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What is over the counter viagra?

What is over the counter viagra?

Stefano Mirabello NowPatientGreen tick
Medically reviewed by Stefano Mirabello, BPharm and written by Rajive Patel, BPharm - Updated on 8 Sep 2023
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Table of contents
OverviewWhat is an over the counter (OTC) drug?Can you buy Viagra or other ED meds over the counter?How is over the counter Viagra different?Which are the most popular over the counter sex aids?What should I try if I have erectile dysfunction?Sources

OK, so you want something to help with your erectile dysfunction. You’ve obviously heard of Viagra, but you don’t want to deal with a doctor face-to-face to get some ED meds. What about over the counter drugs?

There seems to be plenty available and some even seem to do more than Viagra, helping you last longer and get bigger erections. So, what’s the deal with over the counter Viagra? Is it legit? Let’s find out.

What is an over the counter (OTC) drug?

Over the counter drugs are medicines you can buy directly without needing a prescription. You can simply walk into a pharmacy and buy OTC medications there and then. You don’t need to talk to a doctor first.

Can you buy Viagra or other ED meds over the counter?

No. In the US, you can’t get Viagra over the counter. You need a prescription from a doctor before you can buy it. Other ED medications are the same too. These include Cialis and Levitra.

The same goes for generic Viagra (called sildenafil) and generic Cialis and Levitra (called tadalafil and vardenafil). They’re all prescription drugs.

We can’t say for sure, as it’s up to the FDA and the companies that make the ED medications, but it’s most likely because:

  • ED meds can have side effects. Viagra and other ED medications are safe for most men to use, but they can cause serious side effects, like heart problems and vision loss. These are more likely in men with certain conditions and who take certain medications. A consultation with a doctor can make sure ED medications are right for you
  • ED meds can be abused. ED drugs are safest when they’re taken as prescribed. If you take too much or take them too often you can increase your risk of serious side effects. Some men do misuse ED medications, often in the mistaken belief they’ll boost their sex drive and their sexual performance. If ED drugs are sold over the counter it could make them easier to abuse
  • ED can be an indication you have a serious health problem. ED has a lot of potential causes, both physical and psychological. Some of the physical causes are serious health conditions, like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. If you have ED you should get a health check, but if you could buy ED meds over the counter, some men may ignore the causes of their ED and skip the health check

How is over the counter Viagra different?

First off, over the counter Viagra is not Viagra. Viagra is an FDA approved prescription medicine that contains the active ingredient sildenafil citrate.

Over the counter Viagra refers to a collection of “male enhancement” pills and herbal remedies. None of them contain the same active ingredient (or not legally anyway) and they don’t work in the same way as Viagra.

Another important difference is what these over the counter drugs claim to do. Whereas Viagra and other ED meds have a specific use (to treat ED), these over the counter products make a broader range of claims. They promise to combat ED, but also to help you last longer, get bigger erections, boost your testosterone and have more stamina. Usually with little to no evidence to back any of this up.

“Over the counter Viagra” has so little in common with prescription ED medications we shouldn’t even be calling them over the counter Viagra. Over the counter sex aids is a better name.

Visit your local pharmacy and you’ll most likely come across sex aids like:

  • Extenze
  • Libido Max
  • Male Extra
  • Virectin
  • VigRX Plus

All of them claim to work in a similar way. They contain a range of ingredients, like l-argenine, yohimbe and horny goat weed. They say these ingredients will boost circulation, increase testosterone and enhance your performance in a variety of ways.

You can also see herbal and dietary supplements sold as sex aids, like:

  • L-argenine: an amino acid
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA): a steroid hormone
  • Various plant extracts, including pycnogenol, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, and horny goat weed

There is some scientific evidence that the ingredients in these sex aids and herbal supplements could improve your erections. However, most of the claims made by these products aren’t proven by science.

Are over the counter sex aids safe?

Some of these products may be effective and some may be safe, but it’s hard to know which ones.

Herbal remedies and dietary supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA as strictly as prescription medications. They may contain ingredients that haven’t been thoroughly tested on people and that aren’t proven to work. Even worse, these ingredients could have side effects and could interact with other medications.

Sometimes herbal remedies, supplements and OTC drugs also contain ingredients not listed on the packaging or amounts of ingredients that differ to those listed. These hidden ingredients could also be harmful.

If you think this sounds rare or unlikely, you should know that the FDA has issued warning notifications against hundreds of OTC sex aid products for having potentially hazardous hidden ingredients in them. This includes some of the popular brands, like Vimax and Extenze Plus.

What should I try if I have erectile dysfunction?

If you’ve got erectile dysfunction, don’t waste your time on unproven and potentially harmful pills or supplements. You should try a proven medication like Viagra, Cialis or Levitra.

If you don’t like the idea of having a face-to-face conversation with a doctor you can also get a prescription through an online consultation. This can be more discrete, less embarrassing and can save you time and hassle.

We offer this service at FROM MARS. Our doctors can assess you and are licensed to issue prescriptions in the US. You can order your ED meds directly from us too. We offer:

Start your online consultation with us today. You’ll be asked for details about your medical history and symptoms and if approved you’ll receive a treatment plan from a doctor within two hours. Your medication will be shipped for free to your door within two days.

Sources

Medical Disclaimer

NowPatient has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that all material is factually accurate, complete, and current. However, the knowledge and experience of a qualified healthcare professional should always be sought after instead of using the information in this page. Before taking any drug, you should always speak to your doctor or another qualified healthcare provider.

The information provided here about medications is subject to change and is not meant to include all uses, precautions, warnings, directions, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or negative effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a particular medication does not imply that the medication or medication combination is appropriate for all patients or for all possible purposes.

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