ED Treatment

How Much Does Viagra® Cost On Average?

October 7, 2021

Since hitting the market in the late 1990’s, Viagra® has been the most popular prescription medication for treating erectile dysfunction.

And as Viagra was the first oral treatment for erectile dysfunction, so they were quite literally able to set the price on solid hard-ons.

Prices for Viagra were quite high when it first launched in 1998 and through the early 2000s as Pfizer, the company that discovered and manufactures Viagra, had exclusive rights to sildenafil, the active ingredient of Viagra. It was also the only medication for ED until 2003, when Levitra® (vardenafil) and Cialis® (tadalafil) were approved. Back then, Viagra could cost over $100 per pill depending on where and how you were paying for it.

Today, there are many more competitors for Viagra, including generic versions of sildenafil. While the branded medication's price is still higher than others, there are many more affordable options for when ED happens. Generic sildenafil can be had for as little as $3 per pill.

A Brief History of Viagra

On March 27,1998 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Viagra (sildenafil) to treat erectile dysfunction. 

Sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra, is a molecule that was originally created by Pfizer to treat hypertension and angina. The chemists and scientists quickly found that the drug did not work quite as well as they had hoped for these conditions, but did have a tendency to induce erections. Imagine being a patient in those early clinical trials!

Seizing on the economic opportunity, Pfizer filed patents on sildenafil around these uses, and a few years later Viagra hit the market.

When it was first introduced, Viagra could cost over $90 per pill depending where you bought it. In its first year, these “little blue pills” managed to reach close to a billion dollars in sales. In the coming years, due to its tremendous popularity and high price-tag, Viagra generated almost $2 billion in revenue for Pfizer per year at its peak. 

How Much is Viagra?

There are several factors that influence the price of Viagra, including location, insurance status, dose, and the pharmacy where you're purchasing it. 

It's important to know that brand-name Viagra from Pfizer is the most expensive version you can buy. Here are some estimated average prices for branded Viagra by dose as of October 2021:

  • 10 tablets of 100 milligrams cost $67.250 per unit for a total of $672.50 at common pharmacies like CVS and WalMart
  • 30 tablets of 50 milligrams can cost $67 per unit for a total of $2,013.70 at common pharmacies like CVS and WalMart
  • 30 tablets of 50 milligrams can cost $81.56 per unit for a total of $2,446.75 by Drugs.com

At Rex MD, we encourage guys to look at generic versions. Our generic sildenafil, which contains the same active ingredient as Viagra, costs as little as $3 per pill. Unless you have a compelling reason to stick with the branded version, you can save money getting sildenafil online with Rex MD.

Is Viagra Covered By Insurance?

For the majority of insurance plans, Viagra is not covered. The same goes for Medicare, which covers most older Americans. However, the generic version of sildenafil is often covered, ever since generic versions were first released in 2017. 

Whether or not your insurance covers either erectile dysfunction medication, there are options available online at cheaper prices than most pharmacies will offer in person.  

Viagra vs. Generic Sildenafil

The active ingredient in Viagra is sildenafil, a phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor. This class of drug, along with tadalafil (Cialis) and vardenafil (Levitra), help to fight erectile dysfunction by increasing the flow of blood to your penis and keeping blood there, creating a stronger and longer-lasting erection. 

For several decades, Pfizer owned the exclusive rights to manufacture and sell sildenafil under the brand Viagra; however, in December of 2017, a little over two years after Pfizer’s market exclusivity expired, generic versions of sildenafil started to hit the market. 

Just like the generic versions of other medications and brand name products, generic sildenafil is significantly cheaper than Viagra. 

From a chemical and biological standpoint, these two medications are virtually identical. Once they enter your system, they work in exactly the same way. The only real differences between the two are the companies that manufacture the medication; the shape, recipe, and color of the tablets; the packaging; the brand name; and the price. 

What Does Viagra Treat?

Viagra is an oral prescription medication that's used to treat the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. The most common symptoms of erectile dysfunction include trouble getting or keeping an erection along with a reduced sexual desire. While Viagra won’t help increase sexual desire, it can help with erections.

Erectile dysfunction is most commonly the result of limited or reduced blood flow to the penis, which can be caused by a variety of medical conditions. Some of the most common include:

In addition, various lifestyle factors are also known to contribute to erectile dysfunction. Drinking alcohol to excess, smoking cigarettes, and drug use are common contributors, side effects from certain medications are another, and emotional factors like depression, stress, and anxiety may contribute as well. 

How Does Viagra Work?

Viagra is classified as a PDE5 inhibitor. The process of getting an erection starts with arousal, which releases cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) in the penis. This results in the tissues and muscles of your penis relaxing, allowing more blood to flow into the penis. Due to the muscles being relaxed, blood essentially becomes trapped in the penis, which becomes engorged, creating an erection. During an erection, the penis contains as much as seven times its usual amount of blood.

Once cGMP starts to break down due to PDE5 performing its own natural function, the erection will end as blood is able to flow out of the penis once again.  

Viagra works by inhibiting PDE5 and preventing this enzyme from breaking down cGMP, resulting in penile tissues and muscles staying relaxed and full of blood, therefore maintaining the erection. 

How Long Before Viagra Starts Working?

There are several factors that influence how long Viagra takes to start working, but on average it should kick in around 30 to 60 minutes after you take it. 

For some people it may start working as soon as 12 minutes, and for others it can take up to two hours. 

One of the largest contributing factors to the onset of Viagra's effects is the contents of your stomach. For example, eating a large meal or one that is high in fat prior to taking your dose can reduce the time it takes to kick in and its overall effectiveness. 

If you're planning on sexual activity in the near future and taking Viagra to enhance your performance, avoid high-fat foods like steak, hamburgers, and lasagna in the hours before sex. 

How Long Does Viagra Last?

Viagra is indicated to last for four hours, but the exact amount of time may depend on a few factors. Dose is probably the most important factor, as 100 milligrams of Viagra may naturally last longer than 25 milligrams. 

It’s not recommended to take more than 100 milligrams over the course of 24 hours. 

Age is another factor that can influence the duration of Viagra's effectiveness. As a person ages, their metabolism naturally slows down. This means that it will take a longer time to break down and absorb medications, such as Viagra, and they may stay in your system for longer. 

The longer Viagra or sildenafil is in your system, the longer its effects may be felt.

Are There Side Effects to Using Viagra?

Just like any medications, there are a few potential side effects of Viagra. Most are fairly mild and uncommon when the medication is used as prescribed. 

The most common side effects of Viagra include:

  • Flushing in the face or body
  • Headaches
  • Indigestion
  • Nasal congestion
  • Vision changes, such as blue tint, sensitivity to light, and blurred vision
  • Back pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Rash

In most cases, people experiencing side effects find they go away when the drug has left their system, however it’s possible for Viagra's side effects to persist for a few days in more extreme cases. If you experience long-lasting symptoms, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about potential options.

The Takeaway

Viagra can be an expensive medication, costing as much as $80 per tablet. However, generic versions of sildenafil are much cheaper, as low as $3 per pill through telemedicine providers like Rex MD. These generic versions of sildenafil contain the exact same active ingredient as Viagra and are just as effective as the original. In addition, generic sildenafil is more likely to be covered by insurance than Viagra. 

Either way, getting ED meds online has made things easier and cheaper for guys everywhere. Click here to get started with a free online consult today.




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