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Erection pills that work exist. Medications like PDE5-inhibitors work to improve your erections but they require an assessment to purchase.

There are some erection pills that don't need an assessment but they aren't going to do the same job as ones that do...

What erection pills are there?

Standard erection medication – if you're having problems with erections, the first line of treatment are medications called PDE5-inhibitors. These pills don't cause erections, what they do is make it easier for you to get erections naturally. They require an assessment before you can buy them.

Below are the erection pills normally used to treat erectile dysfunction:

Erection pillHow long it works forAbout the erection pill
Viagra 4-6 hours Viagra was the first PDE5-inhibitor erection pill to be invented. It’s taken one hour before sexual activity.
Sildenafil 4-6 hours Sildenafil is actually the same medicine as Viagra, but it is non-branded. One advantage of Sildenafil is that other manufacturers can produce it at a cheaper price.
Viagra Connect 4-6 hours Viagra Connect is an over-the-counter version of Viagra that doesn't require a prescription
Cialis 24-36 hours Cialis lasts much longer than the other medicines on this table. However, it is also more expensive so it may not be suitable for you if you are looking for a cheaper treatment alternative.
Cialis Daily 24 hours Cialis daily is a tablet you take once a day instead of before sex. It is a lower dose that Cialis, taken more often to keep up the amount of medication in your system.
Tadalafil (and Tadalafil daily 24-36 hours (and 24 hours) Tadalafil and Tadalafil daily are just like Cialis and Cialis Daily but they are non-branded and so they are manufactured and sold for cheaper (like Sildenafil and Viagra).
Levitra 4-6 hours Levitra is very similar to Viagra and Sildenafil. However, some men find that it starts working a little faster after you take them compared to Viagra and Sildenafil.
Spedra 4-6 hours Spedra is a lot newer than the other drugs in this table. It also works a lot faster, with some men reporting that it only takes 15 - 30 minutes for the medicine to take effect. This may be a good option for you if you don’t want to plan sex for a long time in advance.

Herbal erection pills – these are not proven to work for better erections. Although you can buy them without an assessment, you're not likely to get the results you want. Also because they aren't regulated properly, they might not be safe.

Erection pillHow it is believed to workWarnings
DHEA extract Supplements the natural sex hormones made by the body
L-arginine Increases blood flow to the genitals
  • May cause nausea, cramps, and diarrhoea

  • Cannot be taken with Viagra or Sildenafil

Ginseng Researchers are currently unsure of how it works
  • May cause insomnia

  • Little research on the effects of long term use

Niacin (vitamin B3) Reduces cholesterol levels, which are thought to improve erection problems
  • Do not take niacin if you suffer from type II diabetes

  • May cause serious side effects including stomach ulcers and liver damage

Where can I get erection pills?

Online – the most convenient way to get erection pills is through an online doctor service, where you can complete a short consultation. A doctor will then be able to review your consultation and prescribes medication as long as there is no medical reason not to.

We advise that you only buy medications online from a source that you trust. It may be tempting to buy from another source, especially when you already know which medicines work best for you. But there is no way of guaranteeing the safety and quality of products from sources that are not regulated.

In person – another way of getting erection pills is by getting a prescription from your doctor and going to the pharmacy. However, if you’re short of time or you’d rather avoid a face-to-face consultation, online doctor services are an excellent alternative.

From specialist shops – non-medication supplements can be bought online or in specialist shops. We advise that, as with all purchases of medicines, you only buy from a source that you trust.

Which ones work best?

Medications work best for different people –  it’s important to remember that everyone reacts to medicines differently and the best way of finding out is through trying several medicines to see which one suits you best. However, it can be helpful to compare these medications on a general level so that you have an idea of where you want to start.

Tried and tested – Viagra, Sildenafil and Levitra all work in a similar way. These pills are normally taken one hour before sexual activity and work for four to six hours. Viagra and Sildenafil seems to be effective for the highest percentage of men, with up to 80% in some studies reporting that it works for them.

Longest-lasting – Cialis has the advantage that it works for a much longer time than the other medicines. Some people find that, after they take Cialis, that they still experience the effects a day and a half later. This may be an option for couples who at times may not want to plan sex very far in advance.

Fastest-acting – Spedra is the newest medicine of the five that are commonly prescribed for erection problems. It works much more quickly than the other medicines, with some people reporting that it takes as little as 15 minutes for it to work. This is another option for couples who do not want to plan sex very far in advance.

Medication works better than herbal pills – remember that medications for treating erectile dysfunction have been proven to work and are safe if you've been assessed being buying them. Herbal pills have been researched but have not be proven to work.

Making the most of your erection pills

Combining them with lifestyle changes – there are certain lifestyle changes that you can make which have been proven to improve erections naturally. These include:

  • Quit smoking

  • Not drinking alcohol, especially just before sexual activity

  • Eating a low-cholesterol diet

  • Exercising regularly: the government recommends thirty minutes of moderate exercise such as jogging or cycling five times a week

Tips for taking erection pills – When you first take a new erection pill, sometimes you may find that it doesn’t have the effect that you’re looking for. This is perfectly normal – there are a few simple things that you could be doing to make the most of erection pills. Here are some common problems people run into when they start out taking a new medicine for erection problems:

  • Not getting enough stimulation beforehand – some people get frustrated when they don’t get an erection straight away after taking an erection pill. However, it’s important to remember that these pills work by enhancing your natural response to sexual stimulation and so will not give an erection without stimulation.

  • Eating just before taking some medicines – Viagra, Sildenafil, and Levitra work better when taken more than two to three hours after eating. Cialis is effective whether taken on a full or an empty stomach, however.

  • Not waiting for a long enough time to have sex – Viagra, Sildenafil and Levitra needs around one hour for it to work best, whilst Cialis may need as much as three hours. Though it may be tempting to start sexual activity straight away, we advise that you wait.

  • Not trying enough times – it is recommended that you try out a new medicine six times before changing the dose or even switching to another medication. We understand that not getting results straight away may be discouraging, but often your body simply needs to get used to the medicine.

What non-prescription erection pills are there?

Viagra Connect is the only prescription-free erection pill that works – available Spring 2018, this is the only medication for erectile dysfunction that doesn't require a prescription. However, you will still need an assessment to get it, either in a pharmacy or online.

Other prescription-free pills aren't effective – There are different dietary and herbal supplements which people have used to improve erections. However, unlike prescription pills, there is not a lot of research which looks into how effective or even how safe they are to take. And, a lot of dietary supplements have problems in terms of quality control. For instance, marketed products labelled as one supplement have sometimes been found not to contain any of the supplement at all, or more of the supplement than what has been labelled. We advise that you only obtain these medicines from a reputable source and seek a doctor’s advice before starting on any of these supplements.

DHEA – is a hormone that the human body produces naturally. There is some evidence that it works in improving erections. It works by supplementing the natural hormones that the body already produces. However, as it works by changing the level of hormones in the body, there are some side effects to watch out for. This can range from something as simple as acne to increasing your risk of some types of cancers. Also, we recommend that you tell a doctor before you start taking DHEA as it can interact with some medicines that you already take.

L-arginine – is a chemical building block called an amino acid which the body uses to make proteins. There is some evidence that it works to improve erections. It works by improving the blood flow into the genitals, which in turn leads to improved erections. However, it cannot be taken with some medicines, including Sildenafil and Viagra. Speak to your doctor before taking L-arginine as it can interact with some medicines that you already take.

Ginseng – is a type of slow-growing plant which has fleshy roots. It is these roots that people take as a dietary supplement. There is relatively little evidence which says whether or not ginseng is effective in treating erection problems. Additionally, researchers aren’t currently sure how ginseng works in improving erections. Although it is generally accepted that ginseng is safe to take, there are some side effects which has been reported, including insomnia and headaches.

Niacin (vitamin B3) – is one of the essential vitamins that is important to have in the body. It is naturally found in some foods such as yeast, fish, and milk, or it can be bought as a supplement. There is evidence to say that a higher amount of niacin in the body leads to lowered cholesterol, which is one of the things that can improve erections. Although very small amounts of it is required in the normal functioning of the body, taking higher amounts of niacin can have some side effects, such as liver and stomach problems.

How do erection pills work?

Effective erection pills all work in a similar way – PDE5-inhibitors relax your muscles and improves blood flow throughout the body. In the genitals, improved blood flow means that erections are also improved.

They shouldn't cause erections on their own – PDE5-inhibitors are only meant to make it easier to get an erection for a period of time. If they cause an erection that won't go away (priapism), this is a serious side effect and you should get medical help.

Erection pills can cause a drop in blood pressure – this isn’t an issue for most people. However, if you are taking prescription medicines which lowers your blood pressure (such as beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, or nitrates), it may not be recommended that you take erection pills too. Speak to a doctor if you are taking blood pressure lowering medication and would like to start taking an erection pill, as they may be able to advise you on the safest way to do so.

Sources

Douglas, M. (2004). Nutrients and Botanicals for Erectile Dysfunction: Examining the Evidence. Alternative Medicine Review, Mar; 9(1).

Hellstrom, W. J. G. et al (2014). Efficacy of Avanafil 15 minutes after dosing in men with erectile dysfunction: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study. J Urol, Aug; 194(2): 485–492.

McMahon, C. (2004). Original research – pharmacotherapy for ED: efficacy and safety of daily tadalafil in men with erectile dysfunction previously unresponsive to on-demand tadalafil. J Sex Med, Oct; 1(3): 292-300.

Moore, R. A., Derry, S. and McQuay, H. J. (2005). Indirect comparison of interventions using published randomised trials: systematic review of PDE-5 inhibitors for erectile dysfunction. BMC Urology, Dec; 5(18): 1-16.

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