Men's Health Wednesday June 4, 2014

Erectile Dysfunction Drug Cialis May Soon Be Sold Over The Counter

A popular treatment for erectile dysfunction may soon be made available to purchase without a prescription, whether in pharmacies or online. Currently a prescription is required to obtain Cialis, but manufacturers Eli Lilly plan to seek approval from health regulators once the patent expires on the treatment in 2017.

Under this proposal, French pharmaceutical company Sanofi would buy the rights to sell Cialis without a prescription in the USA, Europe, Australia and Canada.

Cialis is most commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction, or impotence, in men. It is also used to treat enlarged prostate glands. It works by helping to relax blood vessels in the penis, making it easier for men with erectile dysfunction to get and maintain an erection.

Although generally viewed as safe, erectile dysfunction treatments can have some side effects. They are not suitable for use by men with heart conditions, and can cause a potentially dangerous fall in blood pressure if taken with heart treatments that include nitroglycerin. The treatments can also exacerbate conditions such as heartburn and acid reflux.

Regulators will need to consider whether is would be safe to sell Cialis over the counter in view of these possible side effects.

Since it's approval in 2003, Cialis has become one of the most commonly used impotence treatments. This is because each tablet can last up to 36 hours, enabling men to be more spontaneous when it comes to sex rather than having to plan each dose.

Making it possible to buy Cialis over the counter would make it more straightforward for men with erectile dysfunction to access treatment, as they would not need to see a doctor and get the treatment prescribed. In addition, many men find buying treatment for this condition embarrassing, and having the option to acquire it more discreetly may appeal to many.

However, before Cialis could be purchased, pharmacists would still need to ask a series of health questions to ensure the treatment could be safely taken by the patient. It remains to be seen whether regulators consider the benefits of making Cialis available without prescription outweigh any potential risks.


For more information on treatments for erectile dysfunction, you can visit our ED information page.

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