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7 Alternatives to Viagra


Viagra has been found to be extremely efficacious in the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED); however, it does not work for everybody.

Levitra and Cialis are a couple of the other oral drugs available for the treatment of ED.

Food supplements and acupuncture are also other natural options in the treatment of ED.

Viagra has almost been synonymous with ED. This is due to the fact that Viagra was the first ever oral drug that claimed to cure ED. It received approval for public distribution from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) in the year 1998.


As mentioned above Viagra has been extremely successful in curing ED, but it does not work on everybody. For those unlucky ones, on whom Viagra is ineffective or unsuitable, there are some other drugs that could be tried out as also a few alternative ways to treat ED.



Alternative remedies for ED

Even though Viagra is the most well known and commonly prescribed remedy for ED, there are many others that are available in the market today. All of them work by enhancing the flow of blood to the penis, ensuring an erection and sustaining it long enough for sexual intercourse.

As each medication has a chemical composition that is unique, each of them would cause a different reaction. A bit of a trial and error routine would be necessary to find out which would best serve your own particular needs.

Only taking an oral medication is generally not sufficient to get an erection. Sexual stimulus, both physical as well as emotional is necessary to generate an erection.

A few other prescription drugs that are being used in the treatment of ED have been discussed below.

Avanafil (Stendra)

It is available in 50mg 100mg and 200mg tablet form. It should be taken around fifteen to thirty minutes prior to sexual activity, but should only be taken once a day. You can take it on either a full or an empty stomach.

Vardenafil (Levitra)

Levitra can be taken around one hour prior to sexual activity. The lowest dosage is generally 10 mg. The maximum dosage is one pill a day. You can take these on either a full or empty stomach.

Vardenafil (Staxyn)

Staxyn is different from other ED drugs as it is not swallowed down with water. The pill is placed on the tongue and is allowed to dissolve gradually. This has to be done around an hour before sexual activity.

The pill should not be chewed or split. It can be taken either on a full or an empty stomach but not with any liquids. The dosage per pill is 10mg and it can be taken only once in day.

Tadalafil (Cialis)

This is a pill that is taken orally and begins to take effect around half an hour after it is taken. It causes an improvement in erectile function for around 36 hours. Its lowest dose is 10mg and the dosage can be increased as necessary. It is to be taken when necessary but not more than once in a day. It can be taken on a full or an empty stomach.

It also has a once-a-day pill of a dosage of 2.5mg that has to be taken at the same time daily.



Risk factors and side effects

Prior to taking any medication for ED, you should inform your doctor about all your preexisting health problems, if any. Also, discuss any other medications or food supplements that you are presently taking. A few of the ED medications react with other medications causing dangerous side effects.

ED medications should not be taken if:

  1. You are taking nitrates that are generally prescribed as a remedy for chest pain (angina)
  2. You have hypotension (low blood pressure)

Besides, your doctor could advise you against using ED medication if:

  1. You take particular medications that could react with your ED medications and cause side effects.
  2. You have hypertension (uncontrolled high blood pressure)
  3. You have a diseased liver
  4. You are on dialysis for diseased kidneys

The most commonly occurring side effects of ED medication is temporary and includes;

  1. Aching muscles
  2. Stomach upset or indigestion
  3. Back pain
  4. Stuffy or runny nose
  5. Headache
  6. Flushing

Although not common, some ED drugs can cause a priapism which is an erection that refuses to go away. This is an extremely painful condition and could damage the penis. You should seek medical intervention if your erection lasts for more than 4 hours.

One other side effect of ED medication that is not very common is the impairment to hearing and vision, including color vision.


Natural remedies used in the treatment of ED

You may not be able to take oral drugs to treat ED if you have been taking other oral medications to treat some other health problems. Certain natural remedies are available for the treatment of ED and could provide relief from its symptoms; however, they have not been sufficiently researched upon to determine their potency. A considerable number of these products make claims of curing ED; however, the research into these is insufficient to reinforce such claims.

Whichever alternative you fix on, consult your doctor before you begin using it. Your doctor will help you take an informed decision on the best choice of medication for you.


This is an amino acid used in treating ED. A study in 1999 discovered that L-arginine in the oral form was synonymous with using a placebo to treat ED. However, another study on the same issue, discovered evidence that taken in high doses, L-arginine could enhance blood flow and help in curing ED. The probable side effects of this manner of treatment could include diarrhea, nausea and cramps. This medication should be avoided if you are on Viagra.


This is a healing technique that has been practiced from ancient times and was used to cure various health problems. Now it is being suggested that acupuncture can cure ED, but there is hardly any evidence available to prove the same.

In 2016 a systemic review conducted on acupuncture, failed to prove that it alone was responsible for curing ED. The authors of the study did however note that the sample studied was small in size and that the quality of the studies conducted was poor. They advocated more research on the technique.

In case you intend to try acupuncture techniques to cure your ED ensure that you visit a qualified and certified practitioner.

Red ginseng

This is a kind of herbal food supplement. A systemic review on seven studies conducted in 2008, discovered that red ginseng could be beneficial in the treatment of ED. The researchers however, advised that higher quality studies be conducted to determine more accurately the probable benefits and hazards of using red ginseng to treat ED.

Prior to giving red ginseng a try, discuss with your doctor on whether it would be suitable for you and about the dosage that you could need. The side effects of using red ginseng could include headaches, gastrointestinal ailments and sleep problems.

Your doctor needs to be informed about any other medications that you are taking as they could react with ginseng and cause dangerous side effects. If you are on medication for diabetes, use ginseng with caution as it could lower blood sugar levels.



What could you do now?

Your ED could be symptomatic of a medical condition that hasn’t been detected as yet. Therefore, a consultation with your medical practitioner is absolutely essential before embarking on treating your ED. Any additional symptoms that you could be experiencing should all be made known to your medical practitioner. He needs to know this as it would assist him in determining if the ED that you suffer from is an isolated condition or is being caused by another underlying problem. Your ED problem could be resolved by treating the underlying problem.

Tips to bear in mind when treating ED:

  1. ED medications should always be taken exactly as instructed by your medical practitioner if you are consulting one.
  2. Before increasing your dosage, discuss it with your medical practitioner and inform him of any noticeable side effects after.
  3. Do not assume that natural equals safe for use. Your natural or herbal dietary supplements could react with your other regular medications and cause side effects. Consult your medical practitioner or pharmacist, before you decide on any new course of treatment, even if it involves a natural supplement, and inform them of any side effects that you may experience.
  4. Mixing two kinds of treatment systems is not advisable as the interaction of both could cause harmful side effects. Using an oral, conventional medication, while simultaneously using a natural remedy is dangerous.

Apart from conventional drugs and natural remedies, you could also bring about a change in your ED condition by adopting a few changes in your lifestyle. These include;

  1. Avoid obesity and maintain a healthy body weight.
  2. Follow a regular exercise regiment in which aerobics are included.
  3. Limit your use of alcohol and completely avoid it if possible.
  4. Quit smoking.
  5. Ensure that you get adequate sleep every night.
  6. Give pelvic floor exercises a try. Some studies on the same have found that pelvic floor exercises should be the first line of approach in treating ED.

Some other treatment methods for ED include vacuum pumps, penile implants and blood vessel surgery. If after conventional treatment your ED problem still persists, discuss with your medical practitioner about other alternative methods of treatment that could be adopted by you.

Generic Medicine – What is it?

Although in India, the MCI did not officially define the term generic medicine/drug, the US FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) has issued a definition that describes a generic drug/medicine as being identical, or bioequivalent, to a branded drug in dosage form, quality, strength, safety, route of administration, intended use and performance characteristics. Even though chemically, generic drugs have the same composition as their branded counterparts, they are usually sold at considerable discounts from the price of their  branded counterparts. In short, a generic drug could be described as one that is named after its chemical constituent, such as Paracetamol which is the generic version of branded drugs such as Crocin and Calpol. Dr. Ashutosh Pattnaik, DNB, Radiation Oncology, Kamla Nehru Memorial Hospital, Allahabad, further explains that with generic drugs a consumer will be given chloroxylenol, instead of Dettol or Savlon at the medical store. This is because chloroxylenol is the generic variant of Dettol and Savlon.

Generic Drugs over Branded Ones

The differences between generic drugs and branded drugs is quite straightforward; generic drugs are different from branded ones in respect of the  manufacturing processes involved, the marketing and branding strategies adopted. With branded medication, their manufacturers tend to spend much more on the above mentioned parameters due to various reasons, resulting in them being priced higher. With generics, however, this expenditure is much lower allowing them to be priced much lower.


Can generics be easily accessed? Experts we spoke to were divided in their opinions. While a few doctors advocated the need for an increased number of medical stores retailing generic drugs all over the country, others felt that almost all generic drugs were freely available with all pharmacists and medical stores. Some opined that increased demand for generics would cause a corresponding expansion in the supply.

Cost Control Measures

As discussed previously, the main parameters that determine the cost of a drug are the manufacturing costs and the expenditure on marketing and promotion. However, if the same drug is available at widely varied prices in the market, how is a consumer to determine which one to choose? Or does this choice then vest with the pharmacist in question? Dr. Sunil Sharma, General Physician; Head of Emergency, Madan Mohan Malviya Hospital, Delhi, is of the view that the power does shift to the pharmacists. He also believes that the variations in pricing with generic drugs is an issue that requires checking and regulation. He feels that there needs to be some kind of uniformity in the pricing of generic medication.

Quality Issues

The issues relating to quality can be explained through an example; if the banded version of a drug is priced at Rs. 200, while its generic versions are priced between Rs. 20 to 250, how is a consumer to decide which of the generics available adheres to proper quality and standardization laws and which did not?

An orthopedic surgeon located in Delhi, who requested that he not be named, said that this was a good step but cautioned that there were many loopholes that had to be plugged before the directive could be implemented all over the country. Further, the doctor stated that at the moment it was difficult to ensure that the pharmacist was not selling substandard medication to meet his margin. He advocated that the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization put a system in place so that all the drugs available in the market could be monitored. A stringent system would negate the possibility of substandard drugs reaching the consumers.

The MCI directive is not mandatory and doctors have the freedom to prescribe branded medication. However, it clearly advocates that medical professionals write the name of the chemical compound that a drug contains along with its brand name so that the patient is better informed. Summing up the interviews with experts in the field, the following issues appeared predominant and were unanimity stressed on by all:

– Low-priced drugs are a necessity and should be made available to all.

– Quality should never be compromised on for anything.

– Generic drugs should also be prescribed for in patients along with out patients.

– The government machinery should actively work towards inculcating confidence in the minds of the people regarding the use of generic drugs.

– The use of low-priced, high-quality, generic consumables and tools should be advocated.


Generic ED Medications

The number of men suffering from impotence all over the world is believed to be at around a hundred and fifty million. This makes them a huge market of opportunity for pharmaceutical corporations looking to cash in on the battle against erectile dysfunction. However, until now, only three brands have been officially recognized as genuine cures for the condition. These are Levitra, Viagra and Cialis, whose manufacturers also hold the patent rights on them.

The constantly increasing number of men suffering from erectile dysfunction impacts the overall expenditure on treatment exponentially, running into billions of dollars as of today. Needless to say, the use of generic drugs, that tend to be much cheaper than their banded counterparts, could significantly reduce the cost of treatment; however, the fact remains that for the moment, within developed countries such as the USA, the use of generic drugs for the treatment of impotency has not yet been legalized.

Nonetheless, taking advantage of the different legislative and patent laws that prevail in various parts of the world, generic alternatives to popular brands of erectile dysfunction drugs have been produced and are being sold in the market as a more economical substitute to the highly priced branded ones. Generic substitutes for Levitra, Viagra and Cialis are predominantly sold online and are offered at hugely discounted prices, and needless to say attract a large number of men who are looking for improvement in their sexual lives without having to pay through the nose on their treatment.

A few of the low-prices alternatives available online include Tadacip, Caverta, Kamagra and Silagra. These medications that are predominantly manufactured by pharmaceutical companies in India, where the law does not allow for patent on medicine, ultimately find their way to clientele all over the world.

Our aim in putting forth these articles is not to get involved with the legalities of the issue on the use of generic drugs for the treatment of erectile dysfunction; we only wish to educate our readers on the issue and place before them the benefits and possible drawbacks that may not be revealed to them by their online vendors.

Advantages and Drawbacks of Using Generic Medications

In these tumultuous times, with the global financial crisis that gripped the US and other leading economies of the world just out of the way, and the economic slowdown that followed adversely affecting a majority of the world population, now more than ever before people even in the developed countries are attempting to cut corners and be frugal in all aspects of their lives. Consequently, people are also trying to economize when it comes to their medical bills.

Fortunately, pharmaceutical conglomerates globally have moved with the times and now offer a number of legal methods to shrink medical bills without compromising on quality and safety standards. Possibly , the most important measure adopted by pharmaceutical companies would probably be the production of generic medications as substitutes to the expensive brands.

A generic medication or drug has been defined by the United States Food and Drug Administration ( USFDA) agency as  a copy of a branded drug that is the same in dosage , strength, safety, intended use,  how it’s taken, performance and quality. Thus, generic drugs could be described as duplicates or clones of their branded counterparts, containing active components that are exactly the same and providing effects that are identical to that of the branded drugs.

Nonetheless, there are noticeable differences that exist between branded drugs and generic drugs. Of course, a glaring difference would be that of their names. Whereas, branded drugs have well thought out names that can be recalled easily, such as Chantix, Prozac, Viagra, etc., their generic counterparts usually have names that are based upon their primary chemical components, such as, varenicline tartrate, fluoxetine hydrochliride, sildenafil, etc.

Another major difference that exists between branded medications and those that are generic is the manner in which they are priced. This is the predominant difference between the two, and is the most important difference for a consumer from an economic stand point.

Proof of the difference can be obtained by comparing a some prices: e.g. a pill of the drug Zyban that helps one give up smoking will cost around 3.3 dollars, while its generic version would cost only around 1.16 dollars; the popular antidepressant drug Prozac will cost about 6.20 dollars while the generic substitute can be bought for around 0.8 dollars. Thus, one could cut down on substantially on expenditure by using generic forms of medications.

However, there exists a mindset among most people that the more expensive a product the better it is in terms of quality and safety, and vice versa. This could be true at times; however, the same if applied to generic medicine would ring false.

This is because the actual reason for the price difference can be explained in the peculiarities of patent system and not in the production quality. The patent system, in general, aims at protecting new discoveries. When a new drug is discovered by a   pharmaceutical firm, that cures a particular ailment, they have to conduct a series of clinical trials to prove the effectiveness of the drug and how safe it is, before they are granted an approval for mass production and a patent on the drug by the government health authorities. The patent is usually time bound and expires after a certain period of time, usually over a period of fifteen to twenty years.

Once a drug is patented only the company that holds its patent will be allowed to produce and distribute the drug over the life of the patent. It is during this time that companies take advantage of their exclusive patent rights and fix prices of such drugs at a premium, in order to recover all costs that went into discovery, development, clinical trials and applying for and obtaining the patent, and finally on promoting and marketing of the drug.

Once a patent on a drug has expired, other pharma companies are permitted to begin producing generic substitutes of the branded drug. Since they have only to produce a drug that has been tried and tested and they do not have to spend on the research and investigation, as also clinical trials, their costs of production tend to be significantly low; besides, stiff competition among a number of producers keeps them from charging a high price for the drugs. This is the primary reason for generic medicine being price at a highly discounted price when compared to its branded counterpart.

It is a known fact that in the US about fifty percent of all medical prescriptions are for generic drugs. Statistics available on the utilization of generic substitutes there state that on an average generic drugs help patients cut down on their medical bills, which leads to a total annual saving of around 8 to10 billion dollars. The savings are much more when the hospitals that utilize generics are taken into consideration.

However, there also exists a cautionary side to the generics story that needs to be told as well.

Firstly, the point to be underscored here is that every branded drug does not have a generic substitute. Some medications that were developed more recently, and are being protected by their patents, will only be available as branded drugs.

The dilemma here is whether to pay a high price for the revolutionary new treatment using a branded drug or to economize by opting for earlier treatment methods for which generic drugs are available. One needs to understand here that the older treatment methods should not be considered substandard as they have been tried and tested on millions as opposed to treatment methods that have developed more recently that will not have a proven track record.

Another issue that crops up with generic drugs is the wide spread infiltration of unauthorized versions of generic medicine. These generics are produced and made available in the market much before the expiry of the patent on the branded drug. Often, it is found that such generic medications originated in countries such as India and were being sold online all over the world. Apart from the legalities of the issue, the story on the unauthorized production of generic drugs is a cause for concern, if true.

In a way, one could say that it is a good thing that inexpensive generic drugs are being made available to people immediately, rather than having to wait for years before the authorized generic becomes available. However, there are no guarantees with such medication that is not lawfully produced. One cannot tell for sure whether such medication, probably produced in some part of Asia, is exactly the same as its branded counterpart in matters of its dosage, its safety factor, its strength, its quality as well as its performance. Some of these generics could actually be good products, produced in sound facilities, possibly based in India rather than California; but some others could be health hazards containing impurities, unknown compounds, have incorrectly labeled dosages, etc.

The choice in the issue, on whether you want to or don’t want to use generic drugs, will always be a personal one. Both sides have their share of pros and cons. With a generic, you are offered low pricing and complete bio equivalence with its branded counterpart, ensuring the same safety and quality standards.

Before you make up your mind on a generic drug, ensure that it has been given legal sanction in your country (a list of branded drugs, with their generic substitutes, can be found on the U.S. CDER website). Provided that your generic is legal, it is completely alright  to prefer it over branded drugs and economize; if you are unsure about its legality and still favor using it to its branded counterpart, do a bit of research on it and its manufacturer before your mind is made up.