Impotence is the inability to achieve or sustain an erection of sufficient rigidity for sexual intercourse. It is estimated that approximately 25 to 30 million American men are impotent. Impotence is caused by a number of different factors. The most common causes are due to underlying medical problems such as; vascular disease, diabetes, neurologic impairment, pelvic injury, prescription drugs, and hormonal imbalances.
There are many treatment alternatives available depending on the nature, cause and severity of the impotence problem.
Two of the treatments involve using a drug called alprostadil. Alprostadil is a hormone that helps relax smooth muscle tissue in the penis, which enables blood flow and causes an erection. There are two ways to use alprostadil:
Needle Injection Therapy: This method involves using a fine needle to inject alprostadil into the base of the penis. Sold under the trade name Caverject, this method produces an erection in 5 to 20 minutes. Cost per injection ranges from $15 to $25. Because of the sensitivity to using needles this alternative has received limited acceptance by impotent men.
Self-intraurethral Therapy: This method's trade name is muse. It uses a device that inserted into the tip of the penis to place an alprostadil suppository in the urethra. Although needles aren't involved, many find this method painful and uncomfortable, and side effects include pain in the urethra. Cost per pellet ranges from $17 to $25.
If other treatments fail or are unsatisfactory, a surgical implant is an alternative. Implants consist of one or two silicone or polyurethane cylinders that are placed inside the penis. Surgical implants can cost $10,000 to $20,000.
Physicians can sometimes surgically correct impotence caused by an obstruction of blood flow to the penis. However, this procedure is appropriate only for a small number of cases. Long-term success is unclear.
The new treatment involving the use of a drug called suldenafil, is an oral medication that received FDA approval in early 1998. The drug may enhance natural response to sexual stimulation by blocking the effect of an enzyme that causes a male to lose their erection. This alternative will be effective in only 45% to 55% of impotent men.
The treatments described above require a physician's prescription and office visit. Even with all the new publicity generated by the introduction of these drugs, less that 25% of men will actually seek help from a physician regarding their problem with impotence. As result, many men will continue to seek other alternatives that are less invasive and available over-the-counter. Currently, there are no major competitors providing over-the-counter treatments or alternatives. It is within this category, non-prescription/over-the-counter products, that the Company will focus its efforts.
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If you are often or always unable to achieve a sufficient erection for sexual intercourse, consult your doctor promptly to avoid a potentially harmful delay in diagnosing the cause of your condition (impotence).
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