What to Expect from Erectile Dysfunction Medication?

Oral medications are often the first-line treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED). How do ED drugs work? ED medications work well for men who find difficulty achieving or keeping an erection firm enough for intercourse, and these medications cause minimal side effects.

Sildenafil, tadalafil, avanafil, and vardenafil are oral ED pills that work by causing the relaxation of muscles in the penis. These are some of the most widely used prescription treatments available today. These drugs increase blood circulation and allow you to get an erection in response to sexual stimulation. All these are the fastest working ED pills.

Some well-understood research studies observe the direct effects, the onset of action, half-life, side effects, and other associated information that affects how each medication works. Let’s find what one should expect from ED medications, how long you should wait for the medications to show their efficacy and the adverse effects that may cause.

The onset of action for ED drugs: How long does it take?

Most erectile dysfunction medicines take 30 to 60 minutes to begin their action. According to health care experts, the fastest-working ED pill is avanafil which can begin producing effects within fifteen minutes if you use a moderate to a high dose of the medication.
Sildenafil (viagra) takes approximately an hour to start its action and should be taken about an hour before you plan to indulge in sexual activity.

Usually, sildenafil begins to produce a noticeable effect between 30 to 60 minutes after being consumed orally with a glass of water.

Tadalafil generally takes 30 to 60 minutes to start working, but it can take up to two hours or as little as fifteen minutes to start working for some men.

The onset of action of vardenafil is the same as sildenafil. It is best to take the tablet about an hour before sexual activity to give it time to begin working.

Regardless of the specific medication you use, it is best to take the erection medicine about sixty minutes before you plan to have sex. One will experience the medication’s full effects when you and your partner become intimate. Moreover, if your health care specialist provides a specific recommendation for when to take your medication, it is important to follow their advice.

All these erectile dysfunction drugs can be used with or without food. Health care experts advised taking sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil and avanafil with a glass of water after one or two hours of a meal.

Half-lives of ED Medication: How Long Do The Effects Last?

The half-life of a drug is the amount of time required for the concentration of the medications in your body to fall to half of its peak. This helps to determine how long a medication stays active in your bloodstream. Generally, ED medications still provide effects after one-half life and gradually become less effective as they are excreted from the body.
After two to three half-lives gas passes, the ED drug will be completely ineffective and will not provide any noticeable effects.

Here is a list of ED medications with the half-lives and duration of action:

  • Sildenafil (viagra) has a half-life of 4 to 5 hours and stays in the bloodstream for 3 to 5 hours after it’s consumed.
  • Vardenafil has a half-life of 4 to 5 hours and remains in the bloodstream for up to 6 hours after its consumed
  • Tadalafil has a half-life of 17.5 hours and remains active for up to 36 hours after taking it.
  • Avanafil has a half-life of 3 to 4 hours and stays in the bloodstream for up to 6 hours after its consumed. This gives it a similar effect period to vardenafil and a slightly longer half-life than viagra.

Tadalafil is believed to be the longest-lasting of the four erectile dysfunction drugs currently available on the market. All men react differently to each medicine. It is important to talk openly without your health care specialist to provide the best medication for your erection problem.

Because of the longest half-life, tadalafil is usually the preferred option for men who wish to treat their erection problem for several days at once without needing to take several pills. Shorter action drugs, including vardenafil, sildenafil, and avanafil, are generally preferred for incidental use.

Common Side Effects of ED Medications

The side effects of all the four medications are almost similar as they have a similar mode of action. Commonly reported ED meds side effects are:

  • Muscle aches or back pain
  • Mild headache associated with the use of ED drugs
  • Nasal congestion or a stuffy nose
  • Dizziness
  • Vision problems
  • Digestive problems
  • Facial flush, which can range from facial redness
  • Rhinitis

All the Erectile dysfunction medicines can cause a mild reduction in your blood pressure levels. This is caused by their effects on smooth muscle tissue and blood circulation. Use these medicines under a doctor’s supervision to reduce ED side effects.


Sildenafil, vardenafil, tadalafil, and avanafil are the oral medications that improve erectile function in men. These erectile dysfunction drugs increase blood flow and allow you to get an erection in response to sexual stimulation.