Drug Info

Generic Viagra: A guide to cheap Viagra online

Cropped SingleCare logo By | January 7, 2020
Medically reviewed by Michele Sionas, RPh

Viagra is known for its efficacy in treating erectile dysfunction (ED), a condition that causes an inability to get or keep an erection. It can be an upsetting diagnosis, but many men find that their condition is curable with Viagra.

It’s an effective treatment, but it can be expensive. The good news? You can save significant amounts of money by buying generic Viagra instead of brand-name Viagra. Just be careful if you’re looking to purchase generic Viagra online (or from a reseller)—Viagra is the most counterfeited prescription drug in the world, so it’s vital to spend time searching for a reputable pharmacy.

How is generic Viagra (sildenafil) different than brand-name Viagra?

Erectile dysfunction drugs are phosphodiesterase inhibitors (or PDE5 inhibitors), which means they help relax smooth muscle tissue and increase blood flow. Many prescription drugs treat ED like Stendra (avanafil), Levitra (vardenafil), and Cialis (tadalafil), but Viagra (sildenafil) is perhaps the most well-known and one of the most popular ED pills.

Sildenafil citrate is the active ingredient in both generic and brand-name Viagra. Pfizer manufactures Viagra tablets, while Pfizer and Teva Pharmaceuticals manufacture sildenafil. Greenstone (Pfizer’s subsidiary) markets and sells. Teva pays a licensing fee to Pfizer, allowing them to manufacture and sell sildenafil before other generic companies. Brand-name Viagra has traditionally been nicknamed the “little blue pill” because of its blue color, but generic Viagra is white. Other than this change in color, there is virtually no difference between generic and brand-name Viagra.

“According to the FDA, there is absolutely no difference in the efficacy of generic medications when compared to the same medication and dose in brand-name form,” says David Belk, MD. “That includes Viagra. Roughly 87% of all prescriptions filled in the U.S. since 2017 were for generic medications. That means that generic medications have been working fine to treat seven out of eight medical conditions that required a prescription medication over the last three years.”

If the dose of generic and brand-name Viagra are the same, they will treat ED the same way. The only difference between generic and brand-name Viagra that patients should be concerned with is the price. Generic drugs are much cheaper than brand-name medications, and many people save even more money by purchasing generic Viagra with a prescription savings card.

Why is generic Viagra so cheap compared to the brand-name Viagra?

Generic Viagra is cheap in comparison to brand-name Viagra, but it wasn’t always this way. When Pfizer, the original patent holder and manufacturer of Viagra, had exclusive rights to sell Viagra, it was expensive. Before 2017, a single tablet could cost about $73. Not only that, but many insurance companies don’t cover the cost of erectile dysfunction drugs, so taking Viagra wasn’t an option for many people.

Generic Viagra is now available through Teva and Pfizer (Greenstone) and may be available through other drug manufacturers in 2020. As more pharmaceutical companies begin to manufacture generic Viagra, this will eventually drive prices down even more. However, other drugmakers won’t be able to sell generic Viagra until Pfizer’s patent expires in April 2020.

The quantity and strength of your prescription will be a factor in how much generic Viagra costs. The ED pill comes in 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg doses. Brand-name Viagra now costs around $70 per pill, so a supply of 6, 100 mg tablets would cost $420. Generic Viagra currently costs about $40 per pill, which would put 6, 100 mg tablets at $240.

Use a prescription savings card to save even more. SingleCare works with drug pharmacies to secure better prices for its savings card users. You can compare SingleCare’s lowest prices by searching for “Viagra” or “sildenafil” on singlecare.com. These Viagra coupons are eligible at popular pharmacies like CVS, Walmart, and Walgreens, among others.

Can I buy generic Viagra online?

Generic Viagra can be purchased online for home delivery with a prescription. It’s essential to do your research when searching for Viagra online. Viagra is the most counterfeited drug in the world. In a study done by Pfizer Global Security, around 80% of sites claiming to sell Viagra were actually selling counterfeit pills.

Avoid buying cheap Viagra online from international sites, because countries outside of the U.S. have different rules and regulations in drug manufacturing. It’s important to choose websites and online pharmacies that you can trust. Limit your search to online pharmacies on the list of Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS). These accredited websites won’t sell counterfeit Viagra. Fake Viagra may contain blue printer ink, amphetamines, too much or too little of the active ingredient, and other toxic chemicals.

Can I buy Viagra over the counter?

Citizens of the UK don’t need a prescription and can buy Viagra over the counter. The UK is the first country to allow the purchase of over-the-counter Viagra, which was a decision made in an attempt to help stop the illegal selling of black-market Viagra. However, if you’re a citizen of the United States, you’ll still need a doctor’s prescription to purchase Viagra online or at a local pharmacy.

It might be possible to purchase Viagra over the counter in the future. For now, though, consulting a healthcare provider for a prescription and asking about discount programs is the best way to purchase the drug.

Other uses of Viagra

Viagra is sometimes used to treat medical conditions other than erectile dysfunction. Sildenafil citrate is the main ingredient and generic equivalent of both Viagra and Revatio. Revatio (sildenafil) is used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), which happens when there is high blood pressure in the lungs. Pulmonary hypertension causes uncomfortable symptoms like dizziness, tiredness, and shortness of breath.

Even though Revatio and Viagra both contain sildenafil, Revatio is given in a lower dose and can come in the form of a tablet (20 mg), suspension, or injection. Sildenafil citrate can treat both ED and PAH because of its ability to relax the muscles in blood vessels and increase blood flow.

Sildenafil side effects

As with any medication, there is always the potential for side effects. Though it’s rare, some people might have an allergic reaction to sildenafil. You should seek immediate medical attention if you have an allergic reaction. Here is a list of common side effects:

  • Upset stomach or tenderness in the stomach area
  • Burning, tingling, or numbing
  • Dizziness
  • A painful erection or one that lasts longer than four hours
  • Bladder pain or pain while urinating
  • Flushing
  • Ringing in the ears or hearing loss
  • Muscle aches or pains

Taking this drug can be potentially dangerous and, in extreme cases, may result in a heart attack for people with heart disease. Sildenafil is a vasodilator, which can lower blood pressure. Though this isn’t a problem for most people, if someone with heart disease is taking a medication with nitrates along with sildenafil, severe low blood pressure can occur. Seek professional medical advice before taking any medication.

Other rare side effects include:

  • Chest pain
  • Behavioral changes
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Changes to vision