Does Viagra Expire? Shelf Life, Downsides, And Alternatives

viagra shelf life

Ever wondered what’s the shelf life of Viagra? We discuss it in detail in this article along with the downsides of using expired viagra and possible alternatives.

Introduction

Viagra, aka the blue pill, is a popular medicine for treating erectile dysfunction (ED) in men. Its active ingredient, sildenafil citrate, is a phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor. As such, it works to cause erection by increasing the blood flow to the penis, albeit in the presence of a sexual stimulus.

Viagra and its generic forms are prescription-only drugs, which means that you cannot buy them over-the-counter from a drugstore. The same is true for all ED drugs that belong to the same class as sildenafil, that is, phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors.

Another thing that needs consideration while buying Viagra is its shelf life. Using expired Viagra is of no use as it isn’t as effective past its expiration date. There may also be an increased risk of side effects.

All this and more is discussed in this article. Continue reading to find out why you should not use expired Viagra.

Shelf Life of Viagra

If you are looking for a quick answer to the question “Does Viagra expire?”, here it is: Yes, it does.

Like all other drugs, the chemical ingredients in Viagra tend to break down over time. This means that while the drug doesn’t completely cease to be effective, its potency decreases past the date of its expiration.

Viagra pills might continue to work for many years after their production. But the shelf life quoted on most prescription packs is 1 to 2 years.

For maximum effectiveness, you should take it within one year of prescription, albeit the drug will continue to show its effects beyond that duration. However, those effects will progressively deteriorate over time.

Ways to Extend the Shelf Life of Viagra

Since Viagra is used on an ‘as needed’ basis, and there is no way to predict how often you might need to use it, it is advantageous to keep it for as long as you can. There are ways in which you can increase the shelf life of your pills. These include:

  • Storing them at a lower temperature, that is, below 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Storing them in a tightly sealed, opaque bottle, and in a dark room.
  • Avoid storing them in a moist place.

Downsides of Using Expired Viagra

Taking expired Viagra is not recommended for the following reasons:

1. Decreased Effectiveness

With time, the potency of the drug decreases so that you won’t get the same results from an expired pill as you would from a relatively newer one.

Beyond the specified expiry date, the medicine tends to lose its effectiveness with each passing day, until after a maximum of five years from its date of manufacture, it becomes completely inert.

2. Increased Risk of Side Effects

Viagra use is associated with some side effects such as headache, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, back pain, facial flushing, and indigestion. Additionally, some rare side effects can also occur. These include priapism, angina, partial or complete loss of vision, seizures, and urinary tract infections.

The risk of occurrence of such side effects increases manifold with the use of expired Viagra. Moreover, some undocumented side effects might also appear along with some interactions of the drug that might not otherwise occur with unexpired pills.

Because of these reasons, you should avoid taking expired Viagra. However, if you have unused medication that has expired, you can talk to your pharmacist about whether it is advisable to still use it or not.

Alternatives to Viagra

In case you don’t want to use Viagra or want to switch to other treatment methods for your erectile dysfunction, you are not short of options. There are alternative medicines, some home remedies, as well as tips and tricks to manage ED without pills.

1. Medicinal Alternatives

1.1. Cialis

Cialis contains tadalafil as its active ingredient. The mechanism through which it acts is similar to that of Viagra, but there are a few key differences. For one, it can be taken daily in a dose of 2.5 mg besides its ‘as required’ dose of 10 mg. Secondly, its effects start to appear faster than those of Viagra, while also lasting considerably longer (36 hours compared to Viagra’s 4 to 6 hours).

Furthermore, Cialis is the only erectile dysfunction medicine approved by the FDA to treat prostate enlargement. Viagra can also be used for the same, but such use is always off-label.

If you want you can buy Generic Cialis Online from our online medicine portal.

1.2. Levitra

Containing vardenafil, generic Levitra 20mg oral tablet is another useful medication that can be taken to treat erectile dysfunction. It is also a PDE 5 inhibitor like Viagra and Cialis. The effects of Levitra last a little longer than those of Viagra.

1.3. Staxyn

An orally dispersible tablet with the same active ingredient as Levitra, Staxyn is popular for its increased bioavailability as compared to the other ED medications.

1.4. Stendra

This brand name drug has avanafil as its chief ingredient, which works on the same principle as other PDE 5 inhibitors. Its dosage variants are 50, 100, and 200 mg. The advantage of this medicine over other oral alternatives is its quick-to-appear effects, usually starting as soon as 15 to 30 minutes after intake.

The major drawback of these oral ED medications is the fact that they do not cause an erection on their own but require the presence of a sexual stimulus.

2. Alprostadil

This can be used as an injection (Caverject) which can be applied by the patient himself. A fine needle is injected at the base or the side of the penis and the effects appear soon after. The erection caused by this injection lasts for approximately an hour.

Some side effects such as bleeding from the site of injection, and priapism (a painful condition in which the penis remains erect for a long time) might occur.

Another form of alprostadil is a urethral suppository that can be inserted into the penile urethra. This suppository causes an erection as soon as 10 minutes after use. There can be some side effects such as a burning sensation in the penis, minor bleeding, and the fibrosis of penile tissue at the site of insertion.

3. Penile Pumps

These are hand or battery-powered vacuum suction devices that have a pump at one end while being hollow at the other. The hollow end of the tube is placed over the penis and the pump is used to draw air out of the device. This creates a vacuum inside it and blood is drawn into the penis as a result. Subsequently, the penis becomes erect due to this increased blood flow.

Once this happens, you can place a tension ring at the base of the penis to hold the blood inside it and allow it to stay erect during the sexual act.

4. Surgical Implants

Implants are surgically-placed devices on both sides of the penis. They are made of bendable or inflatable rods. These can be controlled according to your need.

The use of surgical implants is only advised after you have exhausted other options of treatment.

5. Home Remedies

If your doctor determines that the cause of your erectile dysfunction is not some underlying disease, you can employ the following home remedies to improve symptoms:

  • Shedding extra weight
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Avoiding fatty food
  • Quitting smoking
  • Reducing alcohol consumption
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Exercises, especially aerobic exercises and pelvic floor muscle exercises
  • Managing stress
  • Psychotherapy
  • Avoiding drug abuse
  • Limiting the use of sedatives and tranquilizers

6. Herbal Remedies

You can also use these herbal supplements to help you with your disease:

  • L-arginine: It is an amino acid that is used as a herbal supplement to improve blood flow in the body. For this reason, it can also be used to increase blood flow to the penis and cause an erection.
  • Red Ginseng: Ginseng is another powerful herbal supplement that can help to cure ED. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps to relax the body, thus improving blood circulation.
  • DHEA Supplements: Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a steroid produced naturally in the body. Supplements containing this steroid help with impotence.
  • Yohimbine: Extracted from the bark of the Yohimbe tree, this alkaloid is believed to have aphrodisiac properties. Due to this, it can cause a man to get or maintain an erection during sexual activity.

Conclusion

Although Viagra is very popular and also very effective at treating impotence or ED, its expired pills are less potent and you should avoid them as best as you can. In case you need to use the expired pills, consult a pharmacist beforehand.

This article mentions the shelf life of Viagra, the implications of using expired Viagra, and alternative treatment methods to help you make an informed decision about which method is right for you.

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