It’s estimated that as many as 30 million men experience erectile dysfunction in the United States. And up until the late '90s, men had few options to treat ED.
The most effective medications for managing the symptoms of erectile dysfunction are phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors like Viagra®, Cialis®, and Levitra®. Viagra was the first, approved by the FDA in 1998, followed by Levitra (vardenafil) and Cialis (tadalafil) shortly after.
All of these, however, require a prescription from a licensed medical professional in the United States.
As a result, there have been gobs of over-the-counter “male enhancement pills” that claim to offer similar results to PDE5 inhibitors, improving performance and stamina in bed. While many are ineffective and little more than placebos, there are a few over-the-counter ED options that may actually help based on their ingredients and reviews.
These are the best male enhancement pills available today.
VigRX Plus is routinely found at the top of lists ranking male enhancement pills. Since hitting the market in 2007, more than 1.2 million boxes of VigRX Plus have been sold. That makes VigRX Plus one of the oldest and most popular male enhancement pills on the market.
The main ingredients in VigRX Plus include panax ginseng, serenoa repens, crataegus rivularis, ginkgo biloba, and turnera diffusa. These natural supplements have shown to have some beneficial effects in boosting nitric oxide levels in your blood, which is responsible for dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow to the penis.
A 12-week study of the effectiveness of VigRX Plus showed that it was more effective than taking a placebo in several ways. Participants reported a higher baseline for their erections, as well as improvements in orgasms, sexual desire, and overall satisfaction.
VigRX Plus is specifically designed to be used as a daily supplement, and each box contains a 30-day supply. There are 60 pills in each box, as the manufacturer recommends that users take one pill in the morning and one pill in the evening.
It can take a month or two of daily treatments before seeing results, say the manufacturers. However, the manufacturers of VigRX Plus also offer a 67-day money-back guarantee, so if you don’t notice results you can return your unused pills and get a refund.
Performer 8 is another supplement that is consistently reviewed highly by users on the internet.
Perhaps the most ambitious supplement on this list, Performer 8 gets its name because it aims to improve eight aspects of your sex life:
- Sexual stamina
- Testosterone levels
- Sex drive and libido
- Semen volume and sperm mobility
- Confidence and satisfaction
- Sexual concentration
- Strength of your erections
- Ejaculation control
The main ingredients in Performer 8 include panax ginseng, muira puama extract, horny goat weed, glucuronolactone, and maca root extract. Each of these ingredients has shown to have some impact on blood flow to the penis.
The recommended dose of Performer 8 is three capsules taken once each day. The manufacturers of Performer 8 are so confident in their product that they offer a 100% lifetime money-back guarantee.
Viasil is one of the more popular supplements for men over the age of 40. Since it’s around this age that men start to routinely experience erectile dysfunction, Viasil is one of the more popular options on this list.
Manufactured by Swiss Research Labs, Viasil primarily focuses on increasing energy levels and overall production of nitric oxide. By focusing on this singular goal, Viasil may be able to provide a more effective experience for its users.
There are no known side effects for Viasil, and its ingredients are all naturally-derived. Most of these ingredients have appeared previously in this product list and include citrus sinensis, epimedium brevicornum, ginkgo biloba, tribulus terrestris, and zinc.
Just like the other options on this list, it can take a few weeks of daily dosing before you notice results.
Male Extra is another supplement that has lasted over the years. Since hitting the market in 2009, Male Extra has sold more than 12 million tablets to over 300,000 customers.
The emphasis of Male Extra is to increase nitric oxide levels in your blood to improve blood flow to your penis. This objective is similar to the other options on this list. However, what separates Male Extra is the ingredients it uses to perform this task.
The main ingredients in Male Extra are the amino acid L-arginine HCL and pomegranate ellagic, which are not found in any of the other products listed here. Pomegranate in particular has a documented positive impact on erectile function in men. The other ingredients include niacin, zinc, and cordyceps.
The recommended dose for Male Extra is three pills every day, and you may need to take it for as long as six months before you start seeing noticeable results. Male Extra does offer a 100% money-back guarantee if you're unsatisfied with the results after 60 days.
While there has been some research to support claims of their effectiveness, taking these “male enhancement” supplements is still risky. They are mostly unproven, none are approved by the FDA as medical treatments, and the science behind some of these ingredients is sparse.
Most of these products do include ingredients that have some evidence of improving erectile function in some capacity, or that have been used in natural medicine for centuries.
Since they are classified as supplements, the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate them as strictly as medications, either. It’s for that reason that these products are allowed to be sold "over the counter" despite claiming to have significant impacts on sexual function.
For best results in treating the symptoms of ED, our doctors recommend proven prescription medications like Viagra (sildenafil) and Cialis (tadalafil). They're more accessible than ever thanks for platforms like Rex MD, where a licensed clinician can prescribe medications by phone or online and have your medication delivered if approved.
There's a reason why these prescription medications have been so popular since their approval over 20 years ago: they work for the majority of men who try them. Get started for as low as $2 per pill, if approved, by clicking here.
Definition & Facts for Erectile Dysfunction | NIDDK.
Evaluation of a multi-herb supplement for erectile dysfunction: a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study | NCBI
A Review on Plants Used for Improvement of Sexual Performance and Virility | NCBI
Viasil Review – Does This Supplement Treat ED Effectively? | AP News
Pomegranate Extracts in the Management of Men's Urologic Health: Scientific Rationale and Preclinical and Clinical Data | NCBI
Weight Loss, Male Enhancement Products Sold Online, in Stores, Unsafe | FDA