Men will soon have a new option for treating erectile dysfunction (ED) that supposedly works faster than regular ED medication — and is available without a prescription. In June, the FDA approved the over-the-counter sale of MED3000 (Eroxon), a topical gel treatment for ED. MED3000 is supplied in single-use tubes. The contents are rubbed onto the head of the penis immediately before sexual intercourse.
The gel contains a combination of volatile solvents which, when applied to the head of the penis, evaporate rapidly, stimulating nerve endings through an initial cooling effect, followed by a warming sensation. This reaction releases nitric oxide, relaxing the smooth muscle tissue inside the penis and increasing blood flow that is needed to obtain an erection.
Clinical trials found that 65% of men who used MED3000 achieved an erection within 10 minutes and maintained it long enough to have sex. Common prescription ED drugs like tadalafil (Cialis) and sildenafil (Viagra) take around 30 minutes to work. The common side effects of MED3000 were headaches and nausea, but these occurred in only 1% to 3% of men. No side effects were reported among sexual partners. U.S. prices are not yet available, but in the United Kingdom, where Eroxon is already available over-the-counter, the cost is equivalent to about $32 (U.S.) for a four-pack.
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