Care Quality Commission (www.cqc.org.uk) regulated Online Doctor Service
stethoscope

Welcome to Anytime Doctor

Online Doctor Consultation
& Prescription Service

Authorised and regulated by the Care Quality Commission

"WE ARE PROUD TO PROVIDE QUALITY HEALTHCARE TO OUR PATIENTS"


Complete a FREE online consultation

Get diagnosed by a GMC registered doctor

Order your medicine. Free next day delivery

Anytime Doctor is one of the UK's only online doctor services to be authorised and regulated by the Care Quality Commission (Provider ID: 1-101727777). The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulates care provided by the NHS, local authorities, private companies and voluntary organisations.

Click here FREE Registration and Online Consultation.

Safe, secure web-based doctor-patient interface for busy people who value their privacy and expect a no fuss, no embarrassment approach with high standards of clinical care.

Online Doctor securityData security and trust - Secure online system. Your medical details are kept private from your NHS record. Free Pharmacy DeliveryFree discrete delivery - All test kits and medicines are dispatched in plain packaging for next day home or work delivery.
Chemist SavingsProven cost savings - Anytime Doctor works hard to provide you with a cheaper and more convenient option than private doctors. Online DoctorNo embarrassment - UK GMC-registered doctors can help you manage your medical needs online.
Pharmacy approvedGenuine Medicines - Anytime Doctor uses a Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain Pharmacy and is overseen by the MHRA. UK DoctorFree Initial Consultation - Not sure about the process? Submit a free medical consultation for review and recommendation by a doctor.

We provide you with a safe and secure method of replicating a face-to-face consultation with your GP. A licensed doctor will review your online medical questionnaire consultation and if it is safe to do so either send you treatment in the post, ask you further questions or suggest that you visit your GP for a face-to-face consultation.

What is an Online Doctor and Internet Pharmacy?

Introduction

Anytime Doctor is a UK based regulated Online Doctor service founded in 2008 to provide patients with an alternative approach to general healthcare. Our aim is to offer patients a safe, affordable and efficient online Pay As You Go health service. Anytime Doctor is pioneering the use of online consultations to help you look after your health without having to visit a doctor.

Anytime Doctor was only the second UK online private doctor service to be authorised and regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC ) in August 2009. The Care Quality Commission is a powerful Governmental body which also ensures that the NHS (including hospitals, GP's and dentists) are run safely and for the benefit of patients. To achieve this accreditation took over ten months and required detailed policies and procedures covering everything from Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks of all staff to the Data Protection of patients, the authenticity of all medication, the accreditation of laboratories used to test your samples, clinical protocols and the recruitment and training of doctors.

Buy Viagra PropeciaBuying medication online™ Guard your safety.

Read about the dangers of counterfeit medicines and the hazards of buying prescription-only medicines from unregulated sources. The GET REAL campaign incorporates a range of organisations from patient groups to the Government working together to make people more aware of the dangers of fake medicine.

1. Over two million people buy medication online. Always look for a service that offers good advice, correct information, licensed doctors, regulated pharmacies and is CQC regulated. All clinics and doctor services must be registered with the Care Quality Commission. Failure to register is a criminal offence. Check that the clinic is based within the UK, has a UK trading address and a UK telephone number. A proper licensed doctor will work within the General Medical Council (GMC ) regulations which include the Good Practice in Prescribing Medicines (September 2008) Guidelines.

2. If a price seems too good to be true, then the medication is probably counterfeited. Some of the illegal websites look very professional but supply dangerous counterfeited medication. The prices for Anytime Doctor services include a consultation with a licensed doctor, electronic prescription dispense by a General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC ) registered pharmacy, Royal Mail special delivery next day guaranteed and an after-care service where you can discuss your medication with a doctor. We constantly work hard to lower our prices to you.

3. Beware of websites which allow you to purchase medication straight away without a prescription or before a consultation with a doctor. The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA ) is responsible for regulating the sale and supply of prescription medication within the UK. We recommend that you report dangerous websites to the MHRA or let us know and we will report them.

Prices

Many patients contact us asking why we do not show any prices for prescription-only medicines prior to a medical consultation. At Anytime Doctor, we aim to offer you similar pattern of healthcare as if you were to visit your normal GP for a face to face consultation. We believe it is important that you complete a medical consultation and receive a diagnosis by a licensed doctor before you are offered treatment options. Certain medicines are only available on prescription for a reason. A doctor needs to assess whether you should take the medicine first. Once a doctor has approved you for treatment all prices are clearly displayed. Your registration and medical consultation is free and you are under no obligation to purchase any treatment after your consultation.

After you register at Anytime Doctor you can complete a free no obligation online medical questionnaire consultation which a doctor will assess and they may recommend a treatment service to you. If a doctor approves your consultation you will automatically be sent a text message. When you log back into your medical record you will see a message from a doctor telling you that they have assessed your consultation and it is safe to order the medication which they have selected. You are under no obligation to purchase any medication at this stage.

The price for the medication chosen by your doctor is clearly displayed. If you decide to order your medication, you simply pay online and a doctor will then re-assess your consultation before sending an electronic prescription to our partner pharmacy for next day dispensing and delivery.

There are NO added extras to the price you see. Our prices include: second online medical consultation check with a doctor (in case your medical details have changed between your first consultation and order), private online prescription, secure electronic transfer of prescription to our partner UK pharmacy, dispensing of your medication, discrete box packaging of medication and overnight Royal Mail special delivery to your home or work or hotel.

It really is that safe and simple! Don't risk your health with an illegal or fake website. If you see prices that are significantly lower than ours the website offering the medication to you is probably cutting corners with non-existent doctors or fake medication. Don't risk your health, if you come across an illegal website let the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA ) know or contact us and we will contact the MHRA.

Repeat Prescriptions

Anytime Doctor has a fast repeat prescription service. If you have been previously approved for medication you can directly purchase your approved medication. At the payment stage you are invited to check your previous medical consultation and modify where necessary. A doctor will then assess your new consultation and purchase request. If a doctor considers it safe to do so, they will automatically write a private prescription online for treatment which is sent to our partner pharmacy. If a doctor considers it unsafe they will refund you in full and send you a message explaining why they feel it would be better for you to have a face-to-face consultation with your GP or doctor.

The Process

Anytime Doctor was established to provide patients with a complimentary method of healthcare for a number of common lifestyle conditions which you may feel too embarrassed or self-conscious to speak to your doctor about in person.

As an online doctor / online clinic service we are continuously pushing the frontiers of remote postal healthcare. We offer laboratory test kits for home STD testing and the latest DNA testing facilities all via our specialist postal service. You simply purchase a testing service online which will be dispatched to you the next working day. All test kits from Anytime Doctor are sent in plain discrete packaging. We have partnered with private laboratories to offer you a safe, fast and accurate testing process.

How does an Online Doctor work?

For prescription-only medication we offer a bespoke service which has been authorised by the Care Quality Commission and thus complies with UK law relating to the sale and supply of prescription-only medication. The prescription-only ordering process is described below and could not be simpler!

1. Initial Consultation: Using the menu on the left-hand side of the website choose which condition you would like a have a consultation with a doctor about. Click on the "Start Your Consultation" button and you will either be taken to the registration page if you are a new patient or you will be asked to login if you are a returning patient. Complete the medical health questionnaire consultation and then submit the questionnaire for examination by a doctor. The whole process should take you less than five minutes to complete. It is important to fully read the information provided. We have provided a large amount of detail about each condition as we are keen to act as good information source for patients. We are also a listed Partner with NHS Choices and where necessary we have been given approval to link directly to NHS content and videos.

2. Diagnosis: A registered doctor will look at your consultation. During normal working hours this will happen within one hour, occasionally it may take longer. Doctors are officially on-call between 9am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday. However, they also check medical consultations and respond to patient messages outside of these hours, including on weekends. If a doctor requires further information they will send a message to your medical account which only you have access to. You do not need to keep checking your email, we automatically send you a text message if a doctor sends you a message.

3. Ordering: If a doctor approves your consultation you will be sent a text message asking you to login to your secure patient medical record. A doctor may also send you a message regarding the treatment they think is suitable and safe for you to purchase. Inside your secure patient medical record, go to the order tab section where there will be a list of medications that a doctor has approved and the prices for this medication service. Select the medication that you wish to purchase and submit. This will take you to our secure payment gateway where you must enter your credit or debit card details to proceed with your purchase. At Anytime Doctor we do not pressure you to purchase any medication, it is a big decision and you are more than welcome to message your doctor and ask them further questions about your consultation or condition. We do not store your credit card details, if you are a returning patient you will need to re-enter your previous card details.

4. Delivery: We operate a very automated and efficient delivery service with our partner pharmacy. If you order is received at our partner pharmacy before 4.00pm Monday to Friday (public holidays excluded) your medication will be dispatched on the same business day. Orders received on Saturdays or Sundays will be dispatched on the next business day. Your medication will dispensed and put in a discrete package with no mention of Anytime Doctor on the box. All packages are sent by Royal Mail Special Delivery which is included in the price of the service. Most packages are delivered by 1.00pm on the next business day.

We can also discretely deliver your medication to your work or hotel. At the payment stage simply complete the delivery address details as your work or hotel address.

5. Repeat Prescriptions: We have designed this process to be as simple and efficient for you to save you time! Access your secure medical record using your unique login details. Within your medical record go to the Order Tab and click on the medication you require. You will be asked to check your previous consultation to update your medical details and then make your payment. Your medication will arrive at your specified delivery address within the time-scale set out above.

Online Chemist and Internet Pharmacy

What is an Online Chemist or Internet Pharmacy? Online Chemist is the search term used more frequently within the UK than Internet Pharmacy which is the more common term searched for in the USA. Both an Online Chemist and Internet Pharmacy supply medicines on private prescriptions or with an NHS prescription. They may also sell provide pain relief remedies, medicines for children, acne treatments, beauty products and remedies for cold and flu. Online Chemists may also offer free delivery on NHS prescriptions including those for malarone for malaria, viagra for erection problems and xenical for weight loss.

Anytime Doctor was only the second online doctor service in the UK licensed and authorised to provide both an online consultation and an online prescription fulfilled by our partner NHS internet pharmacy and delivered direct to your home, work or hotel. Delivery is free and discrete.

Prescription Delivery

At Anytime Doctor we have a bespoke electronic prescription delivery system. If a doctor writes a prescription for your treatment service this prescription is electronically sent via secure link to our partner pharmacy. All prescriptions received before 4.00pm Monday to Friday are dispensed and dispatched that day for next day delivery. This fast and secure service is fully included within our price, we do not charge you extras.

Our service has been designed to be fast, cost effective, and there are no hidden extras. Our prices are monitored regularly to keep them the lowest on the internet for genuine treatment services. We operate a fast repeat prescription service. You simply log into your secure medical record and order your treatment service. At the checkout stage you will be invited to check your medical details. You do not have to go through the two-step initial consultation process for your first prescription.

We believe our service is second to none. We supply to all areas including London, Greater Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow.

Safety - Real Danger. Get Real, Get a Prescription™

Don't risk your health online. At Anytime Doctor we fully support the Real Danger. Get Real, Get a Prescription™ Campaign sponsored by Pfizer (www.pfizer.co.uk ) and supported by the: Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA ), The Patients Association, HEART UK and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB ).

More than one in seven (15%) of British adults surveyed admitted to bypassing the healthcare system to get hold of prescription-only medicine (POM) without a prescription, a practice which 78% of GPs surveyed say is putting people's health and potentially lives at risk as some of the medicines obtained in this way may be counterfeit. These statistics from recent UK surveys show that more and more people are putting themselves in danger by buying fake pills - it's estimated that between 50 to 90 per cent of medicines sold without a prescription or through unregulated websites are counterfeit. People buy medicines in this way because they think they are getting cheaper drugs, faster delivery, a better choice - in fact they are taking a real gamble with their health. Counterfeit medicines can be dangerous. Fake pills could make you very ill.

It's not just drugs for weight loss or erectile dysfunction (ED) that are being faked. Counterfeiters are now targeting lifesaving medicines for conditions such as cancer and heart problems.

The best way to protect yourself from counterfeit medicines is to only get your medicines from a reliable, regulated source. You should also make sure that you have the right treatment for the right condition by seeking advice from a healthcare professional.

How do you Protect Yourself?

Only deal with legitimate regulated websites such as Anytime Doctor, and do not be guided by price. If something seems too cheap to be real then it is probably fake. You should also be aware of the following organisations that regulate the medical industry and who work hard to protect you.

Care Quality Commission (CQC )
The Care Quality Commission regulates both NHS and private providers. It is a criminal offence not to be registered. Anytime Doctor was only the second private online doctor service to be authorised and regulated by the CQC in 2009.

You can check Anytime Doctor's latest CQC certificate registration number here:
Anytime Doctor: Provider ID 1-101727777

General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC )
All legitimate pharmacies are regulated and registered with the GPhC.
Click here to check a Pharmacy's registration number:

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA )
The MHRA monitor medicines and medical devices sold or distributed in the UK. The MHRA can prosecute and have prosecuted operators who manufacture and distribute counterfeit products in the UK.

For more information visit www.mhra.gov.uk/buy-medicines-online

General Medical Council (GMC )
All UK doctors are regulated by the GMC. You will always see the full name of the doctor and their GMC number whenever a doctor sends you a message.

You can check a doctor's GMC registration online at: www.gmc-uk.org/

Your Privacy is Important

We have created this Privacy Policy in order to demonstrate our firm commitment to confidentiality and to disclose our practises in gathering and using personal information. Anytime Doctor was built upon the ideals of safety, discretion, confidentiality and efficiency. We will not compromise on our business ideals or our business sustainability by breaking confidentiality.

  • We follow a general policy of openness regarding our privacy practises
  • We do NOT disclose your private medical details to your GP unless YOU ask us to. Any medication sent to you or test results are private and will not be put on your NHS record.
  • We operate under the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1988.
  • We are registered in compliance with the Data Protection Act, Registration No. Z1537630
  • We will not release to any third party, other than doctors practising at Anytime Doctor or our partner UK pharmacy, any personally identifying information. You are legally protected under doctor-patient privilege.
  • Our secure server is encrypted at 128bit SSL (secure socket layer) which is one of the most advanced encryption methods available. When you log into our system you will see a secure web page padlock on the toolbar signifying a secure server.
  • Your credit card details are not stored. After payment is made through our secure server, your credit card details are not stored on our systems. If you purchase more services you will need to re-enter your credit card details.
  • All of your personal data, including medical records are stored on our database servers. Our database servers use the same type of technology used by banks and are designed to deter and stop hackers from reaching your data.
  • All test packs and treatment is sent in plain packaging, we do not put our name or address on any part of the packaging.
  • After your treatment and consultation you can request for your online medical record to be deleted.

Introduction

Welcome to Anytime Doctor's leading UK home sexual health clinic. This clinic allows you to take a highly accurate STD test within the comfort of your own home or get prescribed treatment for a range of sexual health conditions by post. All test kits and medication are dispatched for next working day discrete delivery.

Many people are embarrassed about their sexual health and do not want to wait for hours in a NHS GUM clinic or visit their doctor. Unfortunately many sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) show no symptoms. Fortunately, the majority of STDs are easily detectable via a laboratory test and easily treatable with antibiotics. If you find it difficult to get to a sexual health or GUM clinic to be tested or to obtain treatment we can help.

Sexual Health Treatment - Our patients fall into one of two categories:

1. Patients who have been informed by a sexual partner that their partner has a STD.

2. Patients who recognise the symptoms of a STD (e.g. burning whilst passing urine after a recent sexual contact) and who wish to quickly obtain treatment rather than wait to get tested first.

Sexual Health Testing - Our patients fall into one of five categories:

1. Patients who do not have symptoms but wish to obtain a clean bill of health.

2. Patients who do not have symptoms but have had unsafe sexual contact with one or more partners.

3. Patients who have symptoms (such as urethral or vaginal discharge, or burning whilst passing urine after recent sexual contact).

4. Couples/Partners who wish to obtain a clean bill of health before embarking on a new stage in their relationship, i.e. not using condoms within a monogamous relationship.

5. Women and couples who wish to obtain a clean bill of health before trying for pregnancy or IVF.

STD/STI Testing

Anytime Doctor's testing process has been designed to be a simple and easy as possible. We use The Doctors Laboratory (TDL Pathology) which is one of the largest pathology laboratories in the country. TDL operate an efficient and accurate testing laboratory in London, they process thousands of samples every week for both the NHS and private doctors.

For many patients there is no need to endure the long wait at a NHS GUM clinic or the potential embarrassment of a physical examination. If go to a NHS GUM clinic and show no symptoms, you will be asked to pee into a bottle which goes directly to a laboratory. We cut out the waiting time and send you the laboratory sample bottle directly. You simply pee in the bottle, seal it, place the bottle and completed form in the special pre-paid delivery envelope and pop into any post box. Some results are available within 24 hours. We text you as soon as your results come through. No fuss, no embarrassment and no-waiting around.

Why STD/STI Testing is Important

You may have an STD/STI but have no symptoms. It's important to be tested if you think you may be at risk of an STD/STI. If untreated, STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhoea can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease in women, which can damage the fallopian tubes and cause pain, ectopic pregnancies and infertility. Men can also experience complications, such as inflammation in the testicles or prostate gland, painful erections and infertility.

Most STDs are caused by micro-organisms such as bacteria (e.g. chlamydia, gonorrhoea) or viruses (e.g. genital herpes, HIV, hepatitis B). These infections can be passed from one person to another during intimate physical contact. Sexual intercourse, non-penetrative genital contact, sex toys shared between partners and oral sex can all transmit an infection.

Significant proportions of both men and women can have a sexually transmitted infection and feel perfectly well. However, if left untreated STDs can cause long term complications such as infertility, miscarriage and conjunctivitis in babies if present during pregnancy. A health screen is the quickest and most effective way of determining your clean bill of health.

STD/STI Tests available through Anytime Doctor

Why we don't test for HIV, Syphilis, Hep B or Hep C

To obtain an accurate result for these types of STD you need to have a blood test. There is no urine test which can test for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B or Hep C. There is a saliva test available, but it does not offer the same accuracy as a blood test. We also feel that due to the seriousness of these illnesses should you test positive you will need to be in the company of a trained doctor and not receive your results remotely.

The good news is that within the UK the prevalence of these diseases is very low in comparison to Chlamydia or Herpes which we can test for and treat. We strongly suggest that if you do wish to have a HIV test you visit your doctor or a GUM clinic. Similarly if you have been to Africa and had unprotected sex we recommend you book an appointment at a sexual health clinic for a face-to-face consultation.

STD/STI Treatment

Many STDs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea, can be treated easily with antibiotics. Others, such as Herpes can be managed in a way that will decrease symptoms and reduce the risk of transmission.

The Anytime Doctor sexual health treatment service is for people who already know that they or their sexual partner have a STD/STI. This service is confidential and lets you get the treatment you need without leaving home. No embarrassment or lengthy waiting rooms.

STD/STI Treatments available through Anytime Doctor

STDs/STIs

If you think you have a STD (sexually transmitted disease) or STI (sexually transmitted infection) the first thing to do is to not panic. To find out for sure get tested or if you have been told by your sexual partner that they have an infection get treatment. Many people with STDs/STIs do not get symptoms, so it is worth getting tested regularly even if you feel healthy.

Women and men can each pass an infection onto one another. Similarly, women can pass infections onto women, and men can pass infections onto men. A sexually transmitted infection can be passed from one person to another through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal and oral sex. You can get or pass on an sexually transmitted disease with whoever you are having sex with.

Many STDs can be cured with antibiotics. Some, such as HIV, have no cure but can be treated to prevent them getting worse.

You cannot tell by looking at someone (including yourself) whether they have a STD/STI, so it is important to get tested if you have had unprotected sex.

STD/STI Symptoms

Many people do not notice symptoms when they have an STI, including most women with chlamydia. However if left untreated, chlamydia can affect your ability to get pregnant. Around 50% of women and 10% of men with gonorrhoea do not show any symptoms.

If you have any of the symptoms listed below, get tested.

In women and men:

Pain when you pass urine (pee).

Itching, burning or tingling around the genitals.

Blisters, sores, spots or lumps around the genitals or anus.

Black powder or tiny white dots in your underwear (this could be droppings or eggs from pubic lice).

In women:

Yellow or green vaginal discharge.

Discharge that smells.

Bleeding between periods or after sex.

Pain during sex.

Lower abdominal pain.

In men:

Discharge from the penis.

Irritation of the urethra (the tube where urine comes out).

These symptoms do not necessarily mean that you have an STD/STI, but it is worth getting tested. For example, it is possible to get thrush without having sex, but it can cause STD/STI-like symptoms, such as soreness, itching and discharge. Thrush is easily treated and the treatment is available through Anytime Doctor.

Chlamydia Introduction

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium chlamydia trachomatis. In the UK, the number of new diagnoses has been steadily increasing each year since the mid-1990s, and it has now become the most commonly diagnosed STI.

Chlamydia is called the silent disease because most people who get it do not experience any noticeable symptoms. Around 50% of men and 70-80% of women who get the chlamydia infection will have no symptoms and many cases of chlamydia remain undiagnosed.

Chlamydia Video

Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the UK. Toni Belfield from the fpa gives advice on who's at risk, where to get tested and how it's treated

Content Supplied by NHS Choices

How common is it?

Between 2007 and 2008, the number of confirmed cases of chlamydia rose from 121,791 to 123,018. Young people under 25 are most likely to be infected, 65% (80,258) of all new chlamydia diagnoses made in 2008 were in people between the ages of 16 and 24.

Outlook

The chlamydia infection can be easily diagnosed through a simple swab or urine test, once diagnosed it can be treated with antibiotics. Undiagnosed chlamydia can lead to more serious long term health problems and infertility.

Fast, Discrete and Private

At Anytime Doctor we understand that people value their privacy, especially with sexual health matters. Our testing and treatment process is designed to be discrete and safe. We do not inform your GP or the NHS. Your test results and treatment services are private unless you ask us to tell your GP. You can be safe in the knowledge that we will never disclose your private information.

Introduction

Male-pattern baldness can affect men to such an extent that they find it hard to go out. It causes low self esteem and even depression in some men. Unfortunately the internet is full of quack (and sometimes dangerous) methods of restoring your hair. None of these will work. Hair loss and balding make many men feel vulnerable and some internet sites are just slick conman and salesman who make false claims about expensive treatments to take your money.

There is only one clinically approved drug-based treatment for male pattern baldness which is available on private prescription. The NHS does not offer this treatment option due to cost.

Finasteride (marketed as propecia) is the only once a day pill that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the one product that has been cleared by the FDA for the treatment of baldness. Available Clinical evidence suggests that two thirds of men who take propecia to treat male-pattern baldness will benefit from renewed hair growth. Propecia should also stop further hair-loss in the remaining one third of men.

Male Pattern Baldness Video

Male-pattern baldness affects 50% of men over 50. Men describe how they went bald, the stigma attached to it and how attitudes have changed.

Male-pattern baldness is so called because it generally follows a set pattern. The first stage is usually a receding hairline, followed by thinning of the hair on the crown and temples. This can leave a horseshoe shape of hair around the back and sides of the head. It can progress to complete baldness, but this is rare.

Propecia does not work for women and the medicine is not licensed to treat hair-loss in women.

If you are balding you have three choices:

1. Do Nothing!:

To become gradually bald is a normal part of the ageing process for most men. No treatment is wanted or needed by affected men. For some men, baldness can be distressing, particularly if it is excessive or occurs early in life. Treatment may then help.

2. Treatment with medication:

Finasteride (Propecia) was launched in the UK in 2002, although it has been available in the US since 1997. It works by blocking the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. The hair follicles are then not affected by this hormone, and can enlarge back to normal. Some hair re-growth occurs in about 2 in 3 men who take a finisteride (propecia) tablet each day. In about 1 in 3 men there there is no hair re-growth, but most do not have any further hair loss whilst taking finasteride. It has no effect in about 1 in 100 men. So, if you buy propecia, you have a good chance that hair will re-grow, or at least stop any further hair loss. However before you buy propecia you should be aware of the following facts:

  • It takes about 4 months for any effect to be noticed, and up to 1-2 years for full hair growth.
  • The balding process returns if treatment is stopped. Therefore, if successful, you need to carry on treatment to maintain the effect.
  • Side-effects are uncommon. The most common is that about 2 in 100 treated men report loss of sex drive (libido).
  • It does not work in women with male pattern baldness.
  • You need a private prescription to buy Propecia, it is not available on the NHS

3. Plastic Surgery

Techniques such as hair transplantation, scalp flaps, and other procedures have been used for a number of years. Success rates vary and a specialist opinion is needed if surgery is considered. It is expensive and not available on the NHS.

Treating Male Pattern Baldness

Propecia (Proh-pee-sher) is a medicine which is used in male-pattern baldness. Propecia contains finasteride. It is supplied by Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited.

Propecia 1mg tablets when used in male-pattern baldness

Propecia is used to reduce male pattern hair loss. Propecia works by blocking the action of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body which affects hair loss in men. It should never be taken by women.

If treatment is stopped, the beneficial effects of Propecia start to wear off after six months. By 9 to 12 months all of the beneficial effects will have worn off and the hair loss will be the same as it was before treatment started.

Do not share your medicine with other people. It may not be suitable for them and may harm them.

If a doctor prescribes you Propecia, they will send you a detailed message telling you how to take your medicine. The dose and quantity will be set by your doctor. For baldness it is generally one 1mg tablet per day. You should not change the dose of your medicine unless you are told to do so by your doctor.

If you feel that the medicine is making you unwell or you do not think it is working, then you are asked to message your doctor so they can fulfil their requirements of after-care for you.

Regulated Information

> Patient Information Leaflet

> Summary of Product Characteristics

Generic name medicines

A generic medicine name is the official medical name for a medicine. (e.g. ibuprofen or aspirin).
Medicines that work in a similar way often have similar sounding names (e.g. penicillin or amoxicillin).

Generic Name for Male Pattern Baldness Medicine: Finasteride

Brand name medicines

A brand name is assigned to a generic medicine by a pharmaceutical company for marketing purposes to make it more memorable. A generic medicine can have multiple brand names.

Brand Name for Male Pattern Baldness Medicine: Propecia

Causes of Male Pattern Hair Loss

Male-pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss, affecting 6.5 million men in the UK.

It generally starts with a little thinning of the hair, followed by wider hair loss, allowing more of the scalp to become visible.

For a few men, this process starts as early as the late teens. By the age of 60, most men have some degree of hair loss.

Some men are not troubled by this at all. Others, however, suffer great emotional distress associated with a lack of self-esteem, and in some cases depression.

"Young men especially feel hair loss pretty acutely," says Dr Susan McDonald-Hull, a consultant dermatologist at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

The human head has on average 100,000 hairs. Hair is made in hair follicles, the roots of the hair. Each hair grows for about three years, then it drops out and a new one grows. We lose 40-120 hairs a day.

Hair is made in tiny pouches in the skin called hair follicles. Most scalp hairs last three years and grow 1cm a month.

After about three years, each hair on the scalp dies and falls out. The hair follicle rests for a short while before it begins to make a new hair.

Male-pattern and female-pattern baldness is caused by oversensitive hair follicles. This is linked to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is made from the male hormone testosterone. If there is too much DHT, the follicles react to it and the hair becomes thinner and grows for less time than normal. The balding process is gradual because different follicles are affected at different times.

Male-pattern baldness is not a disease, so it will not affect your health. Baldness treatment medicine is not available on the NHS.

Finasteride known as Propecia is the only medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of baldness.

Finasteride: taken in tablet form and only available to men. It works by preventing the hormone testosterone being converted to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). About 80% of men who take finasteride see improvements. Side effects are uncommon, although about 2% of users experience a loss of sex drive.

Balding normally resumes if treatment is stopped.

Preventing Male Pattern Baldness

If you have inherited the genes responsible for male-pattern or female-pattern baldness, there is not a lot you can do to prevent it happening. The treatment suggestions may slow down the loss, but are not an actual cure.

It is important to remember that hair loss happens to a lot of people as they get older, and there is no need to be embarrassed or depressed about it. If hair loss is making you worried or unhappy, you can see your GP or ask to see a dermatologist. Your local pharmacist may have some useful advice for you as well. Your hairdresser may also be able to suggest a flattering haircut for you.

Treating Male Pattern Baldness

There are two medicines that are known to be effective in treating male-pattern baldness: finasteride and minoxidil.

Finasteride

Finasteride works by preventing the hormone testosterone being converted to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT causes the hair follicles to shrink, so blocking its production allows the hair follicles to regain their normal size.

Although more research is needed, studies suggest that two-thirds of men who take finasteride, experience some hair regrowth. In the remaining third, there is no hair regrowth, but most do not experience any further hair loss. It normally takes at least four months of using finasteride before any effect is seen, and the balding process will normally resume if treatment is stopped.

Finasteride is not available on the NHS, but is available on private prescription from Anytime Doctor. It comes as a tablet that you take every day. Side effects are uncommon, although about two in 100 men who use it experience a loss of sex drive.

Minoxidil

Minoxidil is available as a lotion that you rub on your scalp every day. It is available from pharmacies without prescription. It is not clear how minoxidil works, but studies suggest that the balding process will slow in about half of those men who use it, and that about 15% of those who use it will experience hair regrowth. However, about a third of men who use minoxidil will not see any change in their hair loss.

Like finasteride, minoxidil normally needs at least four months of use before any effect is seen, and the balding process will normally resume if treatment is stopped. Any new hair that does regrow will fall out two months after treatment is stopped. Side effects are uncommon.

Common Hair Loss Myths

Rubbing Marmite on your scalp won't help your hair to grow back. Listed below are 21 common hair loss myths. The only medically tested treatment is propecia.

1. Getting a cow to lick your scalp.

2. Hair loss comes from the mother's side
Baldness is hereditary, but it is not limited to the maternal side of the family. The hair loss gene can come from either parent.

3. Frequent ejaculation causes baldness
There is no proven link between frequent ejaculation and hair loss. There is also no truth to the myth that the more sex you have the less hair you will lose.

4. Washing your head in cold water cures baldness
Washing your head every morning in cold water may boost blood circulation but it does nothing for baldness.

5. Losing hair every day means you're balding
If you have got male-pattern baldness then, yes, you will lose hair every day. That said, it is normal to lose as many as 100 hairs a day. These will usually grow back.

6. It is unusual to lose hair from our early 30s
As you get older, the number of hair follicles on your scalp will progressively go down. With ageing, hair becomes finer and more sparse.

7. Hair products can cause hair loss
Hair care products don't cause hair loss. You can mix as much gel, mousse or spray in to your hair as you like.

8. Standing on your head cures hair loss
Standing on your head to increase blood flow will not regenerate your scalp. Blood circulation has no influence on hair loss.

9. Constantly wearing hats causes baldness
Unless your hat is so tight that it puts excessive tension on the hair, it doesn't matter if you wear a cap 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Hats do not lead to hair loss.

10. Brushing or massaging the scalp can reduce hair loss
Blood circulation does not boost hair growth. However, too much brushing may cause injury, leading to loss of hair.

11. Hairstyles don't cause hair loss
Styles that put too much tension on hair, such as tight plaits, ponytails, corn-rows or winding too tightly on to rollers (especially heated rollers), can cause some hair loss.

12. Cutting your hair will make it grow back thicker
Hair feels thicker after a hair cut because hair is thicker at the base. Cutting your hair will not help to prevent male or female-pattern baldness.

13. Blow drying doesn't cause hair loss
Blow drying can damage, burn or dry the hair, which can cause it to fall out. But this hair will grow back immediately. It is not considered to be permanent hair loss.

14. Wigs and toupees make hair loss worse
Hair does not need to breathe. Only the roots are alive, and they get their oxygen from the blood in the scalp. Wigs and hairpieces only damage hair if they are too tight.

15. Excessive washing of hair causes hair loss
Shampoo only removes hair that has already fallen out.

16. Long exposure to the sun leads to hair loss
Hair loss occurs at the follicle level. Fortunately, your hair acts as a shield against the sun to protect the roots.

17. Hair dyes cause balding
Most hair-colouring treatments contain chemicals that, if not properly used, are harmful to hair. However, such dyes do not cause hair loss.

18. Diet can cause hair loss
A balanced diet is essential for your general health. However, there is no evidence that certain types of food boost hair growth or cause hair loss.

19. Stress causes hair loss
Stressful episodes, such as an accident or surgery, can cause hair production to shut down temporarily. Stress does not cause male-pattern baldness.

20. Hormone problems cause hair loss
Problems with your thyroid gland can cause hair loss. Women may have short-term hair loss shortly after pregnancy.

21. Steroids have no side effects on hair
Steroid use can cause hair loss. Research has proven that anabolic steroids increase the levels of male hormones that induce baldness.

Introduction

Erectile Dysfunction or Impotence is a sexual dysfunction characterized by the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. When a man has Erectile dysfunction (ED) he will struggle to maintain an erection. Without treatment, ED can make sexual intercourse difficult. The condition, affects millions of men across the World. ED used to be considered too embarrassing to discuss but awareness has skyrocketed with recent advances in treatment for ED.

How common is erectile dysfunction?

ED is a very common condition, particularly in older men. It is estimated that half of all men between 40 and 70 years of age will experience ED at least once during their lives.

ED becomes more common as men age, but it is not a part of aging. At age 40, about 5% of men experience ED. At age 65, this number jumps to between 15% and 25%. But this does not mean growing older is the end of your sex life. ED can be treated at any age.

Erectile Dysfunction Video

GP Dr Rob Hicks offers his advice on erectile dysfunction and one man discusses his experience of living with the condition.

Content Supplied by NHS Choices

Causes of ED

ED can have a range of causes, both physical and psychological.

Possible physical causes include:

  • heart disease,
  • diabetes,
  • depression, and
  • relationship problems.

Possible psychological causes of ED include:

  • stress,
  • anxiety,
  • high blood pressure (hypertension), and
  • hormonal problems.

Prognosis

Many men will experience episodes of ED that improve without the need for treatment. Sometimes, persistent ED can be the result of a more serious underlying health condition, such as heart disease. In such cases, treatment will be needed to treat the underlying condition.

Other causes include head injury, which can result in low levels of production of the hormone testosterone. Treatment of testosterone can treat ED when it is caused by head injury.

Generally, the prognosis for ED is good. Some men will just need to make some lifestyle changes, such as losing weight and taking regular exercise. Other men may need to take medication such as sildenafil (known as Viagra), Cialis and Levitra.

If you would like to have a free consultation with a doctor about your erectile issues, please complete the free medical consultation questionnaire and one of our doctors will have a look at it and get back to you.

Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Symptoms of ED include:

  • Erections that are too soft for sex.
  • Erections that last only briefly.
  • An inability to achieve erections.

These symptoms may occur every time sex is initiated or only some of the time.

The Science behind ED

An erection occurs when blood fills two chambers, within the penis, known as the corpora cavernosa. This causes the penis to expand and stiffen, in a similar manner to a balloon as it is filled with water. The process is triggered by impulses from the brain and genital nerves. Anything that blocks these impulses or restricts blood flow to the penis can result in ED.

ED can have a range of causes, both physical and psychological.

Causes of ED; Physical Factors

1. Lifestyle

Lifestyle choices that impair blood circulation can contribute to ED. Smoking, excessive drinking, and drug abuse may damage the blood vessels and reduce blood flow to the penis. Smoking makes men with atherosclerosis particularly vulnerable to ED. Being overweight and getting too little exercise are other possible risk factors.

2. Medication

ED may be a side effect of medication, including certain blood pressure drugs, antidepressants, tranquilizers, and antihistamines. You should inform your doctor if you suspect a prescription or over-the-counter drug may be causing erectile problems. A list of drugs that can cause ED is listed within the Drug Comparison tab.

3. Chronic Disease

The link between chronic disease and ED is most striking for diabetes (depicted here by a blood sugar test). Nearly one out of every two men with diabetes experiences ED. Other conditions that may cause ED include cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), kidney disease, and multiple sclerosis. These illnesses can impair blood flow or nerve impulses throughout the body.

4. Surgery

Surgery, including treatments for prostate or bladder cancer, can sometimes damage nerves and blood vessels near the penis. In some cases, the nerve damage is permanent, and the patient will require treatment to achieve an erection. In others, surgery causes temporary ED that improves on its own after 6 to 18 months.

5. Cycling

Research suggests avid cyclists suffer more ED than other athletes. The trouble lies in the shape of some bicycle seats that put pressure on the perineum. This area between the anus and scrotum contains arteries and nerves vital to sexual arousal. Cyclists who ride for many hours each week may benefit from seats designed to protect the perineum.

Causes of ED; Psychological Factors

ED usually has something physical behind it, particularly in older men. But psychological factors may be to blame in 10% to 20% of men with ED. Experts say stress, depression, poor self-esteem, and performance anxiety can short-circuit the process that leads to an erection. These factors can also make the problem worse in men whose ED stems from something physical.

ED can often have both physical and psychological causes. For example, if you have diabetes, it may be difficult for you to get an erection, which may cause you to become anxious about the situation. The combination of diabetes and anxiety may lead to an episode of ED.

Other causes of erectile dysfunction

Other possible causes of ED include:

  • obesity,
  • smoking,
  • alcohol,
  • tiredness, and
  • using illegal drugs, such as cannabis, or cocaine.

Sometimes, cycling can also be a cause of ED. People who spend more than three hours a week cycling may experience ED due to the saddle placing pressure on the nerves in their penis.

Diagnosing ED

Before a doctor can diagnose erectile dysfunction (ED), you will need to submit a free online medical consultation which will ask you questions about your symptoms, your overall physical and mental health, your alcohol consumption, whether you take drugs, and whether you are currently taking any medication.

The medical questionnaire will also find out whether your ED is permanent, or only occurs when you are attempting to have sex with your partner. The former suggests that there is an underlying physical cause, and the latter suggests an underlying psychological cause.

Once you have submitted your medical consultation a doctor may diagnose you with ED and suggest suitable treatment options for you.

Treatment options for ED

If you have erectile dysfunction (ED), the treatment that you will receive will depend on the underlying cause of the condition.

If ED is due to an underlying health condition, such as heart disease, or diabetes, that condition may need to be treated first before treatment for ED can begin. However, in some cases, treating the underlying cause will also resolve the problem of ED.

The main treatment options for ED are outlined below.

Self-help
The symptoms of ED can often be improved by using some self-help techniques, and making associated life style changes. These include:

  • losing weight (if you are overweight),
  • giving up smoking (if you smoke),
  • moderating your consumption of alcohol,
  • not using illegal drugs, and

If you do a lot of cycling (more than three hours a week), and you are experiencing ED, you may want to spend a trial period without riding your bike in order to see if it improves your symptoms.

PDE-5 Inhibitors
PDE-5 inhibitors are one of the most widely used and effective types of medication used to treat ED. They work by temporally increasing the blood flow to your penis.

In England, three PDE-5 inhibitors are available for the treatment of ED. These are:

  • Sildenafil - which is sold under the brand name Viagra,
  • Tadalafil- which is sold under the brand name Cialis, and
  • Vardenafil - which is sold under the brand name Levitra.

Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil) and Levitra (vardenafil)
Viagra and Levitra work for about four hours and they are designed to work 'on demand'. Cialis is taken once every 24 hours (but not every day) and may last for longer than 24 hours, such as over the weekend.

Viagra (sildenafil) and Levitra (vardenafil) should be taken an hour before sexual activity, but you should be aware that it may take longer to notice their effects if they are taken with food. Cialis(tadalafil) should be taken at least 30 minutes before sexual activity.

When not to take PDE-5 Inhibitors

  • PDE-5 inhibitors are not recommended for people who are at high risk of coronary heart disease.
  • PDE-5 inhibitors should never be used if you are also taking medicines that contain organic nitrates because the combination of the two substances can be extremely dangerous for your heart.
  • Medicines that contain organic nitrates are often used to treat angina.

You should also not use PDE-5 inhibitors if you take the recreational drug, amyl nitrate, more commonly known as 'poppers'.

Side effects of PDE-5 inhibitors
Side effects of PDE-5 inhibitors are rare and, when they do occur, they are usually mild. Possible side effects include:

  • headaches,
  • hot flushes,
  • indigestion,
  • a blocked, or runny, nose,
  • back pain, and
  • disturbances to your vision.

Availability of PDE-5 inhibitors
PDE-5 inhibitors are usually only made available on a NHS prescription if you have one of the following health conditions:

  • diabetes,
  • multiple sclerosis,
  • Parkinson's disease,
  • polio,
  • prostate cancer,
  • severe pelvic, or spinal injury,
  • spina bifida, and
  • certain genetic conditions, such as Huntington's disease.

People who have received, or are receiving, certain medical treatments may also be able to get PDE-5 inhibitors on a NHS prescription. These treatments are listed below.

  • Pelvic surgery - which is often used to remove tumours, or to treat conditions such as incontinence.
  • Surgical removal of the prostate gland (prostatectomy) - which is often used to treat prostate cancer.
  • Dialysis for kidney failure.
  • Kidney transplant,

However, you may have to pay a full prescription charge for a course of PDE-5 inhibitors.

Treatment for ED is not usually covered by private medical insurance.

Anytime Doctor offers a consultation, treatment and prescription service for men who cannot obtain medication on the NHS or who wish to have a fast, no fuss approach to their ED.

Hormone therapy

If a hormonal condition is causing ED, you may be referred to an endocrinologist. An endocrinologist is a health professional who specialises in the treatment of hormonal conditions.

Many hormonal conditions can be treated using injections of synthetic hormones that help maintain normal hormone levels.

Penis pump

A penis pump is another method of treatment for ED. It is a simple tube that is connected to a pump. You place your penis in the tube and pump out all of the air. This creates a vacuum which causes the blood to rush to your penis. You then place a rubber ring around the base of your penis in order to keep the blood in place, allowing you to maintain an erection for around 30 minutes.

Alprostadil

If your ED does not respond to treatment, or you are unable, or unwilling, to use PDE-5 inhibitors, or a penis pump, you may be given a medicine called alprostadil. Alprostadil is a synthetic hormone that helps to stimulate blood flow to the penis. Alprostadil can be injected directly into your penis, or a small tablet can be placed inside your urethra (urine tube).

Alprostadil will usually produce an erection that lasts for between 5-30 minutes.

Surgery

Surgery for ED is usually only recommended if there is clear evidence of a blockage to the blood supply of the penis, or if all other treatment methods have failed.

If there is a blockage to your penis's blood supply, it may be possible for the surgeon to unblock the blood vessels and restore a normal supply of blood.

An alternative surgical method involves placing inflatable implants into your penis, which you can then activate as required. Penile implants are not usually available on the NHS.

Psychosexual counselling

If the cause of ED is thought to be primarily psychological, you may be referred for psychosexual counselling.

Psychosexual counselling is a form of relationship therapy where you and your partner can discuss any sexual, or emotional issues, or concerns, that you have that may be contributing to your ED.

The counsellor can also provide you with some practical advice about sex, such as foreplay techniques, and how to make effective use of other treatments for ED in order to improve your sex life.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is another form of counselling that may be useful if you have ED. CBT is based on the principle that the way we feel is partly dependent on the way we think about things.

Therefore, unhelpful, or unrealistic, thoughts and assumptions about issues such as self-esteem, sexuality, and your personal relationships, may be contributing to ED.

In this situation, the CBT therapist would encourage you to adopt more realistic and helpful thoughts about these types of issues and assumptions.

Viagra (sildenafil)

Viagra (Vye-ag-rer) is a medicine which is used in treating erectile dysfunction. Viagra contains sildenafil citrate. It is supplied by Pfizer Limited.

Viagra 25mg, 50mg and 100mg tablets used in treating erectile dysfunction

Viagra is used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction in men. It works by relaxing muscles in the walls of the blood vessels. Sexual stimulation increases the blood flow to the penis. Following sexual stimulation, Viagra helps to produce an erection that is suitable for sexual activity.

Viagra is not suitable for women or anyone under 18 years of age.

Other information about Viagra:

  • Your doctor may vary the dose of your medicine (25mg, 50mg or 100mg) to find what is best for you
  • This medicine must not be taken more than once a day

Do not share your medicine with other people. It may not be suitable for them and may harm them.

If a doctor prescribes you Viagra, they will send you a detailed message telling you how to take your medicine. The dose and quantity will be set by your doctor. For first time users it is better to start with the lower dose and then increase the dose if necessary after discussion with your doctor. You should not change the dose of your medicine unless you are told to do so by your doctor.

If you feel that the medicine is making you unwell or you do not think it is working, message your doctor from your patient medical record so they help you.

Regulated Information

> Patient Information Leaflet

> Summary of Product Characteristics

Cialis (Tadalafil)

Cialis (See-al-iss) is a medicine which is used in treating erectile dysfunction. Cialis contains tadalafil. It is supplied by Eli Lilly and Company Limited.

Cialis 10mg and 20mg tablets used in treating erectile dysfunction

Cialis is used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction in men. It works by relaxing muscles in the walls of the blood vessels. Sexual stimulation increases the blood flow to the penis. Following sexual stimulation, Cialis helps to produce an erection that is suitable for sexual activity.

Cialis is not suitable for women or anyone under 18 years of age.

Other information about Cialis:

  • Your doctor may vary the dose of your medicine (10mg or 20mg) to find what is best for you
  • This medicine must not be taken more than once a day

Do not share your medicine with other people. It may not be suitable for them and may harm them.

If a doctor prescribes you Cialis, they will send you a detailed message telling you how to take your medicine. The dose and quantity will be set by your doctor. For first time users it is better to start with the lower dose and then increase the dose if necessary after discussion with your doctor. You should not change the dose of your medicine unless you are told to do so by your doctor.

If you feel that the medicine is making you unwell or you do not think it is working, message your doctor from your patient medical record so they help you.

Regulated Information

> Patient Information Leaflet

> Summary of Product Characteristics

Levitra (Vardenafil hydrochloride trihydrate)

Vardenafil hydrochloride trihydrate (Var-den-af-fil hi-droh-clor-ride try-hi-drate) is a medicine which is used in treating erectile dysfunction.

Levitra 5mg, 10mg and 20mg tablets used in treating ED

Levitra is used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction in men. It works by relaxing muscles in the walls of the blood vessels. Sexual stimulation increases the blood flow to the penis. Following sexual stimulation, Levitra helps to produce an erection that is suitable for sexual activity.

Levitra is not suitable for women or anyone under 18 years of age.

Other information about Levitra:

  • Your doctor may vary the dose of your medicine (5mg, 10mg or 20mg) to find what is best for you
  • This medicine must not be taken more than once a day. This medicine takes a short time to have any effect. It is best to take Levitra at least 25-60 minutes before sexual activity to give it time to work
  • this medicine can be taken with or without food. To get a quicker effect it is best not to take Levitra with high fat meals. This is because high fat meals can delay the onset of action of Levitra

Do not share your medicine with other people. It may not be suitable for them and may harm them.

If a doctor prescribes you Levitra, they will send you a detailed message telling you how to take your medicine. The dose and quantity will be set by your doctor. For first time users it is better to start with the lower dose and then increase the dose if necessary after discussion with your doctor. You should not change the dose of your medicine unless you are told to do so by your doctor.

If you feel that the medicine is making you unwell or you do not think it is working, message your doctor from your patient medical record so they help you.

Regulated Information

> Patient Information Leaflet

> Summary of Product Characteristics

Medicines information - Drug Comparison

The following medicines are used to treat erectile dysfunction

Generic name medicines
A generic medicine name is the official medical name for a medicine. (e.g. ibuprofen or aspirin). Medicines that work in a similar way often have similar sounding names (e.g. penicillin or amoxycilin).

Generic Name for ED Medicines:

  • Sildenafil citrate
  • Tadalafil
  • Vardenafil hydrochloride trihydrate

Brand name medicines
A brand name is assigned to a generic medicine by a pharmaceutical company for marketing purposes to make it more memorable. A generic medicine can have multiple brand names.

Brand Name for ED Medicines:

Comparison Table for ED Medicines

Viagra Cialis Levitra
Manufacturer Pfizer Lilly ICOS Bayer
Date Introduced March 1998 February 2003 April 2003
How does this drug work? Viagra, Cialis and Levitra belong to a class of drugs known as PDE-5 (Phospodiesterase type 5) inhibitors. All three drugs work by blocking the enzyme (PDE5) which is found primarily in the penis. By inhibiting PDE5, the blood vessels in the penis remain relaxed for a longer period which allows for an increased blood flow. Another effect is the "holding" of blood in your penis helping to produce longer-lasting erections. All three treatments are NOT aphrodisiac's and only work when you are sexually aroused.
Dosage 25mg, 50mg and 100mg 10mg and 20mg 5mg, 10mg and 20mg
Which dosage is right for you? Always start with the lower dosage; your doctor will decide which dosage and drug type is most appropriate for you. Your doctor will take into account potential drug interactions, your age, the severity of your erectile dysfunction and any previous history you have had taking impotence treatment. If the lower dose does not prove effective after eight attempts your doctor may advise you to move to a higher dose.
How quickly does it work after taking? 40 Minutes when taken on an empty stomach 30 Minutes 20 Minutes
What is the maximum number of times you can take this drug in 24 hours? Do not take more than once in any 24 hour period Do not take more than once in any 24 hour period Do not take more than once in any 24 hour period
Duration of Effectiveness? 4 - 6 hours 36 hours 12 hours
Reported side-effects? Congestion, Diarrhoea, Flushing, Headaches, Urinary Tract Infection, Bluish Vision. Headache, Myalgia, Dyspepsia, Back Pain Headache, Flushing, Dyspepsia, Nasal Congestion
Contraindications? Any Nitrate based medicine Any Nitrate based medicine, Angina, Hypertension, Hypotension Any Nitrate based medicine
Suitability for women? No No No

Drugs Linked to Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Many innocuous drugs can be linked to ED. There are also a number of prescription and over-the-counter drugs that may cause erectile dysfunction. While these medications may treat a disease or condition, in doing so they can affect a man's hormones, nerves, or blood circulation, resulting in ED or increase the risk of ED.

During your medical questionnaire, it is important to tell your doctor about any drug (legal or illegal) that you are taking so that they have a full picture of your health. Doctors at Anytime Doctor will not disclose your private information to your GP or the NHS unless you ask them to.

If you experience ED and think that it may be a result of medication you are taking, do not stop taking the medication without first consulting your doctor. If the problem persists, your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medication.

Substances or drugs that can cause or lead to ED include recreational and frequently abused drugs, such as:

  • Alcohol
  • Amphetamines
  • Barbiturates
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Methadone
  • Nicotine
  • Opiates

Aside from the well-known complications that the use and abuse of these drugs can cause, ED is not often mentioned. However, use of these drugs can cause ED. These drugs not only affect and often times suppress the central nervous system, but can also cause serious damage to the blood vessels, resulting in permanent ED.

Introduction

Malaria is found typically in tropical and subtropical areas; there is no malaria in Europe. The majority of infections occur in Africa, in the area from south of the Sahara to north of South Africa. According to WHO estimates, there are up to 500 million people infected with malaria each year.

Malaria is a huge worldwide problem. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there were 243 million cases and nearly 1 million deaths from malaria in 2008. Most deaths occur in African countries close to the equator and below the Sahara desert (Sub-Saharan Africa).

Many babies and children die from malaria. WHO estimates that a child dies of malaria every 30 seconds.

Malaria Video

An expert explains how malaria attacks different areas of the body and what you can do to avoid getting the disease in the first place

Content Supplied by NHS Choices

Malaria is a tropical disease spread by night-biting mosquitoes. When a mosquito infected with malaria parasites (plasmodia) bites you, it injects the parasites into your body. It only takes a single mosquito bite for you to become infected.

Symptoms can develop as quickly as eight days after being bitten. However, in some cases the parasites can stay inactive in the body and symptoms may not develop for up to a year.

Any type of malaria is dangerous but malaria caused by the falciparum parasite is the most serious. It can develop very rapidly and lead to severe illness and death.

When travelling to high-risk areas, be aware of the symptoms of malaria, such as fever. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any symptoms, even several months after your trip.

Malaria in UK travellers

Approximately 1,500 travellers return to the UK with malaria every year. In 2008, there were 1,370 cases of malaria reported and six deaths in the UK.

Most of the malaria imported to the UK is caused by the falciparum parasite and is acquired in Africa.

Most UK travellers who catch malaria either do not take any malaria tablets or do not take the right tablets for the part of the world they visit. It is important to visit a travel health clinic or GP surgery for prevention advice before going to an area where there is malaria.

Detailed malaria information is available on the Fit for Travel - opens in a new window and National Travel Health Network - opens in a new window websites.

Symptoms of Malaria

Symptoms of malaria usually appear 10-15 days after you are bitten. However, depending on the type of parasite you are infected with, it can take a year for symptoms to show.

Symptoms of malaria are similar to flu symptoms and include:

  • a high temperature (fever) of 38oC (100.4F) or above
  • sweats and chills
  • generally feeling unwell
  • muscle pains
  • headaches
  • cough
  • diarrhoea

With some types of malaria, fevers occur in 48-hour cycles. You feel cold at first with shivering that lasts up to an hour. You then develop a fever that lasts for two to six hours, followed by extreme sweating.

Falciparum malaria

Falciparum malaria is the most serious type of malaria and can develop very quickly into a severe, life-threatening illness.

Symptoms can develop as quickly as eight days after you are bitten. Without treatment, you rapidly develop complications, such as breathing problems, fits, liver failure and shock (see Complications of malaria). The most serious complication occurs when the falciparum parasite gets into the brain's blood vessels. This can lead to a coma and death.

It is important to seek medical help as soon as possible if you experience any of the symptoms of malaria, even if it is several months after your travels.

Causes of Malaria

Malaria is caused by a parasite (an organism that lives and feeds off another organism) known as plasmodium. There are many different types of plasmodium, but only five cause malaria in humans:

  • Plasmodium falciparum is mostly found in Africa. It is responsible for the majority of malaria deaths worldwide.
  • Plasmodium vivax is found mainly in Asia and Latin America. This parasite produces less severe symptoms than plasmodium falciparum, but can stay in the liver for up to three years, which can result in relapses of the condition.
  • Plasmodium ovale is usually found in Africa. Relatively uncommon, this parasite can stay in your blood for several years without producing any symptoms.
  • Plasmodium malariae is relatively rare. Usually, it is only found in West Africa.
  • Plasmodium knowlesi is extremely rare. It is found in parts of Southeast Asia.

How the parasite is spread

The plasmodium parasite is spread by female anopheles mosquitoes. If a mosquito bites a person infected with malaria, it can then carry the parasite and spread it to other people after it has developed in the mosquito.

When the parasite enters your blood through a bite, it travels straight to your liver. It develops there and then re-enters your bloodstream and invades your red blood cells. Once in the red blood cells, the parasites grow and multiply. Eventually, the infected red blood cells burst and release even more parasites into your blood.

The infected cells usually burst every 48-72 hours. Each time this happens, you will experience an attack of chills, fever and sweating.

The female mosquitoes usually bite between dusk and dawn and are known as night-biting mosquitoes.

Pregnancy and malaria

If you are pregnant, the physical changes in your body make you more attractive to biting mosquitoes. If you catch malaria while you are pregnant, you are at risk of developing severe malaria and there is a higher risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. Your baby is also more likely to be born too early. Both you and your baby are more likely to die of complications of malaria.

The World Health Organization (WHO) advises all pregnant women to avoid travelling to malarial regions.

Diagnosing Malaria

If you are abroad and start showing symptoms that could be malaria, go to the nearest doctor or hospital as quickly as possible. You will usually need to give a blood sample so the doctor can check for parasites.

If you start showing symptoms when you are back home, tell your GP or hospital doctor without delay. Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and look at your travel history. You must tell them you have been to an area with a risk of malaria, including brief stopovers.

A blood test for malaria should be taken, usually by your local hospital rather than your GP surgery. A small amount of blood is taken and mixed with a special solution before being looked at under a microscope. This test will be able to confirm if you have malaria parasites in your blood and what type of parasite is causing your malaria.

Complications of Malaria

Malaria can be a very serious illness and is potentially fatal. The falciparum parasite causes the most severe malaria symptoms and the most deaths.

Anaemia

The destruction of red blood cells by the malaria parasite can cause severe anaemia. This is a condition where the red blood cells are unable to carry enough oxygen, which leaves you feeling drowsy, weak and faint.

Cerebral malaria

In some rare cases of malaria, the infected red blood cells can block the small blood vessels leading to the brain, stopping blood flow and leading to a shortage of oxygen. This is known as cerebral malaria.

Cerebral malaria can cause your brain to swell and, in some cases, may lead to permanent brain damage. It can also cause you to have a seizure or fall into a coma.

Other complications

Other complications of a severe case of malaria can include:

  • breathing problems (such as fluid in your lungs)
  • liver failure and jaundice (a yellow discolouration of the skin)
  • shock (sudden drop in blood flow)
  • spontaneous bleeding
  • abnormally low blood sugar
  • kidney failure
  • swelling and rupturing of the spleen
  • dehydration

Complications of severe malaria can appear within hours or days of your first symptoms, so it is important to get urgent medical help as soon as you think you have malaria.

Malaria is usually more severe in pregnant women, babies, young children and older people.

Preventing and treating malaria

Antimalarial medicine for prevention

Taking medicines to prevent malaria is essential, if you're visiting an area where malaria is prevalent. The problem can be choosing the most appropriate antimalarial for the country you're visiting. You also need to take into account your individual circumstances. Because resistance to chloroquine and other drugs is spreading, preventive (prophylactic) medicines that were effective five years ago may no longer be so.

The geographic spread of chloroquine resistance in the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum is increasing. It exists throughout sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent and large portions of South America. Apart from chloroquine and paludrine, there are three main drugs on the market in the UK that are licensed for preventing malaria. The most appropriate one(s) will depend on the country you're visiting and your individual circumstances.

Whichever preventive medicines are used, it's important they're taken regularly and as directed by your doctor or pharmacist - both while you're away and when you return. The risk of malaria increases with the length of stay, so it's important to keep taking your preventative medicines throughout a long visit. Most deaths from malaria occur in those who take their preventive medicines irregularly, or not at all.

If you are travelling to an area with a risk of malaria, your doctor will recommend you take antimalarial tablets to prevent you from becoming infected. The antimalarial tablets that you are prescribed will be based on the following factors:

  • where you are going
  • medical history, including any drug allergies
  • relevant family medical history
  • current medicines
  • any problems with antimalarial medicines in the past
  • your age
  • whether you are pregnant

Sometimes, you need to take a short trial course of antimalarial tablets before you go. This is to check that you do not experience any side effects or reactions. If you do, alternative antimalarials can be prescribed before you leave.

Long-term travel

If you are planning to go away for more than six months, you are considered a long-term traveller. When travelling to areas where there is a risk of malaria, always consider taking antimalarial medicine. If you are travelling to different places, you may only need to take antimalarials for part of your trip.

Antimalarial medicine for treatment

With prompt diagnosis and treatment, most people make a full recovery from malaria. If you have been diagnosed with malaria, your treatment must start as soon as possible.

Malaria can be treated using the same antimalarial medicines taken to prevent malaria. However, if you have taken a preventive anti-malarial medicine, your doctor should not give you the same one to treat your malaria. Therefore, it is important you tell your doctor what tablets you took to prevent malaria.

The antimalarial medicine that you are prescribed and the length of your treatment depend on:

  • the type of malaria you have
  • how bad your symptoms are
  • where you caught malaria
  • if you took antimalarial tablets
  • whether you are pregnant
  • your age

Your doctor will check the most recent advice and recommend the right treatment for you. They may recommend a combination of different medicines to overcome strains of malaria that have become drug-resistant.

Often, antimalarial treatment is given as tablets or capsules. If you are very ill, you will be admitted to hospital and treatment is usually given through a drip into a vein in your arm.

Treatment for malaria can leave you feeling very weak and tired for several weeks.

Emergency standby treatment

This is a course of medicine that can be taken for malaria symptoms if you cannot reach a doctor while you are travelling overseas.

Research has shown that emergency standby treatment is often used incorrectly. It should only be considered for travellers who are going to be in very remote areas away from medical help.

It is not a substitute for taking the right malaria prevention tablets. Your doctor should get advice from a travel health specialist before prescribing emergency standby treatment.

Preventing Malaria

The risk of malaria for people travelling to affected areas is significant, so it is important to take precautions to prevent it.

Approximately 1,500 travellers return to the UK with malaria every year. Most of the malaria imported to the UK is caused by plasmodium falciparum and is acquired in Africa.

Many cases of malaria can be prevented by the ABCD approach:

  • Awareness of risk: know your risk of malaria.
  • Bite prevention: avoid bites as much as possible.
  • Chemoprophylaxis: take the right antimalarial tablets.
  • Diagnosis: get immediate medical help for symptoms.

Awareness of the risks

You can check whether you need to take preventative malaria treatment for the country that you are visiting by looking at the Fit for Travel - opens in a new window and National Travel Health Network - opens in a new window websites.

Visit your GP or local travel clinic for advice on malaria and other health risks as soon as you know that you are going to be travelling.

Bite avoidance

While you will not be able to avoid bites completely, the less you and your family are bitten, the less likely you are to catch malaria. Below are a number of things you can do to help prevent being bitten by mosquitoes:

  • Ideally, stay somewhere with effective air conditioning and screening on doors and windows. If this is not possible, try to stay somewhere with doors and windows that close.
  • If you are not sleeping in an air-conditioned room or if the air-conditioning is not effective, you must sleep under an intact mosquito net that has been treated with insecticide.
  • Use insect repellent on your skin and in sleeping environments. Remember to reapply frequently.
  • The most effective repellents contain diethyltoluamide (DEET) and are available in sprays, roll-ons, sticks and creams.
  • Wear light, loose-fitting trousers, rather than shorts, and shirts that have long sleeves. This is particularly important during early evening and at night, as this is the mosquito's preferred feeding time.

Garlic, vitamin B and ultrasound devices do not prevent bites.

Chemoprophylaxis: taking appropriate antimalarial tablets

Taking medicine to prevent catching malaria is essential for all travellers who are visiting areas with malaria. However, antimalarials are not 100% effective, so avoiding bites is also important.

Taking antimalarial medicine:

  • Make sure you get the right antimalarial tablets before you go.
  • You will have to pay for your antimalarials, so include the cost in your trip budget.
  • Follow the instructions included with your tablets carefully.
  • It is important that you continue to take your tablets after you return from your trip. This is to cover the incubation period of the disease.
  • Most tablets need to be taken for four weeks after you return, although atovaquone plus proguanil (Malarone) needs to be taken for only one week.

Talk to your doctor to make sure that you are prescribed a drug you can tolerate. You may be more at risk from side effects if you have:

  • AIDS/HIV
  • epilepsy or any type of seizure
  • depression
  • heart problems
  • liver or kidney disease
  • porphyria (an inherited condition that causes sensitivity to sunlight)
  • psoriasis
  • psychiatric problems

You may also be more at risk from side effects if:

  • your spleen has been removed or does not work properly
  • you take medicine (such as warfarin) to prevent blood clots
  • you are a woman using combined hormonal contraception, such as the pill or patches

If you have taken antimalarial medicine in the past, do not assume that it is suitable for future trips. The medicine you need to take depends on the strain of malaria carried by the mosquitoes and drug resistance in the region that you are travelling to.

In Britain, chloroquine and proguanil can be brought from local pharmacies. For all other antimalarial tablets, you need a doctor's prescription.

Diagnosis: get prompt medical advice

If you become ill when you get back from travelling, even if you took the right malaria prevention tablets, you must see your GP or a hospital doctor straight away.

Tell the doctor that you have been exposed to malaria. It is important that you tell them which countries you have travelled to in the last 12 months, including brief stopovers.

Malaria can develop very quickly, so it is important to get medical advice, diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible if you think you may have malaria.

Doctor designed medical bag to treat illnesses abroad

Medipac™ is a unique medical bag which has been designed by doctors to help the traveller in emergency situations when abroad and when access to medical help is difficult

We know that over 80% of travellers will get sick when abroad, so we have created this medical pack that contains a combination of: Prescription-only medication, Sterile dressings, and many other useful items that can save your trip from disaster.

News and Information

Anytime Doctor                     

Anytime Doctor provides a personalised, secure web-based portal that provides patients with 24/7 access to their health records, lab results and prescription information from anywhere in the world. Registration is free, confidential and without obligation. A specialist doctor can discretely help you manage your health online.

High Assurance SSL Certificate