Forget Viagra! Now ANOTHER type of erection drug will go on sale in shops
- Cialis is the second erection drug to be made over-the-counter by the MHRA
- The drug is faster-acting than Viagra and typically lasts for up to 36 hours
Another erection drug will be made available over the counter in the UK, regulators announced today.
Cialis is now legal to sell without a prescription because of a rule change.
Manufacturers of the drug claim it’s superior to Viagra because it works quicker — in just 30 minutes.
Its effects can also last for up to 36 hours – six times longer than the little blue pill.
The move applies to Cialis Together, a specific version of the drug.
Cialis is faster-acting than Viagra and comfortably has the longest effectiveness period of any erectile dysfunction drug on the market. While Viagra remains effective for 4 to 6 hours, Cialis typically lasts for up to 36 hours after taking a tablet
The move allows men over the age of 18 to buy the brand of tablets in a pharmacy without a prescription.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which polices the safety of drugs used in Britain, made the decision.
It followed advice from the Commission on Human Medicines, lexpro medicine which advises the Government on the safety, efficacy and quality of medicinal products.
Health officials today said the reclassification ‘increases awareness of erectile dysfunction’ for millions of men.
The MHRA warned today however the drug should not be sold to those with severe cardiovascular disorders.
WHAT IS IMPOTENCE?
Erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence, is when a man is unable to get or maintain an erection.
It is more common in the over-40s but affects men of all ages.
Failure to stay erect is usually due to tiredness, stress, anxiety or alcohol, and is not a cause for concern.
However, it can be a sign of an underlying medical condition such as high blood pressure or cholesterol, side effects of medication, or hormonal issues.
Lifestyle factors than can affect the condition include obesity, smoking, cycling too much, drinking too much, and stress.
Source: NHS Choices
This includes men at high cardiovascular risk, those with severe kidney or severe liver failure or men taking certain interacting medicines.
According to the NHS, tadalafil — the generic name Cialis — can cause a temporary but dangerous drop in blood pressure.
Men at higher cardiovascular risk ‘must continue to be under the supervision of a doctor’, the MHRA confirmed.
The new rules will limit sales to pharmacies, meaning men will be questioned about their health before they are sold the pills.
This means men will not be able to buy the drugs at corner shops, supermarkets or petrol stations — as is possible with aspirin and other drugs.
Sales are also to be limited to a box of 10mg pills — known as the ‘standard dose’.
The move comes some five years after Viagra got the over-the-counter green light in 2018.
Viagra Connect, the brand given approval, costs around £20 for a box of four.
Drugs like Viagra are used to manage erectile dysfunction in at least two thirds of cases, according to the NHS.
Erectile dysfunction is more common in the over-40s but affects men of all ages.
It impacts around 4.3million men in the UK and 30million in the US.
But experts say up to 70 per cent men are too embarrassed to seek advice over the problem, stopping them from seeking help.
More seriously, many men turn to the internet to buy supplies of the drug, often buying illegal or counterfeit versions from overseas, putting them at risk of taking dangerous fakes.
British officials seized more than £9million of counterfeit and unlicensed medicines, including erectile dysfunction treatments, sold illegally online in 2021.
Around 3.5million unlicensed erection pills worth more than £10million were also seized in the UK in 2019.
Dr Laura Squire, the MHRA’s chief officer for healthcare, quality and access said: ‘This decision is good news for men’s health.
‘Men who suffer from erectile dysfunction will be able to obtain this treatment safely and conveniently from their local pharmacy without a prescription, which not only gives them greater control over their choices but increases awareness of erectile dysfunction.’
She added: ‘Erectile dysfunction can be a debilitating condition, so it’s important men feel they have fast access to quality and legitimate care.
‘We will continue to listen to and engage with patients to improve access to a wide range of medicinal products when it is safe to do so.’
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