We use website cookies to ensure that you receive the best experience. If you're happy and would like to carry on browsing click 'Accept', or find out more about our Cookie Policy. Accept

Over The Counter Viagra Available In The UK For The First Time: Meet Viagra Connect

 

Viagra — Pfizer’s diamond-shaped blue pill has become pretty much synonymous with erectile dysfunction medication. And now they are making history again with the world’s first over the counter ED pill due to launch on April 16th 2018 — Viagra Connect. Read on to find out why this controversial ruling was made, what are its consequences, and how you can buy this over the counter medication for yourself. 

 

ED pills have been prescription only for a long time

For years, most ED meds have been only been available with a doctor’s prescription, leaving many men without reasonable access to a safe erectile dysfunction treatment

ED can be such a sensitive issue, making it harder for men to go to their GP and admit something is wrong. 

Even though there is no shame in ED, and it can be caused by a wide range of common issues (including stress, anxiety, diet, smoking, ageing), there is still a fair amount of stigma attached to impotence. It can raise questions about virility, potency, and even sexual attraction. It’s also a side effect of other medical conditions, meaning that treating ED is often not first priority.

Partly due to the nature of ED, men have been increasingly turning to online pharmacies and websites in order to find a cure for their erectile dysfunction. And it’s partly this shift in the marketplace which prompted the MHRA reclassification.

 

Why is Viagra Connect being sold without a prescription?

The MHRA ruling that classified Viagra Connect as a medication that was safe to purchase without prescription was made public in November 2017. It officially downgraded Viagra Connect from a prescription-only medicine (POM) to pharmacy-line medicine (P) in the UK. The move was praised and lauded as positive news in the pharmaceutical and medical circles. 

There were a few key reasons highlighted by MHRA that influenced their decision to change the way that Viagra is sold in the UK:

  • It’s a more patient-centred way to treat ED
  • As Viagra is already widely available via online pharmacies, it only made sense that regular and high street pharmacies should have easier access to dispensing Viagra too
  • There is a significant risk that men are accessing unsafe and harmful Viagra ‘substitutes’ online such as Kamagra and various ‘herbal’ remedies of doubtful origin. Making Viagra Connect more widely available should help combat this
  • Impotence is often a side effect of an underlying condition, which might make seeking medical intervention for ED during a GP treatment more difficult
  • GPs need to focus on patients who truly need face-to-face advice, whereas ED can be very easy to diagnose and manage — and ED treatments are safe to use.

This approach to OTC Viagra was first trialled in 2009, but the small scale experiment was discontinued. This time the scheme will be nationwide and probably permanent.

Full MHRA report here.

 

How Viagra Connect works to combat ED

Viagra Connect works in the same way as Viagra and Sildenafil (generic Viagra). It’s available at a 50mg strength. It has the same active ingredient as Viagra and Sildenafil (sildenafil citrate) and therefore is pretty much medically identical. (Some men who have previously taken prescription Viagra, may have differing dosages of 25mg and 100mg, but 50mg is the standard).  

  • Part of the PDE5 (phosphodiesterase type 5) inhibitor treatment family, Viagra Connect works on the smooth muscles that supply blood to the penis
  • It has similar side effects associated with Viagra, mainly nausea and dizziness. Extreme side effects like allergic reactions are rare
  • It needs sexual stimulus in order to work effectively (just like all the other ED treatments out there)
  • It treats the physical, rather than the psychological, causes of ED. Some men may need to seek alternative treatments like CBT as well.

There are more medical details on the Viagra Connect eMc (download a PDF version here).

 

ED: causes and popular treatments in the UK

It’s probably worth looking at some of the common causes of ED in the UK, as well as the most popular treatments to see where Viagra Connect fits in.

The causes of ED can be broken down into these categories:

  • Physical (e.g. vasculogenic conditions affecting the blood flow, or hormonal conditions affecting the male sex hormones)
  • Psychological (most common causes: stress, anxiety, and performance anxiety)
  • Neurogenic (e.g. strokes)
  • Environmental (ED can be brought on by binge drinking, and even cycling)
  • Diabetes (both Type 1 & 2) can also cause ED.

Other popular ED treatments (these are all PDE5 inhibitors):

  • Viagra & Sildenafil (active ingredient: sildenafil citrate)
  • Cialis & Tadalafil (active ingredient: tadalafil)
  • Levitra & Vardenafil (active ingredient: vardenafil).

Some men also have counselling to help combat ED caused by psychological problems, and there are some penis pumps and creams on the market that can also be used to treat impotence.

 

The difficulties with buying Viagra online

The issue with Viagra online is that the medication and its brand have been exploited by some websites selling unlicensed and potentially dangerous ED products. Consumers aren’t always aware of how to spot a genuine pharmacy online, leading them open to exploitation. Rather than buy the proper, safe, and licensed Viagra, men may end up taking something that’s not suitable for them. 

The MHRA ruling has been hailed as a positive move that will help stamp down on unsafe and unlicensed Viagra, and stop men from resorting to potentially dodgy remedies.  

 

How you can buy Viagra Connect

It’s very easy to get Viagra Connect, both online and offline. You can now buy it online without a prescription, or pop into your local pharmacy or Boots. It is important to note that high street pharmacies will insist face-to-face consultation as part of the purchase, just to ensure it’s 100% suitable for you. All online pharmacies will require a similar consultation that can be completed online before posting the treatment out to you.

Viagra Connect won’t be given out to men with a history of severe cardiovascular diseases, anyone at risk from liver or kidney failure, or men who are  taking medications that are unsafe to mix with Viagra. 

 

Viagra Connect in the news

Read more about Viagra Connect here:

https://www.viagraconnect.co.uk/

http://www.mhra.gov.uk/home/groups/par/documents/websiteresources/con859507.pdf

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mhra-reclassifies-viagra-connect-tablets-to-a-pharmacy-medicine

https://www.pharmacymagazine.co.uk/pfizer-outlines-pharmacy-training-programme-for-viagra-connect

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5019854/viagra-will-be-available-to-buy-without-prescription-next-spring/

https://www.chemistanddruggist.co.uk/news/pfizers-largest-ever-pharmacy-training-generic-viagra-launch

http://www.pharmafile.com/news/515918/pfizers-viagra-connect-becomes-first-erectile-dysfunction-drug-available-over-counter-uk

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/nov/28/viagra-will-be-available-over-the-counter-in-uk-says-medicines-regulator

 

We are very glad to announce that we are stocking Viagra Connect for less than £5 a pill to help men safely combat erectile dysfunction.

Can't find what you're looking for?

If you can't find what you are you looking for, please contact our support team on 0333 2200 519 for help and advice.

Your basket

Your basket is empty

Start shopping

Did you know you can search from anywhere on the site? Simply press 's' on your keyboard and our quick search tool will appear.

Alternatively you can view a list of all of our treatments and treated conditions.

If you can't find what you are looking for, please contact our support team on 0333 2200 519.