after surgery may help men get their erections back. This is called penile rehabilitation. Treatment could be taking a low-dose PDE5 inhibitor once a day or using a vacuum pump, or sometimes both together. This treatment along with masturbation encourages blood flow to the penis. Starting treatment soon after surgery may help improve a man’s chance of getting and keeping an erection. But it may not work for every man. PDE5 inhibitors won’t work if the nerves that control erections have been removed during surgery.

PDE5 inhibitors can be taken ‘on demand’ before sex or every day. Although different options will be best for different men, tadalafil (brand name Cialis®) is particularly important because it can be available to take in a low dose once a day as part of the penile rehabilitation treatment described above. Other ‘on demand’ PDE5 inhibitors can also be used to help men get erections after prostate cancer treatment and may be more appropriate depending on individual circumstances. These include: sildenafil (generic sildenafil or Viagra®), vardenafil (Levitra®) and avanafil (Spedra®).

Prostate Cancer UK wants all men to have access to the full range of PDE5 inhibitors. We also want clinicians to consider first-line treatment with daily low dose tadalafil (Cialis®) for penile rehabilitation for men who anticipate sexual activity more than twice per week, as well as providing maximum recommended dose for 'on demand' use.

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