What Are The Side Effects Of Erection Pills?

erection pills side effects

In this article, we discuss short term and long term side effects of erection pills.


Erection pills may be a popular choice by men to keep their sex game going. However, these pills might result in unknown effects on a man’s health. 

Also owing to the modern lifestyle full of stress, that has resulted in an increased incidence of erectile dysfunction (ED) in men. Even sexual health problems such as the loss of libido, low sperm count, premature ejaculation, etc. are making erection pills an indispensable part of a man’s life.

From Allopathy to Ayurveda every medicinal system seems to have come up with their own formulations for the growing market.

These pills mainly act by dilating the arteries of the penis causing a surge in blood flow and resulting in the hardening of the organ for a longer time than usual. But what could these pills be doing to a man’s health during long-term usage?

Common Erection Pills

The most common drug is sildenafil marketed as Viagra. Its effects begin to show in the first 30 minutes and last up to 4 hours. A few more options include avanafil marketed as Stendra and tadalafil marketed as Cialis. 

Ayurveda, on the other hand, has given various plant extracts like ashwagandha, sharawati, tulsi, or gokshura to treat erectile dysfunction and increase vigor and sperm count. Although they are not known to cause erections.

Erection Pill Abuse

Erection pills being used for the purpose it shouldn’t be is the main concern presently. Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, and other such ED pills are constantly abused to perform better in bed. Especially without a proper prescription. People need to understand that these medicines do not affect sexual desire but only help to generate and maintain an erection.

It is also not new for some athletes to abuse erections pills to improve performance. These pills are being taken by men who doubt having erectile dysfunction.  One needs to consult a medical practitioner for it can lead to serious consequences.

But what needs thought is, how these habits can affect the long term vigor of a man?

Side Effects Of Erection Pills

  • Headache – It’s the main and most common side effect of erection pills which appears due to sudden change in blood flow to the brain.
  • Body ache – It has been reported commonly in men taking these medications frequently. Most often this pain occurs on the lower back.
  • Dizziness – Manifests due to an increase in a chemical called nitrates in the body, the result of which may be mild dizziness and discomfort in daily activities. Blood vessels are dilated out of the blue. Your body takes a short period to adapt to the drop in blood pressure.
  • Vision changes – It may cause blurry vision due to the diversion of blood flow from the optic nerve to the penile region.

Other Long Term Effects Of ED Pills

  • Psychological – Erection pills can easily cause dependence due to chronic usage. These pills are used as a means of treatment for erectile dysfunction and not a cure. There is every chance that their usage may be extended beyond the required period. In fact, a male may begin to think that he only gets strong erections when on ED pills.
  • Causing a loss of vision and hearing – Due to this, ED pills have been strictly prohibited for men with visual and auditory problems. Besides, studies prove that these pills can aggravate the already existing vision loss or spur a fresh problem in previously normal individuals if used for a long duration.
  • Cardiovascular side effects – Long term usage of ED pills are known to cause an increased risk of heart attack, ischemic heart disease, cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), and cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart) in certain individuals. Hence it is not advised for patients with pre-existing heart disease to take ED pills.
  • Effects on the brain – They have been observed to be increasing the risk of stroke or brain hemorrhage in normal people and also aggravating the disease in pre-existing patients. This is again due to excess diverted blood flow towards the pelvic region. 
  • Gastrointestinal – Bowel-related conditions like diarrhea, dyspepsia, and gastritis can arise due to chronic usage of ED pills.
  • Genitourinary – Conditions like urinary incontinence or urinary tract infections, cystitis, abnormal ejaculation, difficulty in obtaining orgasm, etc. are seen to be caused among a few people using erection pills.

ED pills are also associated with an increase in the risk of hypertension and diabetes.

The above-mentioned side effects usually persist due to chronic ED pill consumption, especially when used for recreational purposes. 

Who Should Avoid Erection Pills?

  • Patients who have had heart surgery (at least within 6 months) and patients with pre-existing heart conditions.
  • Those who have a deformed penis.
  • Experienced an erection that lasted more than 4 to 6 hours, due to the risk of Priapism.
  • Those who have or have had blood-related conditions like sickle cell anemia, multiple myeloma, leukemia.
  • Patients of stomach ulcers.
  • Those who have high or low blood pressure.
  • Those who have had a stroke or at the risk of having one.
  • Who have liver-related conditions
  • Those who have kidney-related illnesses or those who are on dialysis.

Patients who take the following medications also need to avoid using erection pills:

  • Nitrates
  • HIV drugs like ritonavir (Norvir)
  • Adempas (riociguat)
  • Hytrin (terazosin HCl)
  • Minipress (prazosin HCl)
  • Flomax (tamsulosin HCl)
  • Antifungals like ketoconazole (Nizoral) and itraconazole (Sporanox)
  • Patients already on Revatio for pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Erection Pills Side Effects: Conclusion

Who could this affect? When do the symptoms start manifesting? Are they really safe? These are some questions that only expert opinions can answer.

Though a few studies found a 10th of the subjects being affected in the long run they couldn’t decipher where should the blame be directed.

Thus it is advised to take an opinion from your practitioner or think about how necessary is it to take them before usage.

If not completely needed, you could supplement them with a change in food habits like increasing intake of melons, nuts, oysters, and seafood to boost libido and sexual performance in a natural way. Regular exercise and yoga have also proven to improve ED symptoms.