OTC ED Meds: Types Of Over-The-Counter ED medicines

The Best OTC ED Meds.

In this article, we will discuss the types of OTC ED meds (over-the-counter ED medicines) and their side effects.


Erectile dysfunction or ED is a common condition affecting men around the world. It can be defined as the inability to get or sustain an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. Most men might have experienced such a situation in their lives, but if it happens quite often, then it could be ED. As reports show, ED is more common as men age. Wherein 30 percent of men aged 70 or older have ED. Although, there are many ways to treat ED, including ED pills.

Viagra is one such medication taken to treat erectile dysfunction. It is the most popular drug taken to help with ED. However, Viagra is a prescription drug and can have many side effects.

There are many alternative pills to Viagra. Fortunately, many of these are OTC ED meds (over-the-counter ED medicines).


OTC ED meds have become more widely known in the market lately. But, these drugs are yet not approved for sale by the FDA. Over-the-counter ED pills work with your body’s natural chemistry to provide remedies to some issues that lead to erectile dysfunction.

We have curated a list of a few popular OTC ED meds. However, you should get medical counselling to ensure that you enhance sexual performance safely. To elaborate, lifestyle changes, high blood pressure, and other circumstances may make you an unsuitable candidate for ED medications.

These alternative OTC pills are among the most effective treatments for erectile dysfunction:

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

DHEA is a hormone that helps create important sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone. This hormone is produced by the adrenal gland in our bodies. Levels of DHEA are supposed to reach their peak in a person’s body when they are in their 20s, and they decrease from there.

Low levels of DHEA are linked to higher chances of ED among men. Hence, it is believed that taking DHEA supplements can help treat ED, provided that the ED is not an effect of diabetes or a nerve disorder.

DHEA is even believed to help in boosting energy, enhancing immunity, slowing ageing, and improving weight loss. Although there is not enough evidence to suggest that it is effective for any of these uses, people consume DHEA supplements.

DHEA supplements are a common form of OTC ED meds. While doses of 50-100mg have been reportedly taken, it is advisable to consume around 20-25mg per day. Taking DHEA is relatively harmless, but you may notice a few side effects like greasy skin, acne, and increased hair growth in the armpits and pubic area.

Most importantly, DHEA should not be taken by people who have cancers affecting the sex hormones. Even though DHEA is a non-prescription drug, you are advised to speak with a physician before beginning its dosage.


L-arginine is one of the amino acids our bodies need to function properly. It releases nitric oxide in our body and acts to widen the blood vessels in the bloodstream, helping with any circulatory conditions. Since erectile dysfunction is related to the improper flow of blood to the penis, it is believed that taking L-arginine can help in treating ED.

Other than treating ED, L-arginine is even believed to:

  • Reduce high blood pressure
  • Treat heart diseases
  • Control blood sugar in diabetic people
  • Ease inflammation of digestive tract in premature infants

Taking L-arginine as one of the OTC ED meds is concluded to be harmless and is well-handled by most men. Unfortunately, it is not an effective treatment for ED and may not restore healthy erectile function. But, when L-arginine is combined with other supplements, it is shown to be more effective for treating ED. Two of these supplemental combinations are L-arginine with yohimbine hydrochloride and L-arginine with Pycnogenol.

Just as most medications, even taking L-arginine supplements has side effects. A few of these side effects include:

  • Increased risk of bleeding
  • Unhealthy imbalance of potassium in the body
  • Changes in blood sugar level
  • Decreased blood pressure

You should avoid taking L-arginine if you are already consuming prescription ED drugs like Viagra or Cialis. Moreover, since L-arginine causes your blood pressure to drop, you should avoid taking L-arginine if you already have low blood pressure.

Lastly, you can even increase L-arginine levels in your body by consuming food high in protein. Some examples include dairy products, chicken and turkey breast, red meat, and animal proteins.


Ginseng is a powerful herbal remedy that is available in the form of pills and creams. It is most popularly used to help with fertility and sexual function.

Korean red ginseng particularly is used to treat ED. This is a plant that grows in Asia and is even known as Asian ginseng or Chinese ginseng. Further on, it is the oldest form of ginseng and is not harvested until the plant is at least 6 years old.

Red ginseng is another one of the OTC ED meds and is believed to help with premature ejaculation and sexual performance. Taking 900 mg of red ginseng three times a day should be enough to treat erectile dysfunction.

The only disadvantage of red ginseng is that there is not much research on it. The few known possible side effects are insomnia, headaches, upset stomach, and constipation. Other than that, red ginseng may interact with the medications you are currently taking. Thus, you should especially avoid it if you are taking medicines for blood pressure or diabetes.

Ultimately, like all supplements, ginseng should not be substituted for prescription drugs since it is not an FDA-approved drug.


Yohimbe is a popular supplement made from the bark of an African evergreen tree. Most commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction, it may even be used to help with fat loss. It is sold in either capsule or tablet form and is marketed as Yohimbe bark extract or yohimbine.

This supplement works by blocking receptors in your body that are known for inhibiting erections. Thus, by blocking these receptors, Yohimbe helps to alleviate erectile dysfunction. Other than that, it is even supposed to release nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow to sexual organs.

If you are taking other medicines, you should proceed with caution. It is said to make you bleed more easily if you are already taking a blood thinner. Even avoid Yohimbe when you are taking drugs for diabetes or kidney, liver, and/or heart problems.

Further on, it may have a few side effects like:

  • High blood pressure
  • Chest pain
  • Breathing problems
  • Flushed skin or rashes
  • Pain in your genitals
  • Painful erection that won’t go away, also known as priapism
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Headache

Because of these potential side effects and lack of research, Yohimbe is not used very popularly. If you plan on taking it, ensure the product has been tested for quality and safety.


Propionyl-L-carnitine is an amino acid that is produced in the body naturally. It helps the body produce energy and is important for heart function, muscle movement, and other body processes. Furthermore, it is even suspected to increase blood circulation.

This supplement is used to treat various problems like leg pain and hardening of the arteries. Additionally, it is even used to treat sexual performance problems caused due to diabetes or poor blood circulation. Usually, taking it with other prescribed drugs has a positive effect.

Propionyl-L-carnitine is safe for most people when consumed by mouth or injected by a health professional. But, it can have a few side effects like nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and weakness. Consequently, pregnant women and people with underactive thyroid and seizures should avoid taking it.

OTC ED meds are becoming increasingly popular due to their easy availability. Still, since these supplements do not have much research to back them up, you should be cautious when consuming them. Ideally, referring to trusted sources and a doctor’s approval would be best!


Studies have still not shown that OTC ED meds or supplements can safely or successfully cure ED. Prescription medications, on the other hand, can successfully treat ED.

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