Lots of Pharmacy websites - but are they safe?

Simple search for erectile dysfunction treatment on the internet will present you with hundreds of websites where you can buy Viagra/Sildenafil, Cialis and Levitra - but a majority of them are unsafe!

How are online clinics regulated?

Online pharmacies are strictly regulated in the United Kingdom by several government agencies that oversee the healthcare industry: the Care Quality Commission, the General Pharmaceutical Council, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and the General Medical Council. These agencies make sure that the services are earnest and genuine. UK companies operating online clinics are also regulated by UK/EU company and consumer protection.

The regulating agencies are there to ensure the highest standards in online healthcare, we as consumers must ensure we only deal with regulated healthcare services as it is in our best interests.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC)
The CQC is the official regulator of private healthcare in the UK including online clinics. All UK online doctor and pharmacy services providing prescription-only medicines must be registered by law.

General Pharmaceutical Council
Pharmacies and chemists that dispense and despatch medicines are regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

General Medical Council
The GMC regulates doctors in the UK and ensures good medical practice.  

Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
The MHRA has responsibility for standards of safety, quality and performance of medicines and enforces strict rules on advertising.

Regulated online doctor services

Services below are CQC registered, employ GMC doctors and post medicine from GPhC registered pharmacies.

Is it safe to buy medicines online?
Yes, if the website is regulated by UK authorities. Buying prescription medicine from unauthorised sources increases risk of getting fakes.

Do I need a doctor's prescription?
Yes - The ED medicines listed here are prescription-only medicines.

Can a doctor issue a prescription online?
Yes - there is legal framework in the UK for doctors to issue prescriptions online for delivery in most European countries. Check that the service is registered with the CQC.

Erectile dysfunction is Common

male impotenceEstimates vary, but around 40% of men suffer from ED, also known as impotence, at some time in their lives. The problem is widespread and not a minor one. Impotence impacts on wellbeing, pleasure and self-esteem. Impotence of some degree is so common it is almost normal.

Reasons for impotence in men

There are a lot of factors that contribute to a healthy or not so healthy erection. Some of them which have a negative impact on erection are stress, age and certain illnesses. Either one of them or all these aspects combined, can lead to a reduced erection in men.

Erectile dysfunction is not always the result of any other illness and it sometimes happens to men who are otherwise very healthy and medically fit. Impotence can be caused due to both physical as well as psychological reasons affecting men.

Types of erection issues

The most common form of ED is due to a combination of things. Good erections occur when there is a good blood supply to the penis and the blood vessels are working well.

Middle aged men who are troubled by erectile dysfunction often have no one specific problem which explains their symptoms. Their examination and investigations by a doctor are often normal.

Anything which affects the circulation, such a high cholesterol or high blood pressure can cause impotence. On the other hand the circulation may be fine, but the signals going from the brain to the blood vessels of the penis via the nervous system may be faulty in some way.

Text books divide erectile difficulties into few types - circulatory causes (vascular) or erection difficulties caused due to problems with the nervous system (neurogenic) or due reduced hormone levels (endocrine) or even those caused by emotional or psychological factors (psychogenic). There is often no one clear cause and there may be no diagnosable cause.

ED and diabetes: Diabetes not only affects the blood circulation in the body, it also affects the nervous system. When it is not controlled with the right treatment and within the right time period, this illness is known to cause ED in men. Unfortunately, only a few diabetic patients are able to get the treatment sponsored by NHS and the ones that are eligible, receive limited tablets every month. Therefore it is important to control diabetes as soon as possible and with the right medications.

ED and alcohol and smoking: Not every man who smokes or drinks alcohol suffers from ED, but it is known that men who do smoke and drink alcohol are more likely to get ED. This happens because smoking is known to negatively affect the blood circulation in body and alcohol creates hormonal imbalance and poor sleep quality, which can lead to impotency. Another important fact is that it is considered to be very risky to combine alcohol and ED medications in the body and one should be careful to not do something like this.

ED and cardiovascular diseases: Most number of heart ailments happen due to either narrowing of arteries or due to reduced blood supply to the heart because of some blockages in the arteries. When the arteries begin to narrow, this is not restricted to arteries around the heart only, the ones in the pelvic region also get affected and that is why a lot of heart patients suffer from ED. Heart patients are often prescribed nitrate containing medications and they are known to hamper the working of ED medications if taken at the same time. So it should be taken care to not mix the two types of medicines.

Should men with erectile dysfunction see their regular doctors?

your general practitionerAll men with erectile difficulties should inform their doctors about it as it could sometimes be an indicator to general problem with circulation.

Tests may be arranged once you inform the doctor. Often the doctor may prescribe PDE5 inhibitors like sildenafil and ask to refrain from smoking and encourage to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Online clinics can provide advice and information, and assessments of ED and can be a reliable source of genuine medication, but care must be taken to use only reputable clinics.

ED is also considered to be a warning for problems in the blood flow which can cause other major ailments. That is why any erection problems should not be ignored and you would be well adviced to consult your GP as soon as you observe any such issues.

At times, ED can also be caused as a result of some previous surgery or as a side effect to certain medicine and in both the cases it becomes imperative to tell the doctor as quickly as possible so that he can find both the cause and solution of this problem.

Available treatments

The most popular and common treatment given by doctors to ED patients are pills containing PDE5 inhibitors, such as Cialis, Viagra or Levitra. These pills help in relaxing the pelvic muscles and improve the blood circulation to the penis, which it turn improves the quality of erection in men

These pills are often combined with psychological counseling of the patients which helps them cope with their stress, anxiety and other such concerns.

There are other treatments apart from tablets, which may be more appropriate in some cases, for example, where erection problems starts after an operation, or results from spinal injury or where PDE5 drugs are ineffective or are contraindicated. These treatments include surgical implants which can be inflated by a pump. Medications can also be injected directly into the base of the penis to produce short-lived erections in difficult to treat cases.

Counselling can be effective when the erectile problems are more situational and emotional. Oral medicines may be prescribed to complement counselling.

Testosterone injections were a popular treatment in some parts or the world a few years ago and are coming back into favour with some doctors in the UK. They should not be used without a definite diagnosis of low testosterone.

How to choose an ED drug ?

ed medicinesAll 3 - Viagra/sildenafil, Cialis and Levitra function alike and are extremely effective. But, since the blue pill was the first to arrive on the scene, it is still the most popular oral PDE5 inhibitor and most men start with the blue pill. It lasts for a few hours and the effects are noticeable within an hour of taking the tablet if the man is sufficiently aroused. Cialis on the other hand can stay in the system and have the potential to work anytime if the man is aroused during the following 36 hours. It is for this reason that the medicine is termed the weekend pill and might be better suited for unplanned sex.

When obtaining medication online it is important that checks for contraindications are undertaken and that only genuine tablets and not fakes are supplied.

Oral Medications

Viagra is probably the best know medication in the world. This is not surprising. Along with Cialis and Levitra, it is a very effective drug for one of the most troubling conditions men suffer from, erectile dysfunction.

These tablets are available online from reputable clinics although prices vary greatly and care is needed in selecting an online clinic to ensure only genuine medication and not fakes are obtained. For price related discussions you can have a look at viagra forum

PDE5 inhibitors are truly special amongst all medications in that they almost exclusively work in the correct areas of the body when the man needs it with minimal side effects.

All the 3 PDE5 inhibitors work only if the man is aroused - they do not cause automatic erections and neither are they aphrodisiac.

These oral medicines increase a chemical that promotes blood flow in the penis thereby causing healthy strong erections.


ED is common and in many cases an isolated health problem. It can be distressing and damaging to relationships. It has many different causes, although often the exact cause is difficult to diagnose. Doctors should be informed. The most widely taken treatments are PDE5 tablets. Other treatments are available although usually reserved for special cases.

As with any medication, tablets should be used with care and on the advice of doctors, and the patient information leaflets which are included in pill packs should be followed.

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