Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is a common condition in which individuals cannot get or maintain an erection.
It is common to experience occasional difficulty with getting or maintaining an erection.
According to Cleveland Clinic, it is normal to have such erection issues in up to 20% of sexual encounters.
However, if it occurs more than half the time, it may indicate Erectile Dysfunction.
There are numerous ED treatments available. The selection of the appropriate treatment is crucial.
Oral medications, commonly known as ED pills, are one of the most widely used treatments for Erectile Dysfunction.
This article will provide detailed information on Erectile Dysfunction pills so that you can make an informed choice.
Table of Contents
What are Erectile Dysfunction Pills?
ED pills are considered the best and safest way to treat Erectile Dysfunction.
The well-known ED pills are Viagra (Sildenafil), Cialis (Tadalafil), Levitra (Vardenafil), and Stendra (Avanafil).
All these Erectile Dysfunction pills are FDA approved and are available only on the prescription of the doctor.
Sildenafil was the first PDE5 inhibitor to be approved by FDA in 1998.
Pfizer marketed Sildenafil under the brand name Viagra.
Sildenafil relaxes the blood vessels in the penis, allowing more blood to flow and inducing an erection.
It is advisable to take this medication 30 minutes to 1 hour before sexual activity. Its effects can last for up to 4 hours.
Various ED medications containing Sildenafil are now available in the market. They are the economic alternatives of Viagra with the same efficacy.
Alternatives of Viagra that contain Sildenafil are:
The FDA approved Tadalafil in 2003. Eli Lilly marketed Tadalafil under the brand name Cialis.
Tadalafil works similarly to Sildenafil. It is advisable to take it 30 minutes before sexual activity.
Its effects can last for up to 36 hours. Due to its long-lasting effects, it is also known as the “Weekend Pill.”
Other ED pills that contain Tadalafil as their active ingredient are:
The FDA approved Vardenafil in 2003. Bayer Corporation marketed Vardenafil under the brand name Levitra.
It is suggested to take it 25-60 minutes before sexual activity. Its effects can last up to 5 hours.
Vilitra is an alternative to Levitra that contains the active component Vardenafil.
Avanafil got its FDA approval in 2012, and Vivus Inc. marketed it under the brand name Stendra.
ED medications containing Avanafil should be taken orally. It becomes effective within 15 minutes of consumption.
According to the National Library of Medicine, the effects of Avanafil last up to 5 hours.
Quick overview: Key differences
|Active Ingredients/ Generic Names||Sildenafil||Tadalafil||Vardenafil||Avanafil|
|Generic version available?||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Onset of action||Becomes effective in 30-60 minutes after consumption||It takes 30 minutes to 2 hours to start working||Within 25- 60 minutes after consumption||Within 15 minutes of consumption|
|How long do the effects last?||4 to 5 hours||Upto 36 Hours||Effects last up to 5 hours||Upto 5 hours|
|Other medicinal uses||Used for treating Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH)||Used for treating Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)||No medicinal use other than treating ED||No medicinal use other than treating ED|
|Temperature required to store||Room temperature around 20–25°C||Room temperature around 25°C||Room temperature around 25°C||Room temperature around 20–25°C|
How do Erectile Dysfunction pills work
Erectile Dysfunction happens when there is an obstruction in the blood supply to the penis.
ED drugs work by reversing or reducing the impact of whatever restricts the blood flow.
All the ED pills treating Erectile Dysfunction contain any of these active ingredients.
These ingredients in ED pills are Phosphodiesterase Type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors.
Phosphodiesterase Type 5 is an enzyme that accumulates over time and restricts blood flow to the penis.
Erectile Dysfunction pills inhibit the action of PDE 5 enzymes.
This inhibition restores the cGMP levels, which dilates the penile blood vessels.
Dilation of blood vessels boosts the blood flow to the penis. Thus, helping individuals get and maintain an erection.
However, these ED pills work only in the presence of sexual stimulation.
Can ED pills cause side effects
Erectile Dysfunction pills are usually safe to consume.
However, they may cause temporary side effects which require minimal to no medical attention.
Some of the common side effects that all the ED drugs may cause are:
- Body aches
- Digestive problems
- Runny nose
You can avoid these adverse effects if you follow your doctor’s prescription.
Which Erectile Dysfunction drug is best
You may come across many over the counter ED pills while choosing the best drugs for ED.
Avoid taking those over the counter ED pills as their risks may be far greater than their benefits.
It is advisable to talk to a doctor before choosing any ED drug.
Your doctor will diagnose your condition and then suggest the best for you.
There are many Erectile Dysfunction pills available in the market. The best one depends on a number of factors.
If you want the effects to last longer, you may choose Tadalafil tablets. This is because ED drugs containing Tadalafil last up to 36 hours.
However, if you want the results quickly, you might choose Avanafil because it starts working within 15 minutes.
All the above-mentioned are the best drugs for ED and are effective.
The choice is highly personal, depending on your needs and condition to be treated.
Frequently Asked Question
How effective are Erectile Dysfunction pills?
In general, approximately 70-80 % of individuals experience benefits after taking Erectile Dysfunction pills. A 2009 meta-analysis found that prescribed ED pills were effective in 65 – 80 % of individuals
Are Erectile Dysfunction pills safe to consume?
The safety of ED pills depends on the specific medication and the individual taking it. They are usually safe to consume. However, they may cause temporary side effects like headaches, body aches, etc. These side effects require minimal to no medical attention.
Is it safe to combine over-the-counter ED supplements with ED medications?
It is not safe to combine OTC supplements for ED with medications such as Sildenafil, Tadalafil, or Vardenafil. Combining ED treatments can be dangerous and may lead to serious side effects. Therefore, it is suggested to talk to your doctor before combining ED treatments.
What is the safest drug for Erectile Dysfunction?
All four of the FDA-approved ED drugs — Sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra), Tadalafil (Cialis), Vardenafil (Levitra), and Avanafil (Stendra) — are safe for most men to use.
Can I get Viagra over the counter?
Viagra or any other ED pill that contains Sildenafil as the primary ingredient is not available without a doctor’s prescription.