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Best alternatives and substitutes for Viagra available for purchase

Even though Viagra exists as one of the most well-known drugs to ease the symptoms of erectile dysfunction, there are many medical and natural alternatives. When approaching a topic that is as sensitive as impotence, it is helpful to be informed about what choices are available. This is conducive to finding the best course of treatment which suits you. When attempting to ascertain which may be most compatible, it is pragmatic to consider things like dosage, method of ingestion, longevity and potential side effects. 

What to do if Viagra does nothing for you 

Although Viagra is highly renowned for treating erectile dysfunction, it does not always function correctly the first time. In fact, research has shown that Viagra is only successful for just 54% of men who are new to the drug. Like any other medication, there is no certainty that it will be 100% effective for everyone due to variables such as medical background, weight and the individual's ability to metabolise drugs. A good doctor should make this clear and set realistic expectations for any patient who is being prescribed this pharmaceutical.

However, an unsuccessful first experience should not be taken as an automatic confirmation of the drug’s failure to work. It’s important to note that Viagra’s sildenafil citrate - as well as other PDE 5 inhibitors - may not take effect straight away. Many initial poor first impressions of it can often be attributed to unfortunate circumstances, where factors such as tiredness, stress or not giving it adequate time to work all come into play. It is consequently worth trying it a few more times before deciding to dismiss the drug.

If, after manifold attempts, this medication is still proving ineffective it is worth booking an appointment with a doctor who can explore this further, and if necessary, prescribe different types of ED medication.

What Viagra alternatives are there?

There is a wide variety of Viagra alternatives within the ED market that, although they contain slightly different ingredients, behave in an almost identical way. All substitutes to the original Viagra share the common trait - they are all vasodilators. These are a group of medications that dilate blood vessels and stop the constriction of muscles to help facilitate the flow of blood.

Whilst many of these are taken in a analogous way (i.e. orally), many manufacturers have recognised the need for diversity in ED drugs' ingestion and absorption by the body. For example, for those with deglutition issues there is now a diverse mix of liquids, creams and sprays that enable their user to rub, massage and spritz the drug’s active ingredients into their body. Regardless of form, any replacement should always be discussed with a doctor.

There is no one particular alternative which is superior. What is suited to one person may not be to another, so it all depends on the patient and their individual weight, BMI, medical history and preference. However, some of the best alternatives that are currently on the market are listed below.

Cialis: “The weekend pill”

Cialis, whose active ingredient is tadalafil, is manufactured by the American company Eli Lilly. In addition to treating erectile dysfunction, it is also prescribed as a remedy to ease benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and pulmonary arterial hypertension. These two conditions are better known as an enlarged prostate, and high blood pressure.

For anyone curious as to what it works like in the body, it behaves very similarly to other ED drugs. However, as this medication can last up to 36 hours, it is also referred to as the “weekend pill”. This substantial longevity has made it a popular pick amongst men who want a fast-acting, but long-lasting option. For those who require a drug with lengthier effects, this is often deemed to be better than Viagra, which typically lasts 6 hours.

Tadalafil: Cialis’ more affordable, generic version

The main and obvious difference between Tadalafil and Cialis is the fact the former is just the generic version of the latter, which is an established brand founded in the early ‘90s by a company named Icos, and later bought by Eli Lilly.

Clever marketing techniques prompt many to consciously buy into a brand over unbranded products - although there is no tangible difference in their mechanism of action. Research and development into a drug is onerous, expensive and fraught with complications along the way. As there is no need for generic versions to undertake this, manufacturers of the generic drug can price their products at a much cheaper cost.

This is the case with Tadalafil, which is a more affordable equivalent. Aside from the name on the box, both pills will behave in the same way.

Kamagra: Available in a pill or jelly

Manufactured by Indian pharmaceutical company, Ajanta Pharma, Kamagra Oral Jelly is made in India and exported worldwide. In addition to being produced as traditional pills, it is also available as a gel - the first of its kind for ED medication.

It comes in separate sachets in a wide variety of different and palatable flavours, which are squeezed directly into the mouth. This consistency makes it the ideal choice for anyone with dysphagia, a condition which makes swallowing difficult or sore. Like Viagra, its effects last up to 4 hours when taken as a jelly, and between 4-6 as a pill.

This unique manifestation of ED medication is available in the UK, where other names for it include sildenafil citrate jelly.

Levitra: for the fastest onset effect

Levitra is manufactured by Bayer Corporation, who is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world in Germany. It is the branded version of the vardenafil.

Although it operates almost identically to other drugs treating the same ailment, it is the only one that can be taken with a moderate amount of alcohol and takes effect in a mere 25 minutes. This makes it a preferable option for those who like to go out and socialise or who want to see quick results. It also has terrific longevity with effects that last between 4- 5 hours.

Vardenafil: the generic and cost-effective version of Levitra

Just as Tadalafil is the cheaper option to Cialis, Vardenafil is a less pricey substitute to Levitra. Using the active ingredient vardenafil hydrochloride, it operates by delaying PDE5 enzymes to regulate the penis blood flow in such a way that encourages erections.

Trademark laws dictate that a product’s branding should not look identical - or in some cases, even similar - to another. This means that there are no real distinguishing characteristics that separate its more well-known version other than the fact their packaging may look slightly different. To reiterate what has been discussed previously, this enables them to be sold at a much lower cost and help the customer make some savings.

For a generic version to be marketed and sold, it must also be authenticated as bio-equivalent, meaning it must contain the same active ingredient as the branded versions - as is the case with Vardenafil.

Viagra Connect: The original OTC “blue pill”

Containing 50mg of the active ingredient sildenafil, Viagra Connect was the first medication for ED to have been made available to purchase without a prescription, in the UK.

Concerned by the increasing numbers of men turning to unregulated sellers to treat their impotence, MHRA made the decision to formally classify Viagra Connect from a prescription-only medicine to an over-the-counter one. Since its brand conception in 1991, the name Viagra is now synonymous with treating ED and has established itself as a highly trusted and popular choice right across the globe.

A holistic approach: what natural Viagra substitutes are available?

Although conventional pharmaceuticals have proved themselves to be highly efficient in managing the frustrating symptoms of ED, many people decide to approach it from a more holistic angle, and advocate more natural approaches as a Viagra substitute. This can be both a conscious decision influenced by an increasingly green market, or the last-resort by individuals who cannot take ED pills due to pre-existing health complaints or conditions.

  • Red Ginseng

Non-prescription herbal alternatives include red ginseng (Panax Ginseng), a traditional Korean remedy that is widely believed to help ED. Besides being accessible, it also has a superb shelf life where, when steamed or dried it does not go out of date (expire) for up to 10 years.

However, as it can affect blood-sugar levels, any person on medication for diabetes should proceed with caution and discuss it with their doctor.

  • L-arginine

The non-essential amino acid L-arginine is also considered useful, and can be found in liquid, capsule and powder form online and in specialist supplement stores.

  • Acupuncture

Other holistic methods include the ancient practice of acupuncture, where its benefits are believed to focus more on psychological ED, rather than the physical symptoms.

As there is limited research into non-conventional treatments more research is necessary to determine alternatives that work and their efficacy over modern medicine. Always check the sources of any bold claims relating to their success.

  • Staying fit and healthy

Keeping the body in its best working order is also thought to ease the symptoms of ED. Whilst prevention is preferable, it is still crucial to stay active, follow a nutritious diet and limit stress so that both the mind and body are in peak condition.

Therapy or counseling with a specialist or therapist trained in sexual disorders also plays a pivotal role in treating ED, as sometimes its cause can be partly or fully psychological.

If none of these options are sufficient, there is the option to undergo a surgical treatment. Because of the risks involved, this should be a last resort, when all avenues have proven unsuccessful.

Can I take pills for ED?

It is paramount to converse with a trained medical professional when contemplating using sex pills as they are not appropriate for everyone. This encompasses people who:

  • Have a history of inherited eye diseases
  • Are on the medication riociguat or other nitrate drugs.
  • suffer from bleeding disorders
  • have heart-related problems.


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