Stendra vs. Viagra: Which Is More Effective?

Developed in the 2000s and approved by the FDA in 2012, Stendra is the newest medication on the market for erectile dysfunction (ED).

Naturally, Stendra is often compared to older medications used to treat ED, such as Viagra. As a newer medication, Stendra offers a range of advantages over older medications, ranging from its lower risk of causing side effects to its quicker absorption into the body.

Below, we’ve compared to Stendra (avanafil) and Viagra (sildenafil) using a variety of factors to help you learn more about which erectile dysfunction treatment is the best match for your needs and expectations.

Which Medication Works Faster?

One of the biggest advantages of Stendra is that it works quickly, often in as little as 15 minutes after consumption.

Stendra comes in three doses: 50mg, 100mg and 200mg. The 100mg and 200mg tablets typically start to work within 15 minutes, meaning you can take them a very short time before you plan to have sex. The smaller 50mg dose typically starts working 30 minutes after you take it.

This makes Stendra the fastest-acting erectile dysfunction treatment currently on the market. If you’re looking for a pill that works quickly — meaning you can take it right before sex — Stendra is usually the best choice.

Viagra and generic medications containing sildenafil, on the other hand, typically take action in about one hour. This means that you’ll need to take the medication earlier than Stendra before you have sex.

This is also the case for Cialis (tadalafil) and Levitra (vardenafil), which also require about one hour to take full effect in the body.

Which Medication Lasts Longer?

Stendra has a slightly longer half-life than Viagra, meaning one tablet it will provide relief from erectile dysfunction for longer than an equivalent dose of Viagra.

Avanafil, the active ingredient in Stendra, has a terminal half-life of approximately five hours, meaning it takes five hours to reach 50 percent of its previous concentration in the body. A typical dose of the medication provides relief from erectile dysfunction for around six hours.

Like with other ED treatments, it’s normal for Stendra to become less effective as more time passes since you took the medication. Because of this, it’s best to use the medication shortly before you plan to have sex.

In short, you should notice the normal effects of Stendra for about six hours after you take the medication.

Sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra, has a half-life of four hours. At a typical dose, Viagra or generic sildenafil provides relief from erectile dysfunction for around three to five hours. The effects of Viagra are usually most noticeable one to two hours after you take the medication.

Both Stendra and Viagra are short-acting ED medications. Cialis, or tadalafil, can last for up to 36 hours in the body and provide longer-acting relief from ED, making it a better option if you’re looking for a medication that prevents ED for several days.

Which Medication Treats ED Better?

Clinical studies of avanafil (the active ingredient in Stendra) and sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra) show that both medications are very effective at treating erectile dysfunction.

Despite being a relatively new medication, Stendra is backed up by several large-scale studies of men with ED. In a 2012 study, researchers stated that avanafil, Stendra’s active ingredient, is “effective and well-tolerated” as a treatment for erectile dysfunction.

In this study, men who received the medication at a dose of 100mg or 200mg showed a significant improvement in IIEF-EFD, a scoring system used to assess erection quality.

Other studies of Stendra have produced similar findings. In a 2014 clinical review of avanafil, researchers found that men with ED who used avanafil showed improvements in erection quality at all dosages, from the lowest 50mg dose to the strongest 200mg tablet.

In short, Stendra is proven to work well as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, with large-scale studies backing up its effectiveness.

As for Viagra, there are countless studies showing its success as a treatment for erectile dysfunction. In a 1998 study, researchers found that sildenafil, Viagra’s active ingredient, is an “effective, well-tolerated treatment” for men with ED.

Other studies of Viagra have led to similar results. In a clinical review from 2002, researchers stated over 95 percent of men who used sildenafil over a period of one to three years reported that they were satisfied with the effects of the treatment on their erections.

In short, Stendra and Viagra are both highly effective treatments for ED. Although some users might prefer one medication to the other, study data shows that both medications work well for improving erection quality and enhancing sexual performance.

Which Medication Has Fewer Side Effects?

Stendra and Viagra can both cause similar side effects. However, study data shows that fewer men experience specific side effects, such as headaches and nasal congestion, with Stendra than with Viagra.

Headaches are the most common side effect of both medications. According to FDA trial data, 10.5 percent of men who use Stendra at the highest prescribed dose experience headaches, as well as a smaller percentage of men who use Stendra at 50mg and 100mg doses.

Approximately 28 percent of men who use Viagra at the highest prescribed dose report headaches, making this side effect almost three times as common for Viagra users.

This is also a common trend for other side effects. Facial flushing is a common side effect of both Stendra and Viagra. However, it occurs in 4.3 percent of men who use the highest prescribed dose of Stendra, versus 18 percent of men who use the highest prescribed dose of Viagra.

Similarly, side effects such as nasal congestion, heartburn and back pain are all significantly more likely to occur with Viagra than with Stendra.

More severe side effects, such as vision-related issues, are also reported more frequently by Viagra users than by Stendra users. As Stendra specifically targets the PDE5 enzyme, it’s far less likely to cause side effects resulting from inhibiting PDE1, PDE6 and other enzymes.

Both Stendra and Viagra can interact with some medications used to treat hypertension and other cardiovascular issues. In particular, nitrates are not safe to use in combination with any medications used to treat ED.

You can learn more about Stendra’s side effects, including the specific risk of each side effect occurring, in our detailed guide to Stendra side effects.

In general, while both medications can and occasionally do cause side effects, Stendra is less likely to cause common side effects and has fewer severe side effects than older medications such as Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil) and Levitra (vardenafil).

Which Medication is Safer?

Stendra and Viagra are both very safe medications, provided they’re used as prescribed. If you are a healthy male with no history of cardiovascular disease, hypertension or other heart-related health issues, you can safely use either drug as prescribed by your doctor.

Both medications are sold as prescription drugs only, meaning you’ll need to talk to your doctor before you can use either Stendra or Viagra.

The Bottom Line

If you have erectile dysfunction and want to treat it, Stendra and Viagra are both safe, effective treatment options.

As the newest ED medication on the market, Stendra offers many of the same benefits as older drugs like Viagra with fewer side effects. If you’re prone to headaches, nausea or other common side effects from Viagra, it’s worth considering Stendra as an alternative.

Thanks to its fast onset of action and slightly longer half-life, Stendra is also a good option if you want a more flexible medication that you can take shortly before sex.

Learn More About Stendra (Avanafil)

Interested in learning more about Stendra? As the newest FDA-approved erectile dysfunction medication, Stendra offers several benefits over older medications such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra.

Our Stendra 101 guide goes into more detail on how Stendra works, as well as how you can use it to treat erectile dysfunction and improve your sexual performance.

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.