J Sex Marital Ther. 1998 Apr-Jun; 24(2): 69-73.
Oral treatment of erectile dysfunction: from herbal remedies to designer drugs.
Sexual Dysfunctions Clinic, St. Clement's Hospital, Ipswich, England.
The erect penis has always been a symbol of power, virility, and fertility. Inability to obtain or maintain an erection, known clinically as erectile dysfunction, is a major health problem. It can cause considerable distress, unhappiness, and relationship problems. The search has therefore continued from time immemorial to find an effective safe, and easy to administer treatment for erectile problems. Although a number of these treatments became available in the last two decades, they all had problems with efficacy, safety, or ease of administration. Clinicians in this field often are told at the end of an assessment interview, "I wish you have a magic pill". An effective and safe oral treatment is, no doubt, the most acceptable and easy to use option. Finding such a treatment has always been the dream of many scientists, and many attempts have been made over the years. These ranged from herbal remedies used by native healers, mostly in Eastern countries, to the more sophisticated designer drugs, which are based on a better understanding of the physiological mechanism of erection. This article describes some of these attempts.