These drugs come with a warning labels, cautioning users to contact their doctors if they end up with erections lasting more than four hours.
Such prolonged erections are classified as priapism, are not accompanied by sexual arousal and are unaffected by orgasm.
According to Dr, Ira Sharlip, prolonged erections are usually painful. Sharlip warns men that prolonged erections are "a potentially serious condition which can result in permanent erectile dysfunction if it’s not taken care of... If an erection is left in place for more than 12 hours, damage to the tissue in the erection chambers can occur. It can be a cause of serious erectile dysfunction. They may be able to get a partial erection in the future, but not a full erection.”
Fortunately, priapism associated with erectile dysfunction drugs is quite rare. Dr. Sharlip, who maintains a private urology practice, has never encountered a case of it in the ten years he's been prescribing Viagra to patients.
It is more common, however, with an alternative ED therapy, penile injection therapy. in a particularly tragic case, "a medical professional who, after reading about the treatment of erectile dysfunction with penile injections, injected himself with an excessive dose.
Unfortunately, he then developed priapism, but was so embarrassed he went for seven days before seeking medical help. According to Dr. Christopher Steidle, “the resulting erection was unsalvageable, and the patient was left with a penis that was less than an inch long.”
Though many of us would love to have a four hour erection, the above information shows that there can definitely be too much of a good thing.
I'm quite thankful that I not yet in any need of such drugs in my sex life, and I hope this will remain true for many years to come.