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Do erectile dysfunction pills require a doctor's prescription?

Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil), or Levitra (vardenafil) treat erectile dysfunction (ED). These oral medications require a prescription, because a doctor has to determine whether you have a health condition or are taking another prescription drug that will cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. Some men may also be at increased risk of experiencing a sudden decrease or loss of vision after taking an ED drug.

After reviewing your medical history and giving you a thorough physical exam to determine the cause of your ED, you and your doctor can discuss treatment that’s right for you. 

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
A doctor does not have to prescribe erectile dysfunction (ED) pills. A good doctor is conservative, and that has nothing to do with politics. It means he or she takes the simple, least invasive approach first. He or she may ask you to quit smoking (if you smoke), which can contribute to ED; if you've been drinking too much alcohol, cutting way back or quitting may be a good step, too. Losing weight and getting more exercise may help. Next, he or she may look twice at other medications you may be taking for other medical conditions, and perhaps suggest changes; common drugs for high blood pressure and for depression can cause ED as a side effect, for example. He or she may suggest therapy, especially if you are under a lot of stress, are experiencing anxiety or depression, or are having problems in your relationship. Your doctor may prescribe ED pills, but he or she should explore these more conservative approaches as well.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.