Comparing Erectile Dysfunction Medications

The Four Most Popular Erectile Dysfunction Medications: Pros and Cons

There are many medicines on the market intended to treat erectile dysfunction, but how is an ED sufferer to know which is the best for his particular case and situation? Here is a look at the most popular brands, with a rundown of their advantages and disadvantages.

Comparing Erectile Dysfunction Medications


The first and still the most popular of erectile dysfunction medications. Viagra may not have the improvements that the other drugs on this list do, but it still has the advantage of simplicity and, for most men, reliability. It takes effect about 30 minutes from administration, and can last up to 5 hours (although realistically, for most men it’s about 2-3 hours).

Some men do develop a resistance to Viagra after taking it over time; it either stops working or works much more weakly. It also doesn’t combine well with alcohol or fatty foods, so you have to watch your intake if you’re planning to use it later in the night.


Tadalafil, or Cialis, is unique among ED medications because of its duration. All the other medications discussed here last four to five hours, but tadalafil lasts for about 36 hours. This makes it possible to take the pill at the start of a weekend and be sure that you’ll be ready when the time comes, without having to wait for the medication to take effect. It can even be taken as a daily dose, which entirely removes the question of when to take it. Some men report weaker effects from Cialis than from other medications, but this seems to vary widely by the individual. It is unfortunately also possible to develop a resistance to this medication.


Also known as vardenafil, this is the same basic medication that has also been marketed as Levitra. What makes Staxyn different from Levitra or other erectile dysfunction medications is that it does not require water to take. Instead, a pill can be held under the tongue and it will dissolve quickly and be absorbed into the bloodstream. Some men prefer this because it allows them to take the pill more subtly without having to potentially kill the mood by stopping for a glass of water. It is also easier to take for people who have trouble swallowing pills, and since it does not pass through the digestive system, it can be taken on a full or empty stomach. Staxyn generally takes effect about half an hour after it dissolves.


Avanafil, or Stendra, is one of the newer entries in the ED medicine field. Its main advantage is that it works faster than the other drugs discussed here. While most of them take, on average, half an hour to kick in, Stendra is supposed to become active in as little as 15 or 20 minutes. This has obvious advantages when you’re pressed for time, so to speak. Its duration is comparable to most other erectile dysfunction drugs — a few hours.

Which erectile dysfunction medication is right for you? That’s a matter for you and your physician to decide. Remember, if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or other cardiovascular problems, these medications may be unsafe for you, so always check with your doctor before you start taking any of them.