The Independent Pharmacy

Best Erectile Dysfunction Pills

Andy Boysan
Andy BoysanBPharmDirector & Superintendent Pharmacist

Reviewed on 14 Sep 2023

The best erectile dysfunction pills help men achieve and maintain erections for satisfying sex. These medications enhance blood flow to the penis so erections can occur with sexual stimulation. Erectile dysfunction (ED) pills come in several types, including Sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra) and tadalafil (the active ingredient in Cialis).

Getting ED medication in the UK is straightforward, with options like NHS prescriptions and over-the-counter purchases. To decide which ED pill is best, you should consider its effectiveness duration, side effect risks, and compatibility with their lifestyle. Consulting a doctor ensures the safest, most tailored advice.

In this guide, we’ll explore the best erection pills available and help you make the right choice based on your needs and preferences.

Sildenafil Tablets (25mg, 50mg & 100mg)
Sildenafil Tablets (25mg, 50mg & 100mg)
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Key Takeaways:

  • Popular erectile dysfunction pills like Sildenafil (Viagra) and tadalafil (Cialis) enable men to reliably achieve and maintain firm erections when sexually aroused. Each has pros suiting different needs.
  • Choosing the right ED medication depends on priority factors like speed of onset, duration span per dose, side effect likelihood based on medical history, treatment budget, and spontaneity/consistency of sexual activity.
  • Consulting a doctor helps weigh ED pill options against the patient’s health conditions and lifestyle to target best-fit treatment for optimal erectile function restoration.
  • Additional resources like The Independent Pharmacy provide safe, convenient online platforms for accessing erectile dysfunction medications once the appropriate solution is decided upon with professional guidance.

Choosing the Best Erection Pills

User Profile or Need Ideal Choice(s) Key Reasons
Quick Onset Needed Sildenafil, Spedra, Liberize Fast-acting (30-60 minutes for Sildenafil,
even quicker for Spedra and Liberize),
suitable for unplanned, spontaneous
Long Duration Desired Tadalafil, Cialis Effect lasts up to 24-36 hours, providing
flexibility for extended periods. Ideal for
those who prefer not to plan a sexual
activity around medication timing.
Minimising Side Effects Vardenafil, Levitra Generally a milder side effect profile.
Good for those who are sensitive to
medications or have mild health concerns.
Familiar and Trusted Option Viagra Well-established, time-tested choice.
Suitable for those who prefer using
well-known medications with a long
history of use.
Spontaneous Lifestyle Cialis (daily dose) Allows for spontaneity without the
need to time the medication before
sexual activity. Steady readiness without
Budget Conscious Generic versions (Sildenafil etc.) Cost-effective, especially in generic
forms. Ideal for those looking for
effective treatment without a high
price tag.
Specific Health Conditions Consult with a doctor Certain conditions (e.g., heart disease,
high blood pressure) necessitate
professional advice to choose the safest

Sildenafil: Best for Immediate Results

For many men seeking prompt relief from ED, Sildenafil can offer a much-needed solution. This active ingredient, sold under brand names like Viagra, takes as little as 30-60 minutes to start working. It is suitable for those prioritising quick onset of action so erections occur nearer to the desired moment.

Its quick action makes Sildenafil a comforting option for those who need it occasionally rather than every day. It’s important to be aware and prepared for common side effects like headaches or a stuffy nose, though these are usually mild and manageable. These tend to be mild and subside within a few hours. Anyone with cardiovascular conditions should take extra precautions due to associated risks like heart attack.

Sildenafil enables firm erections for about 4-6 hours after ingesting an effective dose. This allows flexibility in terms of timing sexual activity. While the ability to achieve erections lasts around this timeframe, each specific erection still requires arousal.

Tadalafil: Best for Prolonged Duration

Tadalafil stands out as the ED medication capable of lasting 24-36 hours per dose. This exceptionally long effectiveness duration makes it a top choice for men wanting flexibility. Taking a single tablet provides reliable erection support for an entire day and night, even allowing spontaneity the next day.

Tadalafil Tablets (10mg & 20mg)
Tadalafil Tablets (10mg & 20mg)
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Since tadalafil works for a long time, it’s good for taking every day or just when needed before sexual activity. While tadalafil is generally well-tolerated, some men might experience mild side effects such as headaches or muscle pain, which are important to consider. These typically remain mild. Still, anyone on nitrates or with certain health conditions needs medical guidance for safety due to potentially dangerous drops in blood pressure.

Overall, tadalafil empowers men to achieve firm erections for a full 24-36 hours from one dose. This reliable effectiveness over an extensive timeframe makes planning around sexual activity far easier. Of course, arousal remains necessary for specific erections to occur during that long duration.

Viagra: Best for Proven Track Record

As the first oral pill for erectile dysfunction, Viagra established itself globally thanks to its proven effectiveness. It remains a trusted brand many men still prefer and ask doctors for by name. Those wanting a familiar, time-tested option may feel most confident choosing Viagra.

The active ingredient sildenafil takes effect in around 30-60 minutes, enabling erections to firm enough for sex for the next 4-6 hours. Side effects like facial flushing, headache or upset stomach typically prove mild. However, anyone on medications with nitrates needs to avoid Viagra due to the risks of severely low blood pressure.

While Viagra itself tends to be more expensive, given its well-known brand name, less costly generic versions contain the same key ingredient. Overall, Viagra suits men wanting a reliably effective ED treatment with decades of safe clinical use reassuring them.

Cialis: Best for Spontaneous Lifestyles

The ability of Cialis’ active ingredient, tadalafil, to work for 24-36 hours makes it a go-to ED medication for spontaneous men. Rather than needing to take a pill right before sex, Cialis empowers erections when the moment strikes during its long duration of action.

This means men can take Cialis as either a lower regular daily dose or a higher as-needed tablet. The former builds stable levels of tadalafil, keeping reliable erection support on hand when called upon. The latter offers flexibility for unplanned sexual scenarios.

The side effects are usually mild and can include headaches, muscle aches, or red skin. Those on nitrate medications cannot take these types of medicines (there are alternatives that our medical team can advise on), given the risks of blood pressure plummeting too severely. Overall, for maximum spontaneity, Cialis stands out as a preferred ED treatment choice.

Vardenafil and Levitra: Best for Mild Side Effects Profile

For men who want to reduce the risk of side effects, Levitra and its generic form, Vardenafil, usually have fewer issues. These drugs are less likely to cause problems like headaches, muscle pain, stuffy nose, or upset stomach compared to other options.

In terms of effectiveness, vardenafil rivals popular options like Sildenafil and tadalafil. It similarly boosts blood flow for firmer, longer-lasting erections when aroused. However, its molecular structure differs somewhat, likely explaining the lower side effect incidence.

Levitra contains the active ingredient vardenafil, while cheaper generic versions offer the same effectiveness. Typical dosing empowers erections for around 4-5 hours. Ultimately, vardenafil suits men prioritising reliable erection support with fewer associated nuisances.

Alternative Pills: Spedra, Liberize, and Others

Beyond conventional ED treatments exist alternative medications like Spedra and Liberize worth considering. Spedra distinguishes itself as the fastest-acting option, enabling erections as soon as 15-30 minutes after ingestion. Meanwhile, Liberize offers a chewable format that does not need water to swallow - easier for some men.

Each added choice expands the range of benefits and side effects men weigh based on lifestyle fit. For instance, Spedra best suits wanting maximal spontaneity without advanced timing of medication use. Liberize appeals to men wanting dosage convenience without liquids on hand. Most alternatives ultimately enable reliable erections, too, with varying bonuses.

Side effect profiles of newer medications require further study over years of standard use to fully understand. However, most alternatives share mild issues like a headache and facial warmth. Talking to a doctor can help you understand how these benefits fit with your own health history.

Cost and Accessibility in the UK

Erectile dysfunction pills range in cost in Britain depending on brand, dosage strength, quantity and whether one has an NHS prescription. Generic forms with the same active ingredients as brand names usually prove the most affordable. Even name brands can fit budgets with options like manufacturer discount programs or pill splitting with doctor guidance.

Accessing ED medication typically starts with consulting a general practitioner about erectile difficulties. They can assess causes, provide prescriptions if appropriate and refer to specialists like urologists as needed. Even without prescriptions, some erectile dysfunction pills are sold over the counter in Britain in compliance with safe use requirements. Online providers offer added convenience.

Comparing ED pill costs online coupled with doctor or pharmacist guidance enables British men to find reasonably priced treatment. Those still struggling can inquire about patient assistance programs catering to need-based circumstances through manufacturers or charities. Most men discover options balancing their budget needs and erectile support.

How to Choose the Right ED Pills for You

Finding optimal erectile dysfunction medication involves weighing key factors:

  • Effectiveness & Duration: Consider if reliably achieving and maintaining erections when aroused for sexual satisfaction is the top priority or if duration spanning hours or days matters more. This helps narrow choices.
  • Side Effects: Assess tolerance for potential nuisances like headaches or flushing based on lifestyle interference and health risk factors if applicable. Mild issues may prove acceptable for superior effectiveness.
  • Lifestyle Fit: Contemplate typical spontaneity of sexual encounters and use patterns - sporadic or daily - to determine regimen suitability regarding the onset and duration of pills.
  • Budget: Compare NHS prescription qualifications, over-the-counter availability in applicable dose strengths and generic/brand pricing differences when evaluating costs.
  • Underlying Conditions: Account for contributing issues like high blood pressure, prostate problems or diabetes and how candidates impact them when selecting optimal ED medications for overall health.
  • Partner Input: Consider involving partners in medication decisions from effectiveness milestones and usage views to goals and budget impacts for win-win determinations.

Together with a healthcare professional, men can align these decisive factors with individual health backgrounds for optimal outcomes, both physically and regarding the quality of life enhancement goals from treatment. The right ED pill exists for most - identifying it takes research and expert guidance.

Take the Next Step with The Independent Pharmacy

After deciding on erectile dysfunction medication, The Independent Pharmacy makes taking the next steps convenient through their specialised online services. As an accredited online pharmacy, our team helps connect men to ED treatments through safe digital platforms without requiring in-person clinic visits.

You can describe your symptoms and medical history using a self-assessment form. Then The Independent Pharmacy team reviews details and gets back with professional suggestions about impotence medication or other products that may help manage the condition.

Once you decide what erectile dysfunction pills to try after the informed suggestions, The Independent Pharmacy handles quick prescription fulfilment and delivery to your door. Our customer service remains available by phone or e-mail should any guidance be needed on proper dosage, usage, side effect management or continued monitoring while undergoing treatment.

Getting started is easy. Reach out to The Independent Pharmacy’s experienced team anytime. Our discreet process and genuine focus on patient intimacy goals make taking the next step worry-free.


Men exploring solutions for erectile dysfunction often have additional questions as they weigh options. For insightful answers, read on:

Is there a pill better than Viagra?

While Viagra does reliably treat ED, alternatives can last longer (Cialis at 24-36 hours) or act quicker (Spedra in 15-30 minutes). Considering individual priorities around duration, spontaneity and side effects guides finding the optimal match.

Do over-the-counter erection pills work?

Some erectile dysfunction pills, legally sold over-the-counter in Britain after meeting regulations, contain active ingredients at lower doses (50mg sildenafil). While effectiveness depends on the specific medication and dose strength, many men do report satisfactory erection improvements from over-the-counter options when used as directed.

What happens if you take 2 Viagra in 24 hours?

Taking excess Viagra doses within a 24-hour timeframe risks amplifying side effects. Doubling standard sildenafil doses without medical guidance also increases the odds of more severe issues like dangerously plummeting blood pressure. Stick within labelled dosing limits and ask a pharmacist if guidance is needed when starting treatment.

Why is my erection not as strong as it used to be?

From advancing age to obesity and increased stress, various factors explain declining erection strength over time. Underlying health conditions like heart disease or diabetes also contribute in some men. Talking to a doctor can provide not only a diagnosis but also a pathway to regaining confidence in one’s sexual health, often through effective erectile dysfunction medication.


Erectile dysfunction (impotence) - NHS (

Erectile dysfunction - Illnesses & conditions | NHS inform

Sexual health and wellbeing for all ages - Sexual Health West Sussex

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