8 Common Side Effects of Erectile Dysfunction Drugs Like Viagra and Others

By Todd Kureih | Updated on November 5, 2022.

Although erectile dysfunction medications are effective in many cases, they can also cause unpleasant side effects. Sometimes, these side effects can be severe enough to make the medications unusable.

Side Effects of Erectile Dysfunction drugs
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Inside This Article
Side effects   |   Priapism   |   Body Aches   |   Congestion   |   Flushes   |   Headaches   |   Vision changes   |   Dizziness   |   Digestive problems   |    Who should not take it    |    Does effects go away    |    Option with least side effects    |    Options that don't put patient at risk

An erection requires sexual stimulation. The brain sends signals to the nervous system, which in turn triggers the release of chemicals that cause the muscles in the penis to relax and allow blood to flow in. (1)

If any of these steps are disrupted, it can lead to impotence. Physical causes include nerve damage, low testosterone levels, and atherosclerosis. Psychological causes include stress, anxiety, and depression.

Side Effects of ED Medication


Priapism is a medical condition in which the erectile tissue of the penis fills up with blood, causing an erection that lasts more than four hours. (2)

While it can occur in men of any age, it is most common in older men. It is often a side effect of sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra), which are used to treat erectile dysfunction.

In rare cases, it can also be caused by an injury to the penis or a genetic disorder. Even though priapism usually doesn't put a person's life at risk, it can lead to serious problems, such as damage to the penis tissue, if it isn't treated.

Body Aches and Pains.

Several different erectile dysfunction medications are on the market, each with its unique side effects. However, one of these medications' most common side effects is body aches and pains.

This is because the medications work by relaxing the muscles in the penis, causing tension and pain in other body parts. In addition, the medications can also cause an increase in blood pressure, which can lead to headaches and dizziness. (3)

If you are experiencing body aches and pains, you can do a few things to help ease the pain. For example, you can try taking a warm bath or using a heating pad on the affected area.

You can also try massaging the affected area. If the pain persists or gets worse, you should contact your doctor. They may be able to prescribe a different medication or adjust your dosage.

Congestion and A Runny Nose

Many men who take ED medications experience congestion and a runny nose, which can be an embarrassing side effect. Congestion and a runny nose are so common among men taking ED medication that they have become known as "the ED medication nose."

There are a few possible reasons why ED medication might lead to congestion and a runny nose. First, the medication itself may have a direct effect on the nose.

Second, the medication may increase blood flow to the nose, leading to congestion and a runny nose.

Finally, the medication may decrease blood flow to the nose, leading to congestion and a runny nose.

No matter what's causing congestion or a runny nose, these are side effects of ED medications, and men who take them should be aware that they might happen. (4)


In addition to the more common side effects such as headaches and upset stomachs, some men also experience flushes.

This can be a side effect of the medication itself or a reaction to its ingredients. If you experience flushes while taking erectile dysfunction medication, it is important to speak to your doctor so that they can determine the cause and find a treatment that is right for you. (5)


Even though medications for erectile dysfunction may help treat the problem, they can cause headaches as a side effect.

In some cases, the headaches may be so severe that the medication has to be discontinued. However, a few things can be done to alleviate the problem, such as changing the dosage or taking the medication with food. (6)

If the headaches persist, it is important to talk to a doctor to see if the medication is the right fit for the patient.

Vision Changes

ED medication has been known to cause vision changes in some men. While these changes are usually not permanent, they can be troubling for those who experience them. (7)

In some cases, men have reported seeing a blue tinge to their vision or experiencing difficulty distinguishing between colors. While these side effects are typically mild, they can be concerning for those who experience them.

If you are taking ED medication and experiencing any changes in your vision, be sure to contact your doctor.


Dizziness is just one of the many possible side effects. While it may not be the most common side effect, it is still something that can occur.

In most cases, the dizziness is not severe and goes away relatively quickly. However, there are some cases where the dizziness can be more severe and last for a longer period. (8)

If you are experiencing dizziness due to sexual dysfunction medication, it is important to speak with your doctor.

Digestive System Problems

In addition to the obvious sexual side effects, several digestive system problems can also occur. These range from mild to severe and can include everything from heartburn and indigestion to gastric ulcers and bleeding.

Suppose you are taking any form of erectile dysfunction medication. In that case, it is important to be aware of these potential problems and to watch for any signs or symptoms that may develop. ED medications can cause digestive system problems in a few different ways.

First, ED medication can reduce the production of stomach acid. This can lead to indigestion, heartburn, and other digestive problems.

Second, ED medication can also cause constipation. The medication can interfere with the body's natural food breakdown process.

Finally, ED medication can also cause diarrhea. This is because the medicine can make the body absorb more water through the intestines.

Who Should Not Take Erectile Dysfunction Medications?

For various reasons, a few people should not take erectile dysfunction medications.

Men taking nitrate medications for angina or other heart conditions should not take these medications, as the combination can lead to a sharp drop in blood pressure. (9)

Men with certain medical conditions such as liver disease or kidney disease may not be able to take these medications safely.

Men who are taking certain other medications such as alpha-blockers may not be able to take erectile dysfunction medications safely.

You should not take these medications if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure.

These medications can also interact with other medications you may be taking, so it is important to talk to your doctor.

Does Erectile Dysfunction From Oral Medication Go Away?

It's a common question that doesn't have a straightforward answer. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or maintain an erection. Various things can cause it, and sometimes it's a temporary issue.

But other times, it can be a more lasting problem. Several medications can cause ED. These include antidepressants, antihistamines, and blood pressure medications.

If you're taking any of these medications and are experiencing ED, it's important to talk to your doctor. They may be able to recommend an alternative medication. In some cases, the ED may go away on its own.

If it doesn't go away on its own, there are treatments available that can help. These include oral medications, injections, and vacuum devices. If you're concerned about ED, talk to your doctor. They can help you determine the cause and find the best treatment for you.

What Erectile Dysfunction Medication Has The Least Side Effects? Viagra and Others

Although several different options are on the market, not all are created equal. Some of these medications can cause serious side effects, while others have fewer side effects.

Let's look at a few of the most popular ones and see which one has the best results. The most popular erectile dysfunction medications are Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra.

Viagra is the most well-known of these medications but has the most side effects. Side effects of Viagra include headaches, flushing, upset stomachs, and nasal congestion.

It can also cause more serious side effects, like vision problems, hearing loss, and priapism, which is a painful erection that lasts more than four hours.

Cialis is another popular erectile dysfunction medication. It is similar to Viagra in that it has several side effects, including headache, flushing, upset stomach, and nasal congestion.

However, Cialis does not have the same serious side effects as Viagra.

The most side effect of Levitra is headaches. Levitra has several other side effects, including flushing, upset stomach, and nasal congestion. However, these side effects are not as common as they are with Viagra and Cialis.

Avanafil may also cause fewer adverse effects than older medications used to treat erectile dysfunction. Avanafil may be safer than the rest.

side effects of ed drugs

Can You Suggest ED Treatment Options That Don't Put the Patient at Risk?

The second-generation PDE5 drug, avanafil, is an option worth discussing with your physician if you are concerned about potential side effects or have any existing medical conditions. Avanafil has been associated with fewer side effects than previous ED drugs. (10)

No erectile dysfunction drug should be taken by someone who also takes nitrates for heart problems due to the risk of dangerous interactions. Alternatively, your doctor might suggest testosterone replacement therapy or surgical intervention.

In recent years, the use of nitric oxide to treat ED has become more prevalent. It helps relax blood vessels. This causes the muscles in the penis to relax. This lets blood flow into the tissue, which causes an erection.

Nitric oxide is often used as a treatment for ED because it is safe, effective, and has few side effects. In addition, it can be used on an as-needed basis, making it convenient for men who do not want to take daily medication.


Erectile dysfunction medications can have several side effects. If you have any of these side effects, you should stop taking the medicine immediately and go to the doctor.

Todd Kureih

Todd Kureih is a sexologist with years of experience helping men overcome erectile dysfunction and low testosterone and boost their libido. He provides expert information on topics like male enhancement and general male sexual health.

1. Nicole Prause, and James Pfaus. (2015). Viewing Sexual Stimuli Associated with Greater Sexual Responsiveness, Not Erectile Dysfunction. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4498826/

2. Ekeke O. N., et al. (2015). Management of Priapism in Adult Men. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4370551/

3. Pietro Brunetti, et al. (2020). Pharmacology of Herbal Sexual Enhancers: A Review of Psychiatric and Neurological Adverse Effects. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7602496/

4. Hui-yi Deng, et al. (2020). Olfactory Sensitivity Is Related to Erectile Function in Adult Males. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7056663/

5. J DeFazio, et al. (1984). Direct action of androgen on hot flushes in the human male [Abstract]. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6472125/

6. Evans R. W. (2006). Sildenafil can trigger cluster headaches [Abstract]. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16412168/

7. Eva Ausó, et al. (2021). Visual Side Effects Linked to Sildenafil Consumption: An Update [Abstract]. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33809319/

8. Kloner R. A., et al. (2001). Effect of sildenafil in patients with erectile dysfunction taking antihypertensive therapy. Sildenafil Study Group [Abstract]. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11206684/

9. R A Kloner. (2000). Cardiovascular risk and sildenafil [Abstract]. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10899281/

10. Hongtao Wang, et al. (2014). The effectiveness and safety of avanafil for erectile dysfunction: a systematic review and meta-analysis [Abstract]. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24701971/

Please note that all articles on LibidoMale should be used strictly for informational purposes only. Kindly consult your doctor or certified medical professional for medical advice.

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