Erectile dysfunction (ED) has multifactor pathogenesis, with neurological, vascular, endocrinological and psychogenic components described. However, about 50-85% of ED population report the presence of one or more comorbidities i.e. hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dyslipidemia which all impair endothelial function and, erection is a basically vascular event that necessitates an intact endothelium to occur. Hence, ED may be mostly considered as the clinical manifestation of a disease affecting penile circulation as a part of a generalized vascular disorder due to atherosclerosis. Orally active drugs, i.e. phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors (PDE5-i), are a group of on-demand drugs licensed for ED treatment and appear to offer advantages over past therapies in terms of ease of administration and cost, and they are now widely advocated as first-line therapy. The recent discovery that chronic not on-demand administration of these drugs may improve erectile and endothelial response in men previously unresponding to on-demand regimes, opens a new scenario in the treatment of men with ED and comorbidities. Finally, the recent approval of PDE5-i sildenafil for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension represents the new challenge for these class of drugs. Aim of this article will be to provide an update on the pathophysiology of ED and how to use of different available PDE5-i in approaching sexual dysfunctional men, pointing out on their characteristic of efficacy and safety and different indications in special subpopulations.