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11 Jan 2022

Alternatives to Viagra for Erectile Dysfunction

48% of men in the UK suffer from erectile dysfunction at some point in their life, most commonly between the ages of 25 and 34. The condition can be discouraging and embarrassing, and its intimate nature makes it difficult to talk about your experiences; however, solutions exist, and you shouldn’t feel hopeless if ED is affecting you! 

Entering the drug market in 1998, Sildenafil (also known as Viagra) quickly became known as the ultimate solution for erectile dysfunction worldwide. Viagra has been leading in popularity since it was first cleared for use, filling 200,000 prescriptions a week in 2000, just two years after its approval. With frequent references in popular culture, Viagra has become a household name for good reason - but what if Sildenafil just isn’t working for you? 

As with all medications, what works for someone else might not be the best option for you - and that’s okay! Despite popular belief, there are plenty of alternatives to try if Viagra doesn’t fit the bill. 

Erectile Dysfunction Medication Comparison

This table shows some of the most common alternatives to viagra for erectile dysfunction, including everything you need to know about each drug.

MedicationMost Popular BrandType of medicationDosages available hereWhen do you take it?How long do the effects last?Are there any common side effects? (Experienced by 10% of men or more). Do you need a prescription?Price per Pill?
SildenafilViagraTablet

25mg, 50mg and 100mg

1 Hour before sexBetween 4 and 5 hoursHeadachesYes - our Doctors can supply this if you don't yet have one£0.80
TadalafilCialisTablet10mg and 20mgBetween 30 and 60 minutes before sexAround 36 HoursHeadachesYes - our Doctors can supply this if you don't yet have one£1.86
AvanafilSpedraTablet50mg, 100mg, and 200mg15 minutes to half an hour before sexAround 6 hoursNoneYes - our Doctors can supply this if you don't yet have one£3.23
VardenafilLevitraTablet10mg and 20mg30 minutes to an hour before sexBetween 4 and 5 hoursHeadachesYes - our Doctors can supply this if you don't yet have one£3.00

 

Tadalafil (Cialis)

Tadalafil - otherwise known by the brand name Cialis - is used to inhibit the function of the enzyme PDE5, relaxing muscle cells and expanding blood vessels to allow blood to flow more freely through the body. Tadalafil pills come at an average price of £1.86 per pill, making it the cheapest alternative to Viagra on the market. Doses come in a range from 2.5mg to 20mg depending on your needs, with an average dose of 10mg. You should take Tadalafil anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes before intercourse to ensure its effects.

Avanafil (Spedra)

Avanafil (or Spedra) can be taken 15 to 30 minutes before intercourse and works similarly to Tadalafil, restricting enzyme PDE5 to increase blood flow to allow for arousal. Avanafil is originally prescribed at 100mg, and can be adjusted to 50mg or 200mg depending on its effects. It can also be taken orally, and could take longer to work if taken after eating; side effects can include headaches, flushing and a blocked nose, although these are all expected to be short-term. While Avanafil is the fastest working pill available for erectile dysfunction, it is also the most expensive option at £3.23 per pill. As with any medication, talk to your GP if you experience long term or serious side effects!

Vardenafil (Levitra)

Vardenafil (otherwise known as Levitra) could be prescribed by your GP if you have an underlying and often longer-term condition causing erectile dysfunction. While it works in a similar vein to Tadalafil and Avanafil, Vardenafil is known to be more potent than Viagra, and is therefore prescribed in doses of 10mg adjusted to 5mg or 20mg depending on its effectiveness. It should be taken 25-60 minutes before intercourse. Vardenafil is the second most expensive pill for ED, costing roughly £3.00 per pill. It can cause headaches, flushing, indigestion, heartburn or a blocked nose; while these side effects usually subside upon continued use of the medication, if they persist or are particularly severe, always talk to your GP.

Natural Alternatives to Viagra

Some men find that their erectile dysfunction is psychological, in which case CBT is a helpful alternative to change your relationship with sex to create a much more positive experience for you and your partner. CBT functions as targeted therapy, allowing you to work through specific issues and adjust the way you think about yourself and your body. If you think this could help you, chat to your GP about a referral or look for a therapist online. (Link)

If you prefer to treat erectile dysfunction without the help of pills, studies have shown that there can be a link between ED and certain vitamin deficiencies, such as vitamin D. If you feel this could be the case for you, talk to your doctor to discuss whether to try vitamin supplements. Remember to always consult your GP before mixing supplements and medications. 

“Penis pumps” or Vacuum Constriction Devices can be used to assist with erectile dysfunction if the problem is medical or caused by anxiety. The VCD creates a vacuum to force blood to the penis. While this can be effective for sex, side effects can include bruising, an inability to ejaculate, and difficulty achieving orgasm. As with all solutions, have a chat to your GP to see what’s best for you!