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Know the Different Kinds of Erectile Dysfunction Pills

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Erectile Dysfunction pills are the most widely known treatment for impotence in men or people assigned male at birth. 

Usually, they are the first line of treatment for Erectile Dysfunction (ED).

Choosing the right treatment is crucial. You may encounter several over-the-counter ED pills while selecting an ED pill. You must avoid taking such medications as their risk may be far greater than their benefit.

Over the years, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several medications, including Sildenafil, Tadalafil, Vardenafil, and Avanafil, for the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction.

This article will discuss the different kinds of Erectile Dysfunction pills to help you make the right choice.


Sildenafil was the first drug to get FDA approval for the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction.

Initially, clinical trials were conducted to use Sildenafil in the treatment of Hypertension and Angina.

However, clinical trial patients reported that they were able to achieve long-lasting erections easily.

As per a study by Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, this accidental discovery of Sildenafil evolved into a revolutionary new oral treatment for Erectile Dysfunction.

Pfizer brought the new oral treatment to the market under the brand name Viagra.

Pfizer’s patent ran out in 2020. This allowed other companies to manufacture and sell generic Viagra medications.

Some generic Sildenafil medications include Cenforce, Kamagra, and Suhagra.

Sildenafil tablets are known to work within thirty to sixty minutes after consumption. The effects of Sildenafil last up to four hours.

The doctor can decide the Sildenafil dosage, based on the severity of your condition and response to the treatment. However, it is recommended not to take more than one pill in 24 hours. 


Tadalafil pills are commonly known by the name of ‘weekend pills’ because their effects last up to 36 hours.

One Tadalafil pill taken on a Friday night might work till Sunday morning, making it the weekend pill.

However, you should note that the pill’s effects may vary from person to person. This is because of the difference in age, body mass, prevailing health conditions, and other factors.

Tadalafil’s effects may be visible anytime between 15 minutes to 2 hours after consumption. So, you should take the medicine accordingly.

Tadalafil is unaffected by food contents or alcohol in the body. So, you can take it after a heavy meal without worrying about the effectiveness of the tablet.

Some commonly available Tadalafil pills are Vidalista, Tadarise, and Tadacip. The brand name for Tadalafil is Cialis.


Vardenafil comes in the form of regular tablets and disintegrating tablets.

You can swallow the regular tablet with a glass of water. Some commonly prescribed Vardenafil tablets are Levitra and Snovitra.

On the other hand, you can place the disintegrating tablet on your tongue and allow it to dissolve. 

According to research, this newer form of medication works faster than regular tablets.

A 2012 paper states that the peak effects of Vardenafil are visible within 1 hour of consumption. However, Vardenafil pills usually start to show initial results within 30 minutes.

Vardenafil lasts a little longer than Sildenafil. Typically, it lasts for 4 to 6 hours. 


Avanafil belongs to the second generation of PDE-5 inhibitors.

According to a group study, first-generation PDE-5 inhibitors such as Sildenafil formulations show a slow onset of action in patients.

This required patients to plan the timing of their sexual activity. It also led to the need for faster working PDE-5 inhibitors.

Second-generation PDE-5 inhibitors such as Avanafil show a rapid onset of action. Patients usually take it 15 minutes before engaging in sexual activity.

As per a study, its peak effects might be visible within 30 to 45 minutes of consumption. Typically, the effects of Avanafil last for a maximum of 6 hours in an individual.

Some commonly available Avanafil tablets are Avaforce and Avana.

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  • The working of Erectile Dysfunction pills

    Erectile Dysfunction pills aim to reverse the effects of Erectile Dysfunction. They do so by increasing the blood flow to the penile region. 

    These pills belong to a group of medicines called Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5) inhibitors.

    They selectively inhibit the action of PDE-5 enzymes in the penile region. This allows the blood vessels to expand and increase blood flow.

    The increased blood flow to the penis aids in attaining and sustaining an erection. However, sexual stimulation is still required for the medication to work.

    Consult your doctor before taking ED pills if you are already taking medicines for heart problems or high blood pressure.

    Side effects of Erectile Dysfunction pills

    DizzinessSource: bymuratdeniz_from_Getty_Images
    Feeling dizzy

    Some common side effects of Erectile Dysfunction medicines are 

    However, not all side effects are common among these medicines.

    To help you get a better understanding, we will also discuss side effects unique to specific medications.

    Vision changes

    These tablets may cause abnormal vision changes, such as decreased or blurred vision. In rare cases, they can also cause sudden or decreased vision loss.

    However, vision changes associated with the use of Sildenafil and Vardenafil also include difficulty in separating blue or green colors and increased light sensitivity.

    Seizures (Convulsions)

    In rare events, Sildenafil or Vardenafil may also cause seizures.

    Sudden electrical disturbances in the brain characterize seizures. This can cause changes in your behavior, consciousness levels, and movements or feelings.


    Use of Sildenafil or Vardenafil may also cause swelling in your hands, feet, or ankles.

    Besides this, Avanafil can cause swelling of one or both legs along with redness, warmth, and pain.

    Remember that this is a list of possible side effects. It is not necessary that you may face any or all of these side effects.

    Your doctor may prescribe these medications because, in their opinion, the benefit from these medications is more than the risk of potential side effects.

    You should note that this is not a complete list of possible side effects. Contact a medical professional if you face any mild to severe side effects.

    Key differences

    All the Erectile Dysfunction medicines are very similar to each other. However, they also have some differences.

    Here’s an overview of the different Erectile Dysfunction medications.

    Onset of actionWithin 30 minutes of consumptionAnytime between 15 minutes to two hoursWithin 30 minutes after consumptionWithin 15 minutes of consumption
    How long do the effects last?4 to 5 hours.Upto 36 hours4 to 6 hours, might remain upto 8 hoursUpto 6 hours
    Time of Peak effectsWithin 1 hour of consumptionWithin 30 to 120 minutes of consumptionWithin 1 hour of consumptionWithin 30 to 45 minutes of consumption

    Which ED pill should I take

    ED pillSource: michellegibson
    Taking medicine

    When choosing a treatment for your erection problems, it is best to consult a doctor.

    Apart from oral Erectile Dysfunction pills, several other treatment options are available.

    Your doctor will suggest the treatment that is most suitable for you. ED pills are the most convenient and usually the first line of treatment for erection problems.

    Among the various pills available, choosing the right pill to treat ED depends on multiple factors.

    If you want long-lasting effects, you may prefer Tadalafil tablets, whereas Avanafil may be preferred for quick results.

    So, discuss with your doctor the problems you’re facing and the results you expect from the treatment. 

    Based on the discussion about your symptoms and diagnosis, the doctor may prescribe a suitable treatment.

    • AMAB: Assigned male at birth.
    • Erectile Dysfunction:It is the inability of a man to have or maintain an erection.
    • PDE-5 inhibitors: They are a group of medications that affect blood flow and how cells communicate in the body. PDE-5 inhibitors block the PDE-5 enzymes to prevent them from working.
    • Priapism: It is an erection that lasts more than 4 hours. It may also be painful sometimes.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the safest drug for Erectile Dysfunction?

    FDA-approved medications are safe to use for the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction.

    Medications that have FDA approval for the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction include Sildenafil, Tadalafil, Vardenafil, and Avanafil.

    Do Erectile Dysfunction pills work?

    ED pills are an effective treatment for Erectile Dysfunction. They can help achieve and maintain an erection by increasing blood flow to the penis.

    However, you cannot achieve an erection without sexual stimulation.

    What ED pills work immediately?

    The second-generation ED pill- Avanafil pills, work almost immediately. They start to show effects within 15 minutes of consumption.

    If you are allergic to Avanafil, consult your doctor. They may recommend Sildenafil or Vardenafil tablets for treating ED.

    Tadalafil is also an effective medication for ED and is known to work within 15 minutes of consumption in some individuals.

    Cheap Medicine Shop only refers to credible, authoritative sources for our content. If you’re curious about how we ensure the integrity of our content, we encourage you to read our Content Information Policy.

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    Photo of author Janet Fudge
    Janet Fudge is a highly skilled and experienced pharmacologist who serves as a contributing writer for With a strong academic background from a premier US University and a passion for helping others, Janet has become a trusted voice in the pharmaceutical world. After completing her Doctor of Pharmacy degree, Janet embarked on a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, working with various clients, including hospitals, retail pharmacies, and drug manufacturers. Her in-depth knowledge of pharmacology and dedication to patient-centered care has led her to excel in her field. As a writer for, Janet uses her wealth of expertise to provide readers with accurate, reliable, and up-to-date information on various topics related to medicine and healthcare. Her engaging writing style and ability to break down complex topics into easily digestible content make her a valuable resource for healthcare professionals and the general public.
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