How to Get Viagra: Do You Need A Prescription?

How to Get Viagra: Do You Need A Prescription?

Viagra®, which contains the active ingredient sildenafil, is one of the most popular medications available for treating erectile dysfunction (ED), with millions of users in the United States alone and many more worldwide.

Sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra, functions by blocking the effects of an enzyme called phosphodiesterase type 5, or PDE5. This helps to increase blood flow to your penis, making it easier for you to get and maintain an erection when you’re sexually aroused.

Viagra is currently a prescription medication, meaning you’ll need to talk to a healthcare professional and get a prescription before you can legally purchase it. 

Below, we’ve explained how you can get a prescription for Viagra or generic sildenafil. We’ve also explained why Viagra is only available with a prescription, as well as the risks you should be aware of if you see Viagra advertised for sale without any need for a prescription.

Do You Need a Prescription for Viagra?

Yes, you need a prescription to purchase Viagra. Viagra was approved in 1998 by the FDA to treat ED. Ever since its approval, the FDA has required a prescription for anyone who wants to purchase or use Viagra or generic sildenafil.

Why Is Viagra Only Available With a Prescription?

For most men, Viagra is a safe and effective treatment for erectile dysfunction. However, like all medications, it can cause certain side effects. There’s also a risk of Viagra interacting with other commonly-used medications. 

Common side effects of Viagra include headaches, muscle aches, nasal congestion, dizziness, facial flushing, heartburn, nausea and changes in vision. It’s also common for Viagra to lead to slightly reduced blood pressure.

Although uncommon, Viagra can also cause more serious side effects, such as hearing issues and priapism (persistent, painful erections). 

In general, serious side effects from Viagra are rare. 

However, like with all medications, proper safety is essential and it’s important that a healthcare provider explain these potential side effects to you before you use this medication. 

Viagra can also interact with certain medications. For example, if you use medications to control your blood pressure, such as nitrates, you can’t use Viagra, as mixing the two could result in a sudden drop in blood pressure that could cause you to lose consciousness or suffer serious heart issues.

Because of these potential side effects and drug interactions, Viagra is only available to people with a prescription. This process allows your healthcare provider to ensure that using Viagra is a safe option for you that won’t put you at risk for severe side effects or potentially dangerous interactions.

Many of these side effects and interactions are also possible with other medications for treating erectile dysfunction, such as Cialis® (tadalafil, which is sold as a generic), Levitra® (vardenafil) and Stendra® (avanafil). 

Because of this, purchasing these medications also requires a consultation with a healthcare provider and a prescription.

How to Get a Prescription for Viagra

Getting a prescription for Viagra isn’t difficult. If you suffer from erectile dysfunction, your healthcare provider may offer a prescription for Viagra if they deem that it’s a safe, appropriate treatment option based on your symptoms, medical history and overall health. 

Although medications like Viagra are often associated with older men, you don’t need to be in your 40s, 50s, 60s or 70s to get a Viagra prescription. In fact, it’s common and normal for men in their 20s and 30s to use Viagra and other ED medications. 

If you suffer from occasional or persistent erectile dysfunction and want to get a prescription for Viagra, you have several options:

Get a Viagra Prescription Online 

You don’t need to meet a healthcare professional in person to get a prescription for Viagra. Using our telehealth platform, you can talk to a healthcare provider via an online consultation

If appropriate, you’ll receive a prescription for Viagra, generic sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra) and receive your medication via discreet delivery to your home. 

If you think a different  ED medication is more appropriate for you, you can also talk to a healthcare provider about Cialis, generic tadalafil (the active ingredient in Cialis) or Stendra (avanafil), a newer ED medication with fewer side effects. 

Getting a Viagra prescription online is a good option if you don’t feel comfortable talking to your local healthcare provider about Viagra, or if you just want a convenient, easy alternative to visiting your local healthcare provider’s office.

Visit Your Local healthcare provider’s Office

You can get a prescription for Viagra from your local healthcare provider’s office. Most healthcare providers have written countless prescriptions for Viagra and other ED medications before, meaning there’s no need for you to feel ashamed or embarrassed about bringing up this subject. 

If you have difficulty getting or maintaining an erection, you can simply tell your healthcare provider that you think you might have ED, or ask specifically about using Viagra. Once you talk about ED, your healthcare provider will talk to you about the options available and, if appropriate, write a prescription. 

Pfizer, the company that developed Viagra, offers an online checklist of questions that you can ask your healthcare provider if you’re not sure what to talk about during your visit.

Visit a Urologist, Endocrinologist or Other Specialist Healthcare Provider

If your primary care healthcare provider believes that your erectile dysfunction is related to a physical factor, they may refer you to a specialist healthcare provider such as a urologist or endocrinologist.

They may also refer you to a psychiatrist or other mental health professional if they believe that your ED is related to a physical factor, such as sexual performance anxiety or stress. 

These healthcare providers may talk to you in more detail or perform additional tests to find out which type of treatment is best for you. If appropriate, they can also write a prescription for Viagra or another ED medication. 

Can You Buy Viagra Without a Prescription?

You can’t legally purchase Viagra without a prescription in the United States and the majority of other countries. If you see Viagra available for sale online without a prescription, buying it isn’t a good idea for several reasons. 

Firstly, Viagra is one of the most commonly counterfeited drugs in the world. Merchants that are willing to break the law and sell Viagra without requiring a prescription are also likely to sell fake products that may harm your health.

According to a 2011 study by Pfizer Global Security, more than 80 percent of online merchants that promoted illegal Viagra were selling counterfeit medications. These medications included ingredients such as:

  • Blue printer ink
  • Amphetamines
  • Antibiotics, such as metronidazole
  • Drywall and other binding agents

Some medications were also improperly dosed, meaning they contained more or less sildenafil than their label stated.

Second, many websites that claim to sell Viagra without a prescription aren’t run by trustworthy, reputable businesses. Not only are you at risk of potentially receiving a fake product, but you may also put your personal and financial information at risk by ordering from these websites.

To keep yourself safe, you should only buy Viagra from a reputable vendor that requires you to have a prescription. You can learn more about purchasing medication safely online in this guide from the FDA.

In Conclusion

Viagra is a prescription medication, meaning you won’t be able to purchase it without getting a valid prescription from your healthcare provider. 

Luckily, getting a Viagra prescription is a simple process. You can either talk to a healthcare professional online, visit your local primary care healthcare provider or schedule an appointment with a specialist to talk about your symptoms and discuss treatment options.

If it’s a safe, appropriate option for you, your healthcare provider will write a prescription for Viagra, allowing you to use this medication to treat ED. 

Learn More About Viagra (Sildenafil)

Viagra has been around since the 90s and is used by millions of men of all ages throughout the United States. Today, it’s widely available in its generic form as sildenafil, allowing you to get all of the benefits of Viagra without the typical price tag.

Our guide to Viagra and sildenafil goes into more detail about how generic sildenafil works as a medication. You can also learn more about other medications for treating ED in our full guide to ED treatments and drugs

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.