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What’s the Best Viagra for Men?

Medically approved by
Dr Earim Chaudry
Last updated
19th August 2021

In 30 seconds

What’s the best Viagra for men? In truth, there’s only one Viagra. That’s Pfizer’s drug powered by the active ingredient Sildenafil. It comes in 25mg, 50mg, and 100mg doses.

Some men might find that the best treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED) is generic Sildenafil, the generic unbranded form of Viagra. This tends to be more affordable, but it has the same safety profile and efficacy as the branded drug — and is available in the same dosages.

Other ED treatments include Cialis, which is powered by the active ingredient Tadalafil. This works in a similar way to Viagra, but its effects last for longer. In the search for the best ED medication out there, many men will find this a preferable option.

Treating Erectile Dysfunction

While erectile dysfunction (ED) can affect all men, there are now many different medical and non-medical options out there to treat it — from exercise to surgical intervention.

However, one of the easiest, most effective, and best-known treatments for erection problems is Viagra. It’s the ED drug made by the pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, that’s powered by the active ingredient known as Sildenafil.

Here, we’ll introduce you to Viagra, and the alternative unbranded version, Sildenafil. But what’s the best Viagra for men? That’s not for us to decide. Every man’s body is different, and you’ll only know if a low, medium, or high dosage works best once you’ve tried it. 

What is Viagra?

Viagra is probably the best-known treatment for erectile dysfunction available. Recognisable as a ‘little blue pill’, it’s trusted by millions of men around the world to help them achieve and maintain an erection.

It works thanks to its active ingredient, Sildenafil citrate. This is a drug known as a PDE5 inhibitor. Its job is to target an enzyme, phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5), that’s responsible for smooth muscle contraction in the penis. Sildenafil inhibits the function of this enzyme and allows more blood to flow to where it’s needed — boosting your chances of getting and keeping an erection.

Thanks to Sildenafil, Viagra is highly effective in treating erectile dysfunction. With a 100mg dose, studies have found that treatment improves erections in over 80% of men.

What’s the Best Viagra for Men?

If we’re totally honest, there is no best Viagra for men, for a simple reason. All Viagra is the same — powered by the same active ingredient, Sildenafil. The different types of Viagra only differ by strength. And so, while you’ll find more or less potent versions of Viagra, it all works in the same way.

There are three different doses of Viagra. The one that’s best for you will depend on your situation.

  • 50mg (Viagra Connect). The standard dose, the 50mg Viagra is sold over the counter as Viagra Connect. 74% of men who use the 50mg dose can achieve an erection, according to studies.
  • 100mg. The higher dose of Viagra is the 100mg pill. It tends to be recommended to those who have tried Viagra Connect but have not seen results.
  • 25mg. The lower dose, meanwhile, is for those who have not tolerated the higher doses well. With a lower dose, you’re less likely to experience side effects.

When it comes to medicine, ‘best’ is only a matter of what works for you. And Viagra is no exception.

Erections aren’t always easy for millions of men in the UK. It’s no big deal. Choose from highly effective, clinically proven solutions.

Side Effects?

All medicines have side effects. However, these can differ from one man to the next. When considering which Viagra is best, you’ll need to assess these too.

So, if you regularly experience any of the following when taking Viagra, a lower dose might be preferable:

  • Headache
  • Chest pain or angina (caused by not enough oxygen reaching your heart muscle)
  • Changes to or loss of vision
  • Indigestion
  • Stuffy nose or congestion
  • Priapism — one of the more serious side effects of Viagra. Priapism is a painful erection that won’t go away. In this case, seek medical advice immediately.

Note. Both the UK NHS and the US FDA recommend that you do not take Viagra if you have heart disease or are taking drugs for high blood pressure (such as Riociguat). If you are taking nitrates or alpha-blockers, you’ll need to tell the pharmacist before they can sell you Viagra, in any form.

Other Options for the Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction

You should know that Viagra is not your only option when it comes to treating ED. The best ED treatment out there for you might be something completely different. Here are some alternatives.

Unbranded Sildenafil

Sildenafil is the active ingredient that powers Viagra. However, the drug itself is available without the famous brand name. It’s just as effective, safe, and easy to use. You just pay less for the generic version.

Available in 25mg, 50mg, and 100mg doses just like Viagra, generic Sildenafil delivers the same results at a fraction of the cost. If not the best Viagra, it’s up there with the best ED treatments out there.

Tadalafil – or Cialis

An alternative treatment for ED is Cialis, a medicine containing the active agent, Tadalafil. What’s the difference between Cialis and Viagra? You can get the full picture here. Put simply, Cialis lasts for longer. If Viagra is out of your system after 4 hours, Cialis works for 36 hours. And that gives everything a bit more flexibility.

Both Tadalafil and Sildenafil are PDE5 inhibitors, and research has shown that there is little difference between their rates of effectiveness. Yet, studies suggest that side effects with Tadalafil are slightly less common.

Vardenafil (Levitra) or Avanafil (Stendra)

Other PDE5 inhibitors include Vardenafil, which is often sold as Levitra, and Avanafil (Stendra). While they work in similar ways to Tadalafil and Sildenafil, studies have shown them to be slightly less effective.

You might find that these are good to try if you‘ve had limited success with the more effective alternatives. Remember: every man is different.

Sildenafil

The generic unbranded form of Viagra

It’s the active ingredient in Viagra and clinically proven to be highly effective by increasing blood flow into the penis.


Best for
One off use
Effective in
8 out of 10 men
Dosage
50 to 100mg

Key Takeaways

What’s the best Viagra for men? That will depend entirely on you. While most men start with the 50mg option — known as Viagra Connect — others will find that the 25mg or 100mg alternatives are more effective, or may help reduce annoying side effects.

While Viagra is the best-known ED treatment, though, it doesn’t mean it’s the best. Instead, you might find that generic Sildenafil, or Cialis, better suits your needs.

References

  1. European Medicines Agency. Viagra: https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/documents/overview/viagra-epar-summary-public_en.pdf

  2. Viagra Connect 50 mg film-coated tablets. https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/8725#

  3. Binbin Gong, Ming Ma, Wenjie Xie, Xiaorong Yang, Yongming Huang, Ting Sun, Yanping Luo, and Jiao Huang (2017). Direct comparison of tadalafil with sildenafil for the treatment of erectile dysfunction: a systematic review and meta-analysis: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5603624/

  4. Liang Chen, Sergej E.L. Staubli, Marc P. Schneider, Sandra Ivic, Lucas M. Bachmann, Thomas M. Kessle (2015). Phosphodiesterase 5 Inhibitors for the Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction: A Trade-off Network Meta-analysis: https://www.europeanurology.com/article/S0302-2838(15)00250-X/abstract/phosphodiesterase-5-inhibitors-for-the-treatment-of-erectile-dysfunction-a-trade-off-network-meta-analysis
While we've ensured that everything you read on the Health Centre is medically reviewed and approved, information presented here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

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