Top 7 Viagra Alternatives – Synthetic and Natural Pills for ED Treatment

While Sildenafil Citrate still considered by many a very strong drug that has no serious competition, the reality is that there are medications that could be better in some scenarios or just be straight up superior due to some additional features that Viagra lacks. Before we discuss them and focus our attention on different alternatives in the market, we must talk about the brand of Viagra and why we are cursed to compare every single drug to this history altering medication that was released in 1998.

Sildenafil Citrate was not an overnight discovery that immediately changed the landscape of the pharmaceutical market. In fact, the very brand name Viagra was not conceived until late 90s while the development was at full speed for over a decade. We found PDE inhibitors way before the talks about PDE5 inhibitors started. The discussion was mostly about the property of this group of inhibitors to affect the production rate of cGMP which is a really important microelement that supervises how much NO is released to relax smooth muscles.

Initially, we believed that all drugs from the PDE5 inhibitor class were promising pharmacological treatments for angina, chest burn, and/or arterial hypertension. While it was ultimately true, one particular adverse effect changed the direction taken by the initial developer of Sildenafil Citrate. Pfizer started exploring ways to use Sildenafil in the end of 1980s. By the beginning of 1990s, they were testing the drug clinically to approve it as a drug against arterial hypertension. During tests, scientists discovered that patients who took the drug reported huge improvements to their erectile function regardless of whether they had issues related to erection or not.

Cialis/Tadalafil

The first true contender for the place of the best erectile dysfunction drug appeared in November 2003. While the direct competitor of Viagra appeared a couple of months earlier, Cialis received a much better warmer welcoming and became hugely successful in a glance of an eye. Chunks of market were torn by a marketing campaign from Lilly ICOS. Cialis was an undeniable success.

There were several reasons why the new medication took off so well and managed to push away the juggernaut of Viagra. We can summarize some of pivotal reasons in three simple lines:

  • Cialis kept being active for up to 40 hours after the initial intake;
  • Cialis could be used as a recreational once-per-day drug;
  • Tadalafil became a very effective medication to treat early stages of BPH.

This made the newcomer a more attractive option for many patients who were looking for a drug that would actually help to treat ED in a systemic manner instead of using a blue pill an hour before a planned sexual intercourse. When it was announced that the medication is also a good remedy for BPH, men started to switch from Viagra to Cialis rapidly. The change of the mood in the market was quite palpable.

Levitra/Vardenafil

In August 2003, the market quietly welcomed the arrival of Levitra. The initial marketing campaign was small and not as loud as some would have expected. This was a direct competitor to Viagra. Vardenafil has nearly the same pharmacodynamics and shares a lot of similarities with Sildenafil including the half-life period. While Cialis has a 17.5 hour half-life period allowing it to stay in the body for up to 36-40 hours, both Vardenafil and Sildenafil have a mere 4 hour half-life period. Different reports have slightly differing periods, but both drugs work roughly similarly in terms of action time and persistence of the effect.

Levitra is a drug that has two distinct effects on the male body:

  1. Helping to achieve erection through a mechanism very similar to that of Viagra;
  2. Extending the intravaginal latency to make men last longer in bed.

Vardenafil was a life-saver for men who experienced complex sexual dysfunctions. Erectile dysfunction is not the only problem that plague men. Modern sexual standards demand men to maintain erection for longer periods of time and even a small increase to intravaginal latency was a welcomed addition to the arsenal of a struggling man. Soon enough, Viagra had to give up some more space on the market to a drug that was actually superior in every conceivable way and lost only in marketing. However, both these drugs were soon challenged by another interesting medication that became very popular amongst men in North America.

Stendra

Another huge competitor arrived to the NA market in April of 2012. Another PDE5 inhibitor Avanafil was approved by the FDA and entered the market under two trademarks Stendra and Spedra. The success rate, effectiveness, and dosages were very similar to both Levitra and Viagra, but this new drug had a very distinct advantage to quickly start making more space for itself in market.

Avanafil has the shortest adsorption rate amongst all approved PDE5 inhibitors. This significantly shortens the onset of action. While Viagra and Levitra may take up to 1-2 hours to start working, Stendra “kicks in” within minutes after the intake. When used on empty stomach or after a very light meal, the drug start working after 30 minutes. Amongst test subjects about 60% were capable of achieving strong erection within 15 minutes with some reporting signs of erection even earlier.

Zydena

Another next generation PDE5 inhibitor that is waiting for the approval from the FDA alongside Helleva from Brazil. One of the most effective and quickly working PDE5 inhibitors to date, Zydene is a drug that can be purchased online in some pharmacies for personal usage. This is a medication that has several advantages compared to Viagra. For example, Zydene has a short onset of action reaching the maximum concentration in plasma in less than 90 minutes meaning that you can expect the drug to start working within 1.5 hours after the intake. When taken on empty stomach, the drug starts working within 30-60 minutes.

Alprostadil

One of the most interesting drugs against erectile dysfunction that was discovered over half a century ago in 1957. Initially used to treat toddlers with congenital heart defects. However, scientists later noticed that a direct injection of a small amount of prostaglandin in a flaccid penis helps to achieve and maintain erection for a long time. After a series of clinical tests, the drug was approved by the FDA for treating erectile dysfunction and entered the market in an injectable form. Later, a urethral suppository option was also introduced the market.

For a long time, men could purchase only an injectable form or opt for special mixes available as generic drugs in the open market. You can purchase prostaglandin in online pharmacies and store it in bulks in a refrigerator to use when needed in small quantities. However, this is a very effective yet inconvenient treatment method that drove away many people especially since much more convenient and easy-to-use methods started arriving to the market. Namely, PDE5 inhibitors in pills that immediately made prostaglandin an outdated solution.

Papaverine

One of the oldest drugs in the market and has been around for literally centuries and introduced to western medicine in the middle of 19th century. This compound is extracted from opium poppy seeds and has been used as a drug against spasms and arterial hypertension as well as an herbal solution against erectile dysfunction with a 70% success rate. 7 out of 10 patients report minor improvements to their conditions. There are various ways to use it.

Yohimbine

There are various herbal alternatives to Viagra and Levitra. However, none of them work as efficiently or can be used as a really good first-level treatment. If you need results, you will never try herbal drugs before using time-tested solutions that have been around for decades. We do know that Viagra and Levitra help. However, there is insufficient data on Yohimbine or other plants that supposedly improve the erectile function. Despite claims of healers and herbalists, these extracts are far from being effective and will more often than not be absolutely useless.