Drugs for ED

Choosing between Natural and Prescription Drugs for Treating Erectile Dysfunction

Prescription drugs work well for most people who suffer from erectile dysfunction but are contraindicated for those with certain health problems or who are on some types of medications. It is also important to be aware of side effects that can occur with either over-the-counter supplements and with prescription medications.

Prescription Medications

Some of the most commonly prescribed drugs for helping to decrease erectile dysfunction are Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, Stendra, and Staxyn. These medications all work in the same manner to produce an erection upon sexual stimulation. These prescription medications work by relaxing the smooth muscle in the walls of blood vessels to allow them to dilate, or open up, more fully. This function can also be used for a dementia treatment. This can increase blood flow, especially in the extremities such as the penis.


Medications in this grouping are effective for a large percentage of people who suffer from erectile dysfunction with no underlying health problems. There is the potential for side effects from these drugs, but they tend to be mild for most people and are generally well tolerated. If one of these drugs doesn't work as desired, others in the same class may be considered. However, these medications have similar pharmacology and typically only vary by the timing of the medication's performance.


The most common side effects include nasal congestion, runny nose, flushing, indigestion, and headaches. However, there is a small risk of developing priapism. This is a painful erection that is not sexually stimulated and lasts for 4 or more hours. It is important to seek immediate medical attention for priapism to prevent scarring of tissue in the penis, which could lead to permanent erectile dysfunction. Those with certain medical conditions or using specific medications should not use these types of medications due to increased risks to health.

Herbal Supplements

There are some promising over-the-counter remedies that use more natural ingredients than many prescription drugs. Some of these treatments have been researched and show promising effects in improving erectile functioning. Panax ginseng, often called red ginseng, Rhodiola rosea, L-arginine, pycnogenol, DHEA, and tongkat ali have all been shown to have some effectiveness in treating erectile dysfunction.


Natural remedies may be safer than prescriptions in some cases. However, it is still important to speak with a physician prior to taking any medications, even those that are purchased over the counter.


Any medications have risks so it is important to speak with a doctor or pharmacist before using these remedies. Natural supplements do not typically have an immediate effect and may need to be taken for weeks or even months in order to notice improvement. Over-the-counter preparations are not evaluated by the FDA. Products may vary in actual ingredients and concentrations. Be sure to choose products with standardized ingredients and concentrations. Speak with a physician before using if you have health problems or take other medications.


Yohimbine is a natural remedy that is effective in treating erectile dysfunction. It is available both over the counter and by prescription. There is the potential for side effects that require medical attention, such as fast heart beat and high blood pressure. Other side effects may occur:

  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Flushing and sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Irritability or anxiety
  • Tremors

Whether you choose to try yohimbine by prescription or over the counter, it is important to use this drug with a doctor's supervision.