Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 7/01/2020
Got questions about Stendra? We’ve got answers. The newest FDA-approved medication for erectile dysfunction on the market, Stendra is an effective alternative to older drugs such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra.
Below, we’ve answered 16 of the most common questions about Stendra, from its availability and common dosages to side effects, the amount of time it takes to work, using Stendra with alcohol and more.
Stendra is a medication used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). Approved by the FDA in April of 2012, Stendra is a second-generation treatment for ED, meaning it’s a newer option than older ED drugs such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra.
Like other ED medications, Stendra works by improving blood flow to the erectile tissue of the penis. After using Stendra, men affected by erectile dysfunction typically find it easier to get an erection and stay erect during sexual activity.
Avanafil is the active ingredient in Stendra. All Stendra tablets contain either 50mg, 100mg or 200mg of avanafil. Stendra is currently the only brand of avanafil that’s available in the United States.
Stendra is a new, second-generation erectile dysfunction medication that only in 2012 got its approval by the FDA. Because it’s such a new drug, Stendra is not available as a generic medication in the United States.
In some other countries, Stendra is marketed under the brand name Spedra. Spedra contains the same active ingredient as Stendra (avanafil in a dose of either 50, 100, or 200mg) and has the same benefits as a treatment for ED.
Stendra is a prescription medication, meaning you can’t buy it without first consulting with your doctor and deciding whether or not the medication is a suitable treatment for you.
We offer Stendra online after a medical consultation via an online assessment, allowing you to get Stendra delivered to your door monthly. Stendra and other ED medications are also sold at most pharmacies. If you want to know more about the price, you can read our blog on how much Stendra costs.
Although Stendra and Viagra are both designed to treat erectile dysfunction, there are several key differences between the two medications:
Stendra is more selective than Viagra, meaning it more specifically targets the PDE5 enzyme responsible for regulating blood flow to the erectile tissue of the penis.
Stendra is less likely to cause some side effects, such as headache and facial flushing, than Viagra.
Stendra typically starts working faster than Viagra and is less affected by factors such as your consumption of food and alcohol.
Stendra has a slightly longer half-life than Viagra, meaning it stays effective for a longer period of time after you take it.
Our Stendra vs. Viagra guide goes into more detail on the main differences between these two treatments and explains which option is likely the best for you.
Stendra is the fastest-acting ED medication on the market today. The 100mg and 200mg doses of Stendra typically start working within 15 minutes, allowing you to take the medication shortly before you plan to have sex.
Used at a lower 50mg dose, Stendra typically starts working within 30 minutes. Stendra is also less affected by food than first-generation ED treatments, meaning it will start working quickly even if you’ve recently eaten.
A single dose of Stendra provides relief from erectile dysfunction for up to six hours. This means that Stendra works for slightly longer than Viagra (typically three to five hours) but doesn’t match the extremely long period that Cialis is effective (up to 36 hours).
Stendra has a half-life of five-hours, meaning it takes five hours for the medication to reach half of its original concentration in your body. It’s normal for the effects of Stendra to become slightly less noticeable once several hours have passed since consumption.
Using Stendra is extremely simple. Take a single tablet of the medication 15 to 30 minutes prior to the time you plan to have sex, depending on the dosage you’re prescribed.
You can take the Stendra tablet with or without food — eating does not make the medication less effective.
Stendra comes in three standard dosages, ranging from 50mg to 200mg. The recommended starting dose of the medication is 100mg.
Your doctor will prescribe a specific dose based on the severity of your erectile dysfunction, your age, your general health and other factors.
Like other ED medications, it can take some time to work out the correct dose of Stendra for you. Based on your results, your doctor might recommend increasing or reducing your dose after you start using the medication.
You should not take Stendra more than once per day. If you need an ED treatment that lasts for the entire day, consider a longer-acting medication such as Cialis, which can provide relief from erectile dysfunction for up to 36 hours per dose.
Unlike certain older ED medications, Stendra is generally not affected by your recent intake of food. Stendra is flexible with your food intake, meaning you can use it after eating a large meal with no negative effects on the medication’s effectiveness.
Stendra is flexible to use with alcohol. You can safely consume up to three standard servings of alcohol (for example, three glasses of wine/beer or three shots of hard liquor) with Stendra, all without reducing the effectiveness of the medication as a treatment for ED.
Although Stendra is less likely to cause side effects than first-generation ED medications such as Viagra, it can still cause some side effects.
The most common of these are headache, nasal congestion, facial flushing and back pain.
Our guide to Stendra (avanafil) side effects goes into more detail on the side effects you could experience after using Stendra, as well as how you can treat them.
Stendra can interact with some prescription medications, including nitrates used to treat high blood pressure.
If you use nitrates, such as nitroglycerin, to treat hypertension, you should not use Stendra. If these medications are used together, they can cause a significant drop in blood pressure that can lead to fainting, heart attack or stroke.
Stendra can also interact with some alpha-blockers and CYP3A4 inhibitors. Inform your doctor about all medications you regularly use before considering Stendra or any other treatments for erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction is a common condition that affects men in all age groups, making Stendra a valuable treatment option if you’re affected.
Yes. Stendra is one of several ED medications that are safe and effective for men who’ve had a prostatectomy or other prostate surgery.
In a study from 2013, researchers stated that Stendra was, “effective and well tolerated in improving erectile function after prostatectomy.”
Interested in using Stendra to treat erectile dysfunction? Our Stendra 101 guide goes into greater detail on how Stendra works and its benefits over other ED treatments, as well as how you can use it to prevent ED and improve sexual performance.