Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 8/4/2021
If you’ve searched online for information about treating erectile dysfunction (ED), you’ve almost certainly come across advertisements for cheap, discreet ED treatments.
One of the most common ED treatments promoted online is Kamagra, a generic ED medication that’s produced in India and marketed worldwide.
Kamagra is sold as a tablet and as a flavored oral jelly. It’s often marketed as a cheap alternative to drugs like Viagra® (both medications share the same active ingredient), usually via banner ads and spam emails.
Yet while Kamagra can look appealing, it hasn’t been through the same safety testing and approval process as ED medications sold in the United States.
There are also certain safety risks associated with buying this type of medication online without a prescription you should be aware of.
Read on to learn more about Kamagra Oral Jelly, including how it works and the science behind its effects on ED.
Below you’ll also find information on why it might not be worth using Kamagra — from personal safety and value-for-money standpoints.
There are several affordable, FDA-approved medications you should consider instead if you’re one of the tens of millions of American men affected by ED.
Kamagra Oral Jelly is a common medication used to treat erectile dysfunction. It comes in single-use packs with a flavored oral jelly containing sildenafil, the same active ingredient in the medication Viagra.
Several different flavored Kamagra Oral Jelly packs are available, including orange, vanilla and chocolate among others.
Unlike most ED medications which come in tablet form and are intended for use with a glass of water, Kamagra can be applied directly into the mouth, where it quickly dissolves.
Typically produced in India, Kamagra is usually marketed as a cheaper alternative to drugs such as Viagra (which also contains sildenafil) and Cialis® (which contains tadalafil).
As mentioned above, Kamagra Oral Jelly isn’t currently approved for use in the United States. This means it has yet to go through the strict testing and approval process the FDA requires for medications.
Kamagra Oral Jelly contains sildenafil citrate, which is the same active ingredient in the popular ED medication Viagra.
While there’s relatively little research on Kamagra itself, several large-scale studies have found that sildenafil is very effective at treating erectile dysfunction.
Sildenafil is a PDE5 inhibitor, and like most other ED medications, it works by relaxing the muscles that supply blood to the erectile tissue of your penis, making it easier for you to get and keep an erection when you’re sexually aroused.
Numerous studies, as well as several large-scale reviews, have concluded that sildenafil is one of the most effective treatments available for ED.
So, if Kamagra comes in a convenient form that’s easy to use, costs relatively little and works the same way as other medications that contain sildenafil, why isn’t it worth using?
There are several reasons to avoid Kamagra, but the biggest is that there’s no way to truly know what you’re getting when you purchase this medication.
Currently, Kamagra isn’t approved for sale in the United States. This means that it isn’t available from any trustworthy, US-based suppliers such as your local pharmacy or reliable telemedicine websites.
The only way to get Kamagra, at least in the United States, is to either purchase it online or buy it from an unlicensed, illegal local source, almost always without a prescription.
This is where the problems start. First, buying prescription medication without a prescription can be a very risky process.
This is because prescription medications like the sildenafil in Kamagra need to be used at the right dosage to produce intended effects.
If you inadvertently take an overly high dose, for example, you may be more at risk of experiencing side effects from sildenafil.
What’s more, like other PDE5 inhibitors, the sildenafil in Kamagra can interact with other medications.
Some medications, including nitrates, can cause life-threatening interactions when used at the same time as medications like Kamagra.
When you receive prescription medication from a licensed healthcare provider, you’ll talk about these side effects together and take steps to avoid any potentially hazardous interactions.
Yet when you order unlicensed medication online, this step doesn’t occur, meaning you may be at risk of issues when you start using a medication like Kamagra.
Second, drug counterfeiting is a major international issue, and unlicensed ED medications sold online (like Kamagra) are some of the most frequently counterfeited in the world.
Counterfeit medications are often riddled with issues, from contaminants to dosages that simply don’t match the information provided on the medication’s label.
In one analysis, researchers found that barely 10 percent of sampled PDE5i medications bought online were within 10 percent of the dosage listed on the medication’s label.
This means that when you buy medication that could be counterfeited, there’s a serious risk it will contain much less or much more of the active ingredient than it should.
On one hand, this can result in lackluster performance. On the other hand, a medication that contains too much of its active ingredient could cause severe side effects or increase your risk of serious drug interactions.
Then there’s the contaminant issue. To save money, many counterfeit drug manufacturers use low quality, potentially dangerous ingredients in their medications.
For example, the same research mentioned above covered the ingredients of several ED drugs purchased online and revealed contaminants such as commercial paint and printer ink.
Finally, when you order medication like Kamagra online from an unlicensed pharmacy, there’s a real risk that your financial information could be misused.
Many illicit online pharmacies take a lax approach to credit card security. Since most are based overseas, they generally don’t comply with US laws designed to keep your financial information private and protect you from things like credit card fraud.
Worse yet, some online pharmacies are outright frauds themselves. The AARP, an organization for retired people, warns its members that many illicit pharmacies are tied to international crime networks that steal money and use personal information for identity theft.
While the sildenafil used in Kamagra is generally effective as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, issues like unreliable or unsafe manufacturing, contamination with unwanted ingredients and dosages that just don’t match the packaging all mean that unlicensed ED drugs like Kamagra are best avoided.
When ED medications like Viagra and Cialis first appeared on the market in the late 1990s and early 2000s, they were far from affordable.
At the time, these medications were under patent protection, meaning that affordable generics weren’t available in the United States.
As a result, cheap, overseas medications like Kamagra seemed like quite an appealing option. Add email spam and cheap banner ads into the equation and drugs like Kamagra have become well known over the years.
Today, the situation is completely different. The patents on most ED medications have expired, meaning that affordable, high quality generic versions of medications like Viagra and Cialis are now readily available in the US.
If you’re affected by erectile dysfunction, you’ll get far better results from these medications than you would from an unlicensed drug like Kamagra Oral Jelly.
Accessing ED medication is easy. You can find generic sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra) and tadalafil (Cialis) online, following a consultation with a licensed healthcare provider who will determine if a prescription is appropriate.
Tadalafil is a longer-acting ED medication that lasts for up to 36 hours, earning it a reputation as the “weekend” ED treatment.
This full guide to the most common ED treatments provides more information about how these medications work, their dosages, side effects and more.
Newer medications such as Stendra® (which contains the active ingredient avanafil) can also treat erectile dysfunction and improve your sexual performance.
In addition to PDE5 inhibitors, several other methods are used to treat erectile dysfunction and other sexual performance issues:
Psychotherapy. Many cases of ED are psychological, meaning they’re linked to issues such as depression, anxiety or severe stress. In this case, your healthcare provider may suggest undergoing counseling.
Other medications. When PDE5 inhibitors aren’t effective at improving your erections and sexual performance, your healthcare provider may recommend alprostadil or other types of medication.
Vacuum constriction devices (VCDs). Also known as “penis pumps,” these devices work by pulling blood into your penis. You may need to wear an elastic ring to sustain your erection during sex.
Kamagra Oral Jelly is one of the most well-known generic versions of Viagra. It’s been around for decades and has been relentlessly promoted through spam emails, banner ads and other forms of online marketing.
Yet while the sildenafil used in Kamagra is backed up by research, it’s not wise to use Kamagra and other unlicensed medications to treat ED.
Not only are these medications potentially unsafe, they’re often sold by vendors that engage in less-than-ethical activities when it comes to billing and customer privacy.
If you want to treat ED but prefer to avoid the price tag of brand name Viagra, you’ll get the best results by buying generic ED medication from a reputable telehealth provider.
Not only will you get the medication you need — you’ll also be able to discuss your issues with a licensed healthcare provider to make sure your safety is taken into account.