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Otc Erectile Dysfunction

otc erectile dysfunction

Can You Treat ED with OTC?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) concerns millions of men around the world. In the United States alone, over 30 million men suffer from ED. Men over 70 are more likely to have ED, but even men in their 20s can experience ED.

Fortunately, over-the-counter (OTC) treatments can help with this condition.

Types of Treatment

Many treatment options are available for ED management, including:

    oral medications

    injectable or suppository drugs

    medical devices

    penile implants


    Three prescription medications listed as effective by the Mayo Clinic are:

    sildenafil (Viagra)

    tadalafil (Cialis)

    vardenafil (Levitra and Staxyn)

    Potential OTC Treatments

    According to the Mayo Clinic, four herbal remedies have shown positive results in clinical studies:


    Found naturally in some soy products and yams, dihydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) has shown safe and positive results in low doses. Notably, DHEA is also used to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and can be used to help build muscular strength. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) site says DHEA is “possibly effective” for treating ED.


    This is the most common amino acid in men's health supplements. L-arginine is converted in the body into a chemical called nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps the blood vessels to open wider, improving blood flow.

    Caution is advised when taking L-arginine, or similar supplements, as it can lower blood pressure. It can increase the risk of bleeding when taken with certain drugs. It may also alter blood sugar levels.


     Ginseng is a popular and widely used herbal remedy. It is supposed to help with fertility as well as improve sexual function. It is available as pills or a cream.


    Yohimbine is derived from the bark of an African tree and is supposed to improve sexual dysfunction.

    Although this herbal supplement is often sold as a treatment option for ED, not enough research has been done to support this.

    Summary of OTC options

    With each of these OTC treatments not enough research has been done to prove that they treat ED.

    Though many of them claim to be natural, or are marked as dietary supplements, they can also contain hidden ingredients that may be dangerous.

    The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have found that nearly 300 products, supposedly for ED, contain excessively high doses of undisclosed, potentially dangerous ingredients.

    It is important to note that some OTC products claiming to be sexual enhancers often have not been tested or regulated by the FDA.

    Critically, they may interact with other medications that a person is taking. People take a gamble if they decide to use them and may have little or no success.

    It is very important for people with other health conditions, or who are taking additional medicines, to always speak to their doctor before taking any type of supplement. This includes those that are marketed as "natural."

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