Viagra Alternatives

If Viagra works so well, why bother with a different medication? As most drugs do, Viagra is not without its side effects...

Published: Tuesday 02 August 2016



Pfizer manufactured this medication to treat erectile dysfunction. Approved by the FDA in the 1990s, the medication’s patent ended in 2013, allowing other pharmaceutical companies to recreate the revolutionary drug’s formula with generic versions including Sildenafil and diversify erectile dysfunction treatments to include Cialis, Spedra, Levitra, and Nipatra.

If Viagra works so well, why switch to a different medication? As most drugs do, Viagra is not without its side effects, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Dizziness
  • Blurry vision
  • Visual disturbances
  • Hot flushes
  • Blocked nose
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion
  • Headaches

It is important to note that the majority of patients taking Viagra will not suffer these side effects and the medication has been proven as safe and effective for millions of men for decades.

However, the newer medications have similar treatment effects on the body but with subtle differences as they have other active ingredients. This makes each of the medicines dissimilar in terms of action time, how long it lasts, how often it can be taken, how it reacts with food and, of course, side effects. 

There is no medication that is better than the other. Each has its merits and disadvantages, and your GP can advise you which would suit you and your lifestyle best.


  Active Ingredient Strengths sold Action time Duration Legal
Viagra Sildenafil citrate 25mg, 50mg, 100mg 30 - 60 min 4 hours Yes
Generic Sildenafil Sildenafil citrate 25mg, 50mg, 100mg 30 - 60 min 4 hours Yes
Spedra Avanafil 50mg, 100mg, 200mg 15-30 min 6 hours Yes
Levitra Vardenafil 5mg, 10mg, 20mg, 10mg orodispersible 25-60 min 4-5 hours Yes
Generic Vardenafil Vardenafil 5mg, 10mg, 20mg 25-60 min 4-5 hours Yes
Cialis Tadalafil 10mg, 20mg 30 min 36 hours Yes
Generic Tadalafil Tadalafil 10mg, 20mg 30 min 36 hours Yes
Cialis Daily Tadalafil 2.5mg, 5mg Continuous Continuous Yes
Generic Tadalafil Daily Tadalafil 2.5mg, 5mg Continuous Continuous Yes
Nipatra Sildenafil citrate 25mg, 50mg, 100mg chewable tablets 30 min - 1 hour 4 hours Yes
Kamagra Sildenafil citrate 25mg, 50mg, 100mg 30 min - 1 hour 4 hours No

Other alternatives

  • Therapy
    Psychosexual therapy may help with your ED, especially if the cause is psychological. The therapist will be able to come up with ways to change your behaviour and thinking in order to have more long-lasting erections.
  • Penis pumps
    This is a good alternative if you don’t want to use medication. It works by increasing the blood flow to the penis and then using a ring around the base of the penis to maintain your erection.
  • Penis implants
    There are 3 different types of penile implants – malleable, three-piece inflatable and self-contained inflatable. They are inserted into your penis to help with your erections.

Lifestyle changes

With a few changes in your lifestyle, you may see an improvement in your ED and it is more likely to increase the effectiveness of your ED treatment. These include:

  • Regular exercise
    Start by exercising 30 minutes a day, five times a week.
  • Eat a healthier diet
    To avoid high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes.
  • Quit smoking
    Smoking affects the blood flow which can cause erectile problems.
  • Losing weight
    If you are overweight, losing weight with regular exercise and healthy diet can improve erectile problems and overall health.

A quick caution about medications masquerading as ‘natural’ alternatives: unlicensed or unregulated medication available without a prescription as a cheap option compared to Viagra and other ED medications can have dangerous effects on your health. There is no guarantee that the medication will work, or even that it is safe. You could be buying counterfeit medication.

For further information on fake medication and how to be sure you are buying safely, see our post on the subject.

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