The medicine papaverine belongs in a group of therapies called vasodilators that lower blood pressure, expand blood vessels, and increase blood flow. The drug is prescribed to facilitate erections in men with erectile problems, including men who have multiple sclerosis (MS). The therapy can be administered by tablet form or injection.
Papaverine is only available by prescription and should not to be used as a sexual aid by men without erectile dysfunction. If it is not used properly, permanent damage to the penis and loss of the ability to have future erections can result. Some opinions hold that the drug should not be used at all for erectile dysfunction, though paparverine can be used to treat conditions that cause smooth muscle spasms, such as chest pain, circulation problems, heart attack, stomach issues, and gallbladder disorders.
The tablet is taken by mouth three to five times a day at evenly spaced intervals. The extended-release capsule should be taken every eight to 12 hours. The injection (used only once a day for no more than two consecutive days or only three times in one week) should be administered very carefully following strict directions provided by a healthcare professional.
Common side effects may include nausea, upset stomach, loss of appetite, constipation or diarrhea, general ill feelings, headache, drowsiness, dizziness or spinning sensation, flushing, skin rash, increased sweating, tiredness, and lack of energy.
Erectile impotence is the most common complaint among men with MS, but other sexual issues can also be present. Although the causes of erectile dysfunction are largely unknown, they could be pathological or psychological in origin.
Sexual arousal, response, and orgasm require communication between the brain and sexual organs via the spinal cord. When nerve damage is caused by MS, both men and women with the disease may experience sexual problems such as hypo-orgasmia or anorgasmia. For women, the problems can also include decreased vaginal secretion and reduced libido. For men, erectile, ejaculatory, or orgasmic dysfunction, and reduced libido can also occur.
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