The Independent Pharmacy

The Best Cream For Erectile Dysfunction

Daniel Hurley
Daniel HurleyMPharm IPPharmacist Independent Prescriber

Reviewed on 2 Apr 2024

Getting and keeping erections can be difficult for many men. If popping pills doesn’t sound ideal, creams are another option worth looking into.

So, what is the best cream for erectile dysfunction? One of the most popular options is Vitaros.

Vitaros has a key ingredient called alprostadil and it comes in a special tube that helps you apply it. Just squeeze out the recommended amount and gently rub it on the tip of your penis 5 to 30 minutes before sexual intercourse. The ingredient alprostadil helps more blood get to the penis, which makes it easier to get an erection.

Creams can work faster than pills but may temporarily cause some irritation. Mild reactions are common at first.

Meeting with your doctor to talk about ED treatments that are right for you is a brave and crucial step towards feeling better. Improving lifestyle habits, such as diet, also supports healthy erections.

Vitaros Cream
Vitaros Cream
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Let's explore what is the best cream for erectile dysfunction and if it's the right option for you.

Key Takeaways:

  • Vitaros cream contains the active ingredient alprostadil, which enhances blood flow to the penis when applied topically. This can help guys get erections more quickly.
  • Creams act faster than ED pills you swallow but may briefly cause irritation. Mild side effects aren't uncommon at first.
  • Meeting with your GP to discuss treatment options tailored to you is so important. Improving lifestyle habits also supports healthy erections.

What Is the Best ED Cream?

Erectile dysfunction creams are applied directly to the penis to help men get and maintain erections. They contain active ingredients that enhance blood flow in the genital region.

When evaluating ED creams, effectiveness and safety are top concerns. Ease of use is also important - the application process should be simple and comfortable. Active ingredients like alprostadil are commonly used.

ED creams can enable erections more quickly than oral medication without systemic side effects. However, some men may experience mild local irritation. Finding the right cream takes some trial and error.

General Benefits of Using ED Creams

Topical creams offer certain advantages over other ED treatments:

  • Direct application to the genitals provides a local effect, unlike oral meds, which circulate through the entire body. This also reduces side effects elsewhere in the body.
  • The onset of action can be faster compared to pills - erections may happen within 5-30 minutes. This provides more spontaneity.
  • The application process is simple and discreet. Just a small dose of cream applied right before sex.

What Is Vitaros Cream?

Vitaros cream contains alprostadil as the active ingredient. Alprostadil is a substance that makes the blood vessels and muscles in the penis relax, which helps in getting an erection. This increases blood flow and allows the erectile tissue to fill with blood, causing an erection.

Vitaros may be a good option for men who have not had success with oral ED medications. It also suits those looking to avoid pills due to side effects or health risks like heart problems.

Research shows that Vitaros works well in helping men get erections strong enough for sex. Mostly, the side effects are minor and just where you apply it, like some pain or irritation on the penis. Proper use of Vitaros cream helps minimise adverse effects.

How to Use Vitaros Cream

Application Process

Follow these steps when applying Vitaros:

  • Wash hands thoroughly before handling the cream or penis.
  • The penis should be clean and dry beforehand.
  • Use the marked applicator to measure the correct dose. Apply exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Gently push the cream into the opening of your penis with a clean finger.
  • Wait 5-30 minutes before sexual activity. Wash any excess cream off with mild soap before sex.
  • Always use a condom during intercourse. Vitaros can irritate your partner if exposed.

The proper application helps Vitaros work effectively. Follow your doctor's instructions for best results. Let them know if you have any issues using the cream.

What to Expect After Application

After applying Vitaros cream to the penis, most men can attain an erection firm enough for sex within 5-30 minutes. For some, it may take up to an hour to experience the full effect. The erection can be maintained for 1-2 hours in most cases.

You may feel a warming or tingling sensation initially - this is normal. Mild burning or pain can also occur, especially during the first few applications, as the skin adjusts. These side effects often resolve within 1-2 hours.

If you notice the reactions are not going away or are getting severe, please reach out to your doctor. They're there to support you through this and help you find a solution.

Seek immediate medical care for priapism - an erection lasting over 4 hours. This rare condition requires prompt treatment to prevent permanent damage.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common Side Effects

The most commonly reported side effects of Vitaros cream include:

  • Mild penile pain or burning - Often temporary and tends to improve with continued use. Applying ice beforehand can help.
  • Warmth or stinging sensation on the penis - Typically diminishes over time as the skin adjusts.
  • Redness, swelling, itching of the glans - Results from increased blood flow to the region.
  • Irritation of the urethral opening - Caused by contact with the cream.
  • Discomfort for sexual partners - Using a condom prevents the transference of the cream.

While most patients tolerate Vitaros well, contact your doctor if reactions are severe or concerning. Mild reactions at the application site are common initially.

Safety Precautions and Contraindications

Patients with the following conditions should use caution with Vitaros or avoid use altogether:

  • Hypersensitivity to alprostadil or components of the cream - Do not use if allergic.
  • Unstable cardiovascular conditions - Can increase strain on the heart.
  • Higher risk of priapism - Prolonged erections over 4 hours require urgent medical treatment.

Notify your doctor of all medications prior to using Vitaros. Drug interactions are possible. Do not exceed the prescribed dose.

Use a condom during intercourse to prevent transference of the cream to the partner. Wait at least 5 minutes after application before sexual activity.

Comparing Vitaros to Other ED Treatments

Studies found Vitaros works faster than oral ED pills - effects can begin in less than 30 minutes compared to the onset in 30-60 minutes for medications like Viagra (Sildenafil). The erectile response also lasts around the same duration as pills.

Alternative Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction

Oral Medications

Doctors often prescribe pills like Viagra and Cialis (Tadalafil), which are types of drugs that help with ED. These help improve blood flow to the penis by relaxing smooth muscle cells and dilating blood vessels.

While effective for many men, pills like Cialis can cause side effects such as headaches, muscle pain, and visual changes. They also require planning - pills must be taken at least 30-60 minutes before sex to get the maximum effect.

If you have heart problems and take medicine for chest pain, you should talk to a doctor before using ED pills because they might not mix well with your medicine.

Lifestyle Changes and Natural Remedies

Healthy lifestyle improvements can enhance erectile function over time. This includes:

  • Quitting smoking - A major risk factor for ED due to its effects on blood vessels.
  • Cutting back on alcohol - Excessive drinking promotes ED and decreases libido.
  • Losing weight - Obesity impairs erections through hormone changes and vascular damage.
  • Increasing activity - Regular exercise improves blood flow and lowers ED risk.

Some natural supplements like L-arginine, ginseng, and ginkgo biloba are promoted to help ED. However, their effectiveness is unproven. It’s best to discuss these options with your doctor before trying.

Advanced Treatment Options

For severe erectile dysfunction that is difficult to treat, some more complex therapies may be recommended by your doctor:

  • Penile injections - Inject medication directly into the tissues to cause an erection. Alprostadil is commonly used.
  • Vacuum devices - Use suction to draw blood into the penis to cause an erection. Can take practice.
  • Penile implants - Surgically inserted devices that allow men to mechanically control erections when desired.

These treatments have higher risks than pills or creams. Counselling often accompanies medical options to address the mental health aspects of ED.

Take the Next Step With The Independent Pharmacy

Getting to the root of erectile dysfunction requires a personalised approach tailored to your unique health situation.

The Independent Pharmacy makes it easy to get started through an online ED consultation. Just answer some questions about your medical history and ED symptoms.

Our experienced clinical team then reviews your information and provides advice on suitable treatment options. This may include prescription creams like Vitaros if appropriate for you.

Get in touch with us today and take control of your erectile health. Our caring team is available to offer guidance and support throughout your treatment journey. With our help, you can find relief from ED.

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What cream keeps you erect?

Alprostadil creams like Vitaros work by improving blood flow to the penis and relaxing smooth muscle cells. This produces an erection firm enough for sex within 5-30 minutes in most men. Effects typically last 1-2 hours.

How do you stay hard when you get hard?

Using ED creams as directed helps men achieve and maintain erections. Combining topical medication with oral pills, if medically appropriate, can prolong erectile effects. Avoiding excessive alcohol and managing conditions like diabetes also support erectile rigidity.

How can I make myself erect faster?

Topical ED creams allow erections to form faster than oral pills since the medication is applied directly. Creams containing vasodilators like alprostadil start working in 5-30 minutes in many cases. Ensuring adequate arousal before application also speeds up effects.


Ashish Jain; Omar A. Iqbal. (2023). Alprostadil -

Ignacio Moncada, MD, and Béatrice Cuzin (2015). Clinical Efficacy and Safety of Vitaros©/Virirec© (Alprostadil Cream) for the Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction -

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