Erectile dysfunction (ED) can be discouraging. Although the main symptom of ED is sexual dysfunction, people can also experience anxiety, depression, and strained relationships. Several things—ranging from underlying health conditions to lifestyle factors—can cause this inability to achieve or maintain an erection, and the condition is more common in older than younger men.
Luckily, treatment options exist. A healthcare professional can help address any underlying medical condition and make suggestions for lifestyle changes, such as improving overall health, decreasing alcohol use, or quitting smoking. When appropriate, doctors may also prescribe erectile dysfunction drugs.
The most common types of drugs to treat ED are PDE-5 inhibitors. These work by blocking an enzyme that triggers the end of an erection. While some websites market over-the-counter erectile dysfunction drugs, these are not guaranteed to be either safe or effective. It’s always best to get ED drugs prescribed by a healthcare professional and purchased from a licensed pharmacy. You can do this online if you know the right steps.
What Is Erectile Dysfunction?
In order to have penetrative sex, a man needs an erection, which occurs when he’s aroused and blood flows into the penis. Erectile dysfunction happens when, for some reason, the penis can’t fill with enough blood to become rigid. Symptoms of erectile dysfunction include:
- Inability to get an erection at all
- Inability to get an erection sometimes
- Inability to maintain an erection long enough to have fulfilling sex
- Reduced sexual desire
A number of things can cause erectile dysfunction, including underlying medical conditions such as:
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Atherosclerosis (clogged blood vessels)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Metabolic syndrome
- Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders
- Multiple sclerosis
- Low testosterone
- Injuries to or surgeries to the pelvis or spinal cord
Certain lifestyle factors can also make a person more likely to experience sexual dysfunction:
- Excessive alcohol use
- Other kinds of substance abuse
- Prescription medications, including antidepressants and medications that treat high blood pressure, pain, or prostate conditions
- Being older. Though younger men can get ED, the chances a man will experience erectile dysfunction increase with age
A man can also experience erectile dysfunction due to emotional factors such as:
- Relationship problems
- Embarrassment or shame about sex
What Medications Treat Erectile Dysfunction?
A number of medications can effectively treat erectile dysfunction. The most commonly used medications are phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors. These work by blocking the action of an enzyme that causes the end of an erection called phosphodiesterase.
Currently, five PDE-5 inhibitors are approved by the Food and Drug Administration:
- Sildenafil (Viagra)
- Vardenafil (Levitra)
- Tadalafil (Cialis)
- Avanafil (Stendra)
Each medication has its own potential side effects, but some of the most common ED drug side effects include headache, vision changes, dizziness, gastrointestinal problems, congestion, and facial flushing. ED drugs can also interact with other medications. Your medical provider or a K doctor can help you determine which medication is best for you.
If a PDE-5 doesn’t work for you or suit your needs, your healthcare provider may suggest another form of ED treatment, such as:
- Alprostadil self-infection, in which a man uses a needle to inject alprostadil (Caverject or Edex) into the penis
- Alprostadil suppository, in which a man places a suppository inside the urethra with an applicator
- Testosterone replacement if the cause of ED is related to low testosterone levels
- As a last resort, more invasive ED treatment options, such as penile implants or penis pumps
Can You Get Erectile Dysfunction Pills Online?
The safest way to get erectile dysfunction pills online is by consulting a doctor or other licensed prescriber online (including through K Health).
An online doctor can determine which ED medication is safe and appropriate for you, provide a prescription, and supervise your treatment plan. The prescription may be filled at a local pharmacy or via a licensed online mail-order pharmacy. K Health offers all-inclusive pricing. For as low as $11, you can chat with a doctor, get an ED prescription, and get the medication shipped discreetly to your door.
Some websites advertise and sell erectile dysfunction drugs that don’t require a prescription or herbal supplements for ED. However, these products aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and they could contain unsafe ingredients or a risky amount of one ingredient.
This can result in serious side effects, or the pills may simply be ineffective. Always get a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider and obtain the medication from a licensed pharmacy.
Is It Safe to Buy ED Pills Online?
Erectile dysfunction drugs available through a pharmacy and prescribed by a licensed healthcare provider are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, which means they’ve been studied and proved to be safe and effective.
If you buy ED drugs (including herbal remedies) online without a prescription, you risk buying a product with potentially harmful ingredients. One FDA report found that one-third of ED supplements they tested contained unlisted and potentially dangerous drugs or components, including PDE-5 inhibitor ingredients. These can cause serious side effects when taken in unknown amounts or without consulting a healthcare professional who has knowledge of your medical history and other medications.
Additionally, ED drugs that aren’t FDA-approved may be completely ineffective because they’re not held to any standard of efficacy. The FDA lists several ED products to avoid on its website. This includes but isn’t limited to:
- Lycium Barbarum L.
- Adam Free
- Rhino V Max
- True Man
- Energy Max
- HS Joy of Love
- Blue Steel
- Super Shangai
- Strong Testis
- Shangai Ultra
- Shangai Ultra X
- Lady Shangai
- Shangai Regular, also marketed as Shangai Chaojimengnan
- Naturalë Super Plus
- Xiadafil VIP tablets (Lots 6K029 and 6K209-SEI only)
It’s important to visit your healthcare provider or chat with a K doctor if you’re experiencing erectile dysfunction. The provider can review your symptoms and medical history, address any underlying medical conditions or lifestyle factors, and help identify the safest, most effective treatment option for you.
What Is the Cheapest Way to Get ED Pills Online?
If you seek the most cost-effective way to get ED pills online, a few things can help:
- Ask if your insurance covers a portion of the prescription
- Consider generic prescriptions, which are usually much cheaper and come with a lower copay than brand-name drugs
- Sometimes pharmacies have coupons, so ask your pharmacist
When buying ED pills online, always purchase from a licensed pharmacy that requires a prescription from a healthcare provider and only purchase FDA-approved drugs.
If you have any questions about an ED drug online, don’t hesitate to discuss them with the pharmacist, your healthcare provider, or a K doctor. K Health offers affordable ED medication options through a licensed mail-order pharmacy or can send a prescription to your pharmacy that may be covered by insurance.
How K Health Can Help
Did you know you can have a primary care doctor online?
Check your symptoms, explore conditions and treatments, and if needed, text with a healthcare provider in minutes through K Health.
K Health’s AI-powered app is HIPAA compliant and is based on 20 years of clinical data.
Frequently Asked Questions
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.