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10 Things to Know About Generic Viagra

Author: Sarah Ryan

Generic Viagra or sildenafil hasn’t been around all that long. In fact, it only became available to the masses in 2017 when Pfizer realized their patent on the “little blue pill” was going to run out in 2020. Since then, sildenafil and viagra have become the most popular drugs on the market as a treatment option for erectile dysfunction (ED). 


Do you or someone you know suffer from ED and want to know more about the pill that helps millions of men each year combat something that can be embarrassing to talk about? Read on to learn ten interesting facts about Viagra and its generic option, sildenafil. 

ONE: Pfizer Isn’t The Only Manufacturer Out There 

Yes, Pfizer was the first to release Viagra back in 1998. When its popularity started gaining traction, Pfizer decided it was time to develop the more affordable generic option sildenafil. Initially, upon its release, there was only one other company, Teva Pharmaceuticals, manufacturing it, but since December 2017, there are now a handful of other companies making the miracle pill. These companies include Aurobindo, Cambia, Mylan, Bristol Labs, and Greenstone, a Pfizer subsidiary and the O.G. sildenafil manufacturer. 

TWO: Generic Viagra Prices are Dropping

When Pfizer first released Viagra, the cost was a whopping $100 per pill, and back in the late 90s, that was a lot of moolah. Then in 2017, when Teva and Greenstone released sildenafil, the prices dropped to around $50. However, now that sildenafil is so widely manufactured (thank you, supply and demand), you can get a prescription that will cost you anywhere between $1 and $10 per pill depending on the strength of the does, who makes it, and what type of health insurance you carry.  

THREE: Generic Viagra Comes in Multiple Strengths

Like Viagra, sildenafil is available in 20mg, 25mg, 50mg (most common), and 100mg pill doses. In general, most doctors recommend that patients start at the 25mg level and work their way up. This is also very dependant on the man’s age, overall health, the severity of his ED, and if he is taking any other medications or health conditions that could interfere with sildenafil. 


Since ED medication requires a prescription in the U.S., you will have to talk to a board-certified medical professional before taking Viagra, generic Viagra, or any other ED medication. It is never a good idea to take medication for ED if you have any underlying heart conditions

FOUR: Sildenafil is the Same as Brand-name Viagra

Yes, that’s right! The knock-off stuff is just as good as the fancy stuff when it comes to medications, Viagra included. Companies often decide to develop generic medicines to offer their customers a more affordable option, which keeps people buying from the same manufacturer. However, people out there question how well the generic works than its fancier (more expensive) brand-name medication cousin. The short answer here is that there are no real differences between the two. The generic medication still has to go through the same rigorous FDA approval process to ensure its effectiveness, and that the only real difference is usually the way it looks. Case and point when it comes to Viagra and sildenafil; Viagra is blue, and sildenafil is white. 

FIVE: Sildenafil Isn’t Your Only Option

So that we’re not confusing you, sildenafil is the generic option for Viagra, but it’s not the only option for treating ED. There is a less well-known drug on the market called Levitra (vardenafil) that can also be prescribed to treat ED and is said to be an excellent alternative to sildenafil, especially if sildenafil hasn’t worked for you or you’re unable to take it because of the way it interacts with other drugs you currently take. 


Other commonly known medications available to treat ED include:

  • Cialis or its generic, tadalafil 

  • Stendra - no generic available 

SIX: Counterfeit Viagra Exists

Viagra and other ED medications are some of the most counterfeited drugs on the market, making it super important to know who you’re getting your medicines from. Both Viagra and sildenafil are available through retail pharmacies from reputable manufacturers, making it unnecessary to buy from online companies that aren’t regulated by the FDA. In fact, the problem has become so wide-spread, Pfizer put together an internal team called Pfizer Global Security (PGS) that works with law enforcement, pharmacies, and wholesalers to monitor and improve surveillance on the distribution of counterfeit Viagra. 


Looking out for counterfeit Viagra is especially important because the PGS team found a bunch of dangerous additives in these fake pills, including blue printer ink, speed (amphetamines), rat poison, road paint, and floor wax. And we highly doubt you’d want to put any of these nasty things in your body. 

SEVEN: Generic Viagra Has Side Effects

Although sildenafil puts the ‘oooo’ back in oomph, there are still a few things to consider before deciding to take the “little blue or white pill.” Most of the side effects caused by sildenafil are minor and common. However, there have been some more serious effects reported by its users. 

Common side effects: 

  • Headaches

  • Low blood pressure

  • Indigestion

  • Warm feeling under the skin, or skin flushing

  • Heartburn

  • Diarrhea

  • Insomnia

  • Tingling in hands or feet

  • Achy muscles

  • Light sensitivity

Serious side effects:

  • Blurred vision or sudden loss of vision

  • Loss of hearing or ringing in ears

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Fainting

  • Shortness of breath

  • Chest pain

  • Itching or burning while urinating

  • Severe rash

  • Painful erections or an erection lasting longer than four hours


While these more severe side effects aren’t common, it is crucial to call your doctor or 911 should they occur.


Along with the side effects that come with taking generic Viagra, there are also a few medications and some foods that shouldn’t be ingested while taking sildenafil. 

The most commonly known interactions to be aware of include:

  • Combining certain blood pressure and heart medications 

  • Taking more than one ED medication

  • Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice

  • Combining CP450 drugs, such as cimetidine, clopidogrel, omeprazole, and modafinil


To be sure you can take generic Viagra, it is essential to tell your doctor all the medications you are currently on, including over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and dietary supplements. 

EIGHT: The UK Offers Viagra Without a Prescription

To reduce the amount of bootleg Viagra being produced, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (The FDA in the UK) decided to offer patients in the UK OTC access without a prescription. It sells under the name Viagra Connect and comes in a 50mg pill for about USD 25 per four tablets. This is excellent news for men in the Queen’s country - maybe the FDA will approve the same thing here in the US at some point. 

NINE: Generic Viagra Does More Than Treat Erectile Dysfunction

Some people say that the best inventions were created by accident; Viagra is one of them. The development of Viagra to treat ED was, in fact, an accident. Researchers tested the medication for treating high blood pressure and angina (chest pain associated with heart disease) when they realized it was also very effective at inducing erections. 


Since this discovery, sildenafil is prescribed to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension, along with high blood pressure, chest pain, and of course, erectile dysfunction. 

TEN: You Can Get Sildenafil Through Online Digital Clinics

Through the power of the internet and online doctors, you can get a prescription for generic Viagra. Online doctors and digital clinics are just as reputable as your primary care doctor and have the power to prescribe medicine to treat an extensive list of conditions, including ED. The doctors employed by these online companies are board-certified and go through specific training to treat patients virtually, from the comfort of your own home. 

Gone are the days of making an appointment, waiting weeks to be seen by your doctor, driving to the appointment, talking to your doctor about what can be super embarrassing, then waiting at the pharmacy for your prescription feeling like everyone knows what you’re there to pick up. Online doctors and digital clinics take all those inconvenient things out of the picture, putting you back in control of how you deal with erectile dysfunction. 


One Online Doctor that we highly recommend is K Health. K Health offers first-rate healthcare services to treat a wide variety of conditions, including ED. The board-certified doctors at K can also provide you prescriptions for generic Viagra at the best prices we've seen to date.


If you're looking to explore all your options, here’s a list of the top providers that we’ve reviewed and pre-vetted that can help you live a more wild life between the sheets:


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Sarah Ryan

Sarah covers mental health, parenting, and women's health-related issues at ReliefSeeker. As a mother of two wonderful kids with a long career in marketing & media, Sarah's perspective on access to world-class healthcare connects to both heart and mind.

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