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Erectile Dysfunction Drugs Comparison Chart

This chart compares 6 major Erectile Dysfunction (ED) drugs currently on the market: Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, Staxyn, Stendra, injections and the MUSE suppository.
By Sana Siwolop
Published: October 2, 2014
Last updated: August 21, 2018
 

 

Name of Drug
When to Take
Dose
Dietary Restrictions
Viagra
Take between 30 and 60 minutes (and up to 4 hours) before sex; works for about 4 hours
Recommended dose for most men is 50mgs; after that, dosage may go to as high as 100mg, or as low as 25mg, which may be prescribed for men over 65.
Quickly absorbed by the body, less effective after a high-fat meal, and best taken on an empty stomach.
Name of Drug
When to Take
Dose
Dietary Restrictions
Levitra
Take 1 hour before sex; works for 4 to 5 hours, and may be slightly more effective than Viagra
Starting dose for most men is 10mgs a day, but men over 65 often start on the 5mg pill.
Can be taken with or without food, although slightly less effective after a high-fat meal.  Avoid anything containing grapefruit juice; it may make side effects worse.
Name of Drug
When to Take
Dose
Dietary Restrictions
Cialis
Comes in two forms. The daily pill stays effective in between doses, but may take 4 to 5 days before it begins working. The “weekender” version of Cialis can start working in as little as 30 minutes for men who take the highest dose of the drug (20mgs); it stays effective in the body for up for 36 hours.
Daily pill comes in both a 2.5mg and 5mg tablet; most men start with the lower dose. The use-as-needed, “weekender” pill comes in 5, 10 and 20mg strengths; recommended starting dose is 10mg,
Can be taken with or without food.   Avoid heavy drinking (5 glasses of wine or 5 shots of whiskey); when combined with Cialis, it can lead to headaches, dizziness, an increase in heart rate, and a drop in blood pressure.
Name of Drug
When to Take
Dose
Dietary Restrictions
Staxyn
 Take 1 hour before sex, although many men report erections in 20 to 30 minutes.  Because Staxyn comes in a sleek black package and is taken as a rapidly dissolving tablet (without water), some men think of it as a more discrete way to treat ED.
Comes in 10mg tablets; do not take more than 1 a day.
Avoid taking it with any kind of liquid. Should be placed directly on the tongue and allowed to dissolve without chewing.
Name of Drug
When to Take
Dose
Dietary Restrictions
Stendra
Prescribing information now recommends taking it 30 minutes before sex. Some men, however, report results in as little as 10 to 12 minutes, depending on the dose. Because of these findings, Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, the Chesterbrook, Pa., company that has U.S. marketing rights to the drug, has asked the FDA to revise the prescribing information.
Starting dose is 100mgs for most men, but the 50mg tablet is recommended for men taking alpha-blocker drugs, like those used for high blood pressure and prostate problems.
May be taken with or without food, and with a moderate amount of alcohol (3 drinks).   Drinking more than that can increase the chances of side effects like rapid heart rate, low blood pressure, dizziness and headaches.
Name of Drug
When to Take
Dose
Dietary Restrictions
Penile injections & the MUSE suppository
Take 5 to 10 minutes before planning to have sex; erections last for 30 to 60 minutes.
MUSE comes in 4 dosage strengths; most men start at 125mgs. Avoid taking more than twice within a 24-hour period.
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Average: 3
Sana Siwolop
Sana Siwolop

Sana is a New York-based science and business journalist who has written for national publications, including The New York Times, Business Week and Discover. She teaches journalism at St. John’s University in New York City.