Like Cialis, but without the branding (so it's cheaper). 'Weekend' and daily options available.See treatments
An orodispersible ED medication you don't have to swallow. The tablet melts in your mouth.See treatments
Non-branded version of Levitra. Works in the same way, but cheaper.See treatments
Lower dose pill. Better option if you're older or have a pre-existing condition like diabetes.See treatments
Like Viagra, but cheaper and works in the same way. Non-branded version of the original ED drug.See treatments
Comes as an on-demand pill that lasts for 36 hours, or as a daily dose that's active all the time.See treatments
It’s estimated that hundreds of millions of men around the world get ED. So it follows that there are quite a lot of different erectile dysfunction treatments available – no one treatment is ever going to work perfectly for everyone.
For the first time user, it might not seem obvious where to start. But luckily, there is a ‘path’ you can follow – starting with a certain type of ED drug if you’re new to treatment, and moving onto other types if these don’t work.
The most common treatment for erectile dysfunction is a type of drug known as a ‘PDE5 inhibitor’, which includes the famous Viagra (sildenafil) and Cialis (tadalafil), as well as vardenafil and avanafil. These will all work in largely similar ways, which is to relax the muscles around your penis and increase blood flow, making it easier to achieve an erection when you become aroused.
Usually you’ll need to take these drugs around an hour before you plan to have sex, and they’ll last in your system for around five hours. But some drugs, like Cialis, can be taken daily, or stay in your system for longer – so you can be ‘good to go’ whenever you need to.
Typically, if you’re taking ED drugs for the first time, you’ll be recommended one of sildenafil or tadalafil. This is because they have a proven record of being effective treatments, and come as an oral tablet – meaning many people use them without too much difficulty.
But they’re not always going to work or be suitable for everyone. Fortunately, there’s also a range of different types of treatments including creams, injections and tablets that melt on your mouth. In the table below, you can compare the different ED treatments on offer, and weigh up their pros and cons, so you can see whether they could be right for you.
Everyone is different. So the best ED treatment for you might be completely different to what’s best for someone else. ED treatments need a prescription, so it’s important to be honest about your health when you talk to your clinician about treatment options, as well as the extent of your condition. And tell them about any other medications you might be taking – as these could impact your suitability for different treatments.
Keep in mind that whatever treatment you try isn’t guaranteed to work straight away. Finding the right treatment for you can take time, and many people find that their treatment doesn’t start working for them until they’ve tried it a few times. So don’t worry if you’ve tried a treatment a couple of times and it’s not worked – sometimes the third time’s the charm.
Right now, there aren’t any licensed over-the-counter options for erectile dysfunction. All ED treatments currently on offer in Canada are prescription only, so you’ll need to have a consultation with a physician or nurse practitioner before you can take them.
In the UK, there is a version of Viagra called Viagra Connect that’s available without a prescription, but you can’t get this in Canada.
Sometimes a treatment might not work the same way it used to, or you might be struggling with some side effects, or perhaps you’ve been recommended a different treatment by someone else. Whatever the reason, our experts can give you the advice you need.
Talk to us about your health, and we’ll talk you through what options can be most suitable for you. Whether you want to change your dosage, or try a new treatment entirely, we offer a range of treatments on flexible subscriptions. So whichever treatment is right for you, we’ll help you find it.
The global prevalence of erectile dysfunction: a review. BJU International, 124(4), pp.587–599.
Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) Inhibitors In the Management of Erectile Dysfunction. Pharmacy and Therapeutics, [online] 38(7), pp.407–419.
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