Erectile Dysfunction Medications

The treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED) can be done with the help of medications. Such medications are classified under the group of Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) drugs, and their role is to overcome erection difficulties by increasing the flow of blood to the penile. Medications are considered to be the most effective remedy for erectile dysfunction; however, they can help manage the condition for some time but not cure it permanently.  

The FDA has given its approval to some medications for use in treating the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. They are as follows:  


These were the first ED medications that were introduced in the market and approved by the FDA. Viagra is a brand-name version of Sildenafil medications. Sildenafil is a generic version of Viagra and it is a PDE5 inhibitor drug that is helpful in restoring the erection function in men experiencing the symptoms of erectile dysfunction.   

They are available in the form of oral pills. They come in three different doses, including 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg. Individuals experiencing mild to moderate forms of erection difficulties will be prescribed a low or medium dose, that is 25 mg or 50 mg. While those having severe forms of impotence issues will be prescribed a high dose of Viagra, that is 100mg. The effectiveness of Viagra remains in the body for around 3 to 4 hours.  


These medications come in oral pills and they contain Tadalafil as their active ingredient, which is a PDE5 inhibitor. These pills are well known for their prolonged action, as their effectiveness remains in the body for very long, which is up to 36 hours. They are available in four different doses, including 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg.  

Mild doses such as 2.5 mg and 5 mg can be used daily. Such low doses can help retain the effectiveness of the drug in the body every day. Whereas, 10 mg and 20 mg are high doses, which are not appropriate for daily use due to their prolonged effectiveness, which is up to 36 hours. It is not safe to use such high doses on a daily basis. You can have them once or twice a week when you plan an anticipated sexual interaction.


These branded medications contain Vardenafil as their active ingredient, which works by negating the action of PDE5 enzymes. These medications are also available in the form of conventional tablets that have to be taken orally. These tablets come in three doses – 2 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg. A single tablet has to be consumed an hour before you plan to have a sexual activity.


Stendra is a brand-name version of Avanafil, which is a PDE5 inhibitor. This drug was approved by the FDA for use in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Avanafil is also sold under the brand name Spedra. Stendra medications come in the form of conventional pills with three different doses, including 50 mg, 100 mg, and 200 mg. After intake, the pill becomes active in the bloodstream within 30 to 45 minutes and its effectiveness remains for up to 6 hours.   

The role of PDE5 inhibitor drugs is to counter the action of phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) enzymes from clogs and blockages in the penile arteries. The blockages cause the hindrance of blood flow inside the penile arteries, due to which the individual develops the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. Blockage formation results when the PDE5 enzymes suppress the release of nitric oxide in the walls of the penile arteries. Nitric oxide is an essential chemical, which is responsible for healthy functioning of sexual function.  

But these ED medications are PDE5 inhibitors and their function is to manage the erection function by conducting vasodilation and to increase the flow of blood to the penile. Therefore, ED medications boost the release of nitric oxide in the inner walls of the penile arteries, increase relaxation by overcoming blockages, and increase blood flow inside the penile to restore a healthy erection function.   

Besides, it is important to note that these ED medications can give rise to several side effects, which can have a mild or serious impact on your health. Commonly, one might develop some mild symptoms after taking an ED pill. They might experience symptoms like headache, nasal congestion, upset stomach, flushing, dizziness, diarrhea, rash, and vision problems. Apart from these, some may develop serious side effects, which require immediate medical attention.

Lastly, there are various unbranded or non-prescription options for ED treatment available out there. However, they lack approval from the FDA and might contain hazardous or undisclosed ingredients, which is why they might not be as safe as these FDA-approved branded ED medications. These branded versions are clinically proven for their efficacy and safety, and their side effects are also well known.       

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