Buying Over The Counter Viagra

Viagra treatment without seeing your GP

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Medically reviewed by: Dr Kathryn Basford

Last reviewed: 14 Nov 2018

Pack of over the counter Viagra Connect

Key takeaways

  • An over the counter form of Viagra is available in the UK

  • There is no medical difference to buying Viagra over the counter

  • You will still need to be assessing for over the counter Viagra treatment

  • The introduction of over the counter Viagra was intended to improve access to treatment

  • Currently no other erectile dysfunction medications can be sold over the counter

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Over the counter Viagra is a long-standing topic relating to erectile dysfunction treatment which changed significantly in the UK, March 2018.

If you’re looking to buy Viagra over the counter, without a prescription, then you need to know if and how this is possible, as well as the best way to go about it.

Can you buy over-the-counter Viagra?

Yes you can – right now, Viagra is available to buy over-the-counter under the name Viagra Connect available since March 2018. It is the first erectile dysfunction (ED) medication available to purchase in this way and does not require a prescription, instead it’s available as a pharmacy medicine (PMED).

How does buying Viagra Connect over-the-counter work? – to be able to purchase Viagra Connect you will need to complete a pharmacy assessment. The pharmacist will assess you for your needs according to your ED. If approved, then you will be able to pay for the medication and it will be dispensed while you wait.

Why is normal Viagra not over-the-counter? – traditionally, Viagra is given via prescription by a doctor and has been the only legal way to acquire it, following an assessment. This was because it is classified as a prescription only medication (POM). After the release of Viagra Connect, you will still be able to get a prescription for classic Viagra from your GP if you would prefer.

Viagra Connect pricing – the OTC Viagra Connect will be available in a 50mg dosage for adult men who are displaying symptoms of ED. You will be able to buy Viagra Connect:

  • In four tablet packs (RRP £19.99)
  • In eight tablet packs (RRP £34.99)

How is over-the-counter Viagra different from prescription Viagra?

It’s not, it’s actually the same medication – Viagra Connect is the same medication as the prescription version of Viagra. It contains the active ingredient sildenafil citrate, but it does not require you to get a prescription from your doctor to buy it. The assessment criteria will also be the same, the pharmacist will ask you the same questions you would expect your GP to ask in order to determine your suitability for the medication.

It’s how you can get it that makes the difference – the main difference between the OTC medication and the prescription version is the method of buying:

Over-the-counter Viagra Connect:

  • Available online
  • Available in pharmacies
  • Requires an assessment
  • Available in pack sizes from 4 up to 28 tablets
  • Only available in the 50mg dosage

Prescription Viagra:

  • Available online
  • Available from your GP
  • Requires an assessment
  • Available in pack sizes from 4 up to 28 tablets
  • Available in dosages of 25, 50, and 100mg

Viagra will still be available on prescription from your GP – particularly in the following circumstances:

  • There is a direct or indirect danger to human health
  • Frequently incorrect use which could harm health
  • Further investigation of activity and/or side effects is needed
  • Medication is usually administered by injection

Can you get over-the-counter Viagra online?

Yes, and the assessment criteria will be the same as normal Viagra – you can buy prescription only Viagra and you will be able to Viagra Connect online as well when it is available on the market (as long as your circumstances haven’t changed).

You can buy online the same way as before – currently, you can buy prescription Viagra using our online service in 3 simple steps:

  • Order – complete our simple online questionnaire
  • Assessment – our doctors will review your questionnaire and based on the information you give they will confirm your suitability
  • Delivery – your medicine will be sent direct to your door via post or courier

Viagra Connect will not be available OTC without an assessment – the questionnaire or speaking to a pharmacist will help to determine your suitability for the OTC medication. There may be medical reasons why you can’t take Viagra including:

  • If you have had an allergic reaction to sildenafil in the past
  • If you take medications known as nitrates for chest pain
  • If you have low blood pressure
  • If you have retinitis pigmentosa
  • If you have had a stroke or heart attack
  • If you have a serious heart or liver problem

Why is Viagra becoming an over-the-counter medication?

The government wants to prevent Viagra being sold illegally – Britain is the first country to make Viagra available over-the-counter by the medicines regulator, to prevent men buying the drug from unregulated websites. In 2016, there was 2, 958, 199 prescriptions for Viagra in Britain, over double the amount for 10 years previous, but there is a massive black market for it too. In 2016 £17m worth of counterfeit and unlicensed Viagra was seized, these drugs can be unsafe and have serious effects on health. The decision was announced in November 2017 with the medication set to be available from Spring 2018.

Viagra Connect is considered safe enough to be an OTC medication – the MHRA, following a consultation and advice from the Commission on Human Medicines, classified Viagra Connect from a prescription only medicine (POM) to a pharmacy medicine, meaning it can be bought over the counter for use by men over the age of 18.

The idea behind making the drug available OTC means men will be directed to appropriate healthcare who may otherwise not seek help from the system. Therefore, preventing them from buying Viagra from illegal websites particularly as ED medications are a popular choice for criminals to sell.

Can you get other erectile dysfunction treatments over-the-counter?

No, Viagra Connect is the only one so far – all other erectile dysfunction treatment medications are prescription only medications. Other ED treatments available include:

Do non-prescription herbal supplements work? – you can try herbal supplements, but they do not work in the same way as ED treatment medications. Plus, buying herbal Viagra can be risky too, as these are not well regulated and can cause serious side effects.

What non-prescription treatments are there? – non-medication treatments for ED are available including:

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Medically reviewed by:
Dr Kathryn Basford

Dr Kathryn Basford is a qualified GP who works as a GP in London, as well as with Zava. She graduated from the University of Manchester and completed her GP training through Whipps Cross Hospital in London.

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Last reviewed: 14 Nov 2018

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