Viagra Vs. Sildenafil: The Truth About Generic Viagra, And How To Buy It Legally
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Viagra Vs. Sildenafil: The Truth About Generic Viagra, And How To Buy It Legally

Introduced in 1998, the erectile dysfunction medication known as Viagra immediately became one of the most popular drugs in history — and also one of the most widely faked, with sales of counterfeit Viagra reportedly raking in a stunning $75 billion per year.

The popularity of cheaper, often fake, versions of Viagra is understandable. The “little blue pill” comes with a large price tag — about $38 per 50 milligram pill, which for most users constitutes a single dose of the drug.

To make acquiring the drug even worse for the estimated 30 million men who experience erectile dysfunction in the United States alone, insurance companies frequently refuse to cover Viagra or other ED medications, meaning that online pharmacies advertising what they call “generic Viagra” usually sell doses of the drug, whose generic name is sildenafil citrate, for a fraction of that cost.

No Legal Generic Viagra in the United States Until December, 2017

But experts, including the manufacturer and patent-holder of sildenafil citrate warn that purchasing so-called generic Viagra can be risky, both to your health and your wallet.

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Many pharmacies in foreign countries dispense inexpensive Viagra — but buyers must beware of counterfeits, experts say. [Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]

First of all, within the United States, there is not yet a legal generic version of Viagra on the market. The Israeli drug manufacturing firm Teva is the sole company approved by the federal Food and Drug`Administration to make and sell sildenafil citrate, aka Viagra, in its generic form. But due to a deal between the Israeli company and the Unites States pharmaceutical giant Pfizer — the maker of Viagra — the generic will not hit the U.S. market until December of 2017.

Teva has sold its version of generic Viagra in Europe since 2013.

Any potential buyer who has ever searched for the drug online has certainly come across “generic Viagra” advertisements. But the generic Viagra dispensed by literally hundreds of online “pharmacies” is, in most cases, not the Teva version. Instead, the pills purporting to contain doses of sildenafil citrate may be manufactured in India, China, Turkey or Egypt — as well as several other countries — where quality standards are far lower than in the U.S. or Europe and counterfeiting is widespread.


MORE VIAGRA COVERAGE FROM THE INQUISITR:
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Could Viagra Cause Skin Cancer? Erectile Dysfunction Drug Linked To Growth Of Aggressive Melanoma
13-Year-Old Viagra Addict Speaks Out, Popped Six Pills A Night At Height Of His Addiction
Kentucky Lawmaker Proposes Bill Requiring Men To Get Permission From Their Wives To Buy Viagra
S.C. Bill Would Make It As Hard For Men To Get Viagra As It Is For Women To Get Abortions
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In some cases, these supposedly generic versions of Viagra contain sildenafil citrate, but in doses much lower than advertised, making their effectiveness unreliable at best. In more extreme cases, the generic Viagra from these countries is simply counterfeit, containing no sildenafil citrate at all. Some counterfeit Viagra may even contain harmful substances that could cause serious health issues.

Now the Good News — How To Get Generic Sildenafil Citrate Legally

But there is some potentially good news for men who experience erectile dysfunction — but don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend for just a small handful of sildenafil citrate pills. Pfizer also markets another drug in which sildenafil citrate is the active ingredient. That drug is known by the brand name Revatio, and it is prescribed not to treat erectile dysfunction, but instead for pulmonary hypertension, that is, high blood pressure of the lungs.

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Generic sildenafil is actually legal in the U.S., but not in the “little blue pill” form and dosage made popular by Viagra. [Image By Soru Epotok/Shutterstock]

A generic version of Revatio, known simply as sildenafil, is currently legal for sale by prescription in the United States. The only significant difference between a generic Revatio pill and brand-name Viagra, according to the respected magazine Consumer Reports in a 2016 article, is the dose per pill. The generic Revatio version of sildenafil comes only in doses of a maximum 20 milligrams.

In other words, two generic sildenafil pills are still 10 milligrams less than a typical 50-milligram dose of Viagra.

“Since sildenafil by any other name is still sildenafil, the results should be the same,” Consumer Reports‘ medical adviser Marvin Lipman told the magazine.

“The 5 milligram difference between sildenafil and the lowest dose of Viagra could easily be made up by taking an extra half pill, if needed.”

The main difference between Revatio and Viagra is the price. While brand-name Revatio sells for between $8 and $10 per pill, typically, the legal generic sildenafil version can be sold for as little as $2 per pill, meaning a 50 milligram dose of sildenafil — equivalent to a standard Viagra dosage — could cost as little as $5, rather than $38.

[Featured Image by Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock]

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