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Home / Erectile Dysfunction / Can I buy Viagra or Cialis over the counter?

Can I buy Viagra or Cialis over the counter?

And other frequently asked questions about ED pills.


Viagra Cialis
Active ingredient Sildenafil Tadalafil
How long it lasts 2-3 hours Up to 36 hours
Dosage 25mg, 50mg, 100mg 2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg, 20mg
Manufacturer Pfizer Lilly ICOS
First approved for sale 1998 2003
What it looks like
  • viagra
  • viagra
  • viagra
  • cialis pill
  • cialis pill
  • cialis pill
  • cialis pill

Erectile dysfunction is a frustrating and, at times, embarrassing condition to experience. Fortunately, it’s not that hard to treat! If you’ve found this article, you’ll know there are options available that eliminate the symptoms of the condition.

Perhaps the most popular of all ED treatments are oral medications - the most well-known being Viagra. You’ll probably have heard of that one! However, you may or may not have heard of the long-lasting alternative, Cialis.

It’s important to do a little research before you take any medication. Read on to find the answers to some of the most common questions asked about these pills. If you’re more interested in the specifics of each pill, like side effects, precautions and posology, you can visit Viagra’s page here and Cialis’ page here.

Where can I get Viagra?

Viagra is a very popular ED treatment and was the first of its kind (PDE-5 inhibitors that increase blood flow). It is widely available online and is stocked in all UK pharmacies*. To buy it, you must first have a prescription - this is a medical and legal requirement and ensures that a medical professional has considered its effectiveness for your circumstances.

The only way to get any prescription medication is to have a consultation with a licensed doctor (this includes online doctors), who can then issue you a prescription. This doesn’t matter if it’s a pill for erectile dysfunction, diabetes or migraines - the requirement for prescriptions exists to protect you, the patient.

*This includes generic equivalent, sildenafil.

Can you buy Viagra over the counter?

It is also possible to buy Viagra (the active ingredient is Sildenafil) over the counter (without a prescription). However, it is known as Viagra Connect. Viagra Connect contains 50mg of sildenafil in every tablet, the same as in the standard starting dose of Viagra.

To get Viagra Connect, you should visit a pharmacy, either in person on the high street or online. In the same way that a doctor would conduct a consultation, you will be asked some questions by a pharmacist - they are just as qualified to make a medical decision on the suitability of the medication.

Is Cialis better than Viagra?

As with all treatments, there is no “better” ED medication, only ones that suit individual users more.

Viagra and Cialis both have their distinct advantages. Viagra contains the active ingredient sildenafil and takes 30-60 minutes to work, with effects lasting for approximately 2-3 hours. It is ideal for single sexual encounters when you don’t need prolonged effects.

On the other hand, Cialis contains tadalafil. For some men, this will be better tolerated, for others sildenafil. Cialis’ main advantage is in the duration of effects. It can help you achieve erections for up to 36 hours. Plus, you can buy low doses (2,5mg & 5mg), often marketed as Cialis Daily. As its name suggests, you take this pill every day and enjoy spontaneous erections anytime the moment calls. This version may also be more beneficial if you have secondary health conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

The only way to know what ED drug is “best” for you is to visit your doctor and have them monitor your physical response to either pill.

Can I buy Cialis over the counter?

Sadly, Cialis is not available over the counter. As a prescription medication, you must first undergo a consultation with a doctor. They will ask you about your medical history and the symptoms you are experiencing.

Despite needing a consultation, it is pretty simple to get a prescription if you have erectile dysfunction. This is especially the case if you use verified, online pharmacies like euroClinix.

You can complete a quick, online form that will then be reviewed by a doctor. If they are happy with your answers, your order of Cialis will be delivered straight to your front door. With next-day delivery available, it is easier than going to a pharmacy to buy over the counter!

Is there no Cialis Connect?

No, there is not. Pfizer only received permission from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in 2018 to produce Viagra Connect.

Cialis is manufactured by a different company and to date is not available over the counter. The only way to get ahold of Cialis is to be prescribed it by a doctor.

Is Cialis cheaper than Viagra?

Both Cialis and Viagra are branded medications. They are available at slightly different prices, although are roughly the same. You can check out euroClinix’s prices for Viagra here and the prices for Cialis here.

Generic versions of Viagra and Cialis on the other hand are cheaper. A generic medication contains the same ingredients and works in the same way as a branded equivalent. Generic Viagra is Sildenafil and generic Cialis is Tadalafil.

Have the generics Sildenafil and Tadalafil always been available?

When a pharmaceutical manufacturer first produces a medication, they have it patented. A patent grants the manufacturer exclusive rights to the medication's chemical structure, preventing other companies from producing the medication under the same or different names.

However, patents have lifespans. Once a patent has expired, other companies may begin producing the medication under a generic name. The generic is usually the name of the active ingredient of the medication.

In the case of Viagra, it was patented by the company Pfizer. No company other than Pfizer could make it. In 2013, Pfizer made a deal with other companies to allow them to start producing the generic sildenafil. In 2020, the patent on Viagra expired, meaning any company can produce sildenafil for erectile dysfunction.

Cialis’ history is complicated and tied to a number of pharmaceutical companies. It was first researched in 1991 by GlaxoSmithKline alongside ICOS - this was before Viagra was on the market. ICOS later partnered with Eli Lilly and Company, as Lilly ICOS. It was Lilly ICOS that sought FDA approval and took Cialis to the US market in 2003. Later, Lilly ICOS was bought out by Eli Lilly, who now owns the patent.

The generic, Tadalafil, first became available in 2017 in the UK. It can now be purchased, along with Sildenafil, as a reasonably priced alternative.

So what’s next?

If you think Viagra, Cialis or any other ED medication (e.g. Vardenafil, Levitra or Spedra) is right for you, the next step is to visit a doctor either in-person or online.

If you want to skip the waiting room at your GP, you can ask about Viagra Connect at your local pharmacy or browse and order online from an online pharmacy such as euroClinix. Our service is discreet and easy to use and our consultation process takes only a few minutes to complete.

Visit the erectile dysfunction page here, and see an overview of all the treatment options available.

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