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Viagra, otherwise known by its generic name sildenafil, is the best known medication for treating erectile dysfunction. It’s a common vasodilator that’s also used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension.

The drug was patented in 1996 and approved for erectile dysfunction by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in March 1998. It was the first oral treatment approved to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) in the United States.

ED affects 30 million men a year, according to Urology Care Foundation.

The prevalence of ED increases with age. According to 2006 research, ED is prevalent in 40 percent of men ages 40 years or older, and that number increased to almost 70 percent in men 70 and up.

In the United States, you’ll need a prescription for both name-brand Viagra and generic sildenafil. Costs for both vary. Viagra costs an average of about $70 per pill, while sildenafil can cost about $40 per pill, depending on dosage. There are some online subscription services that can lower the overall price.

While Viagra may be the most well-known drug to treat ED, there are several others available as well.

Roman

Pricing with Roman is always forthright. The service offers free deliveries and no hidden fees.

For sildenafil, the per pill breakdown is as follows:

  • 20 mg: $2
  • 40 mg: $4
  • 60 mg: $6
  • 80 mg: $8
  • 100 mg: $10

For brand-name Viagra, all dosages (25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg) are $70 per pill.

The website offers a $15 off promotion for new customers.

Hims

With Hims, you can purchase Viagra and sildenafil on a one-time basis or with a monthly subscription. Subscriptions start at about $20 per month. There’s a one-time $5 medical fee the first time you order. Hims doesn’t work with insurance.

  • Sildenafil: Six 40 mg pills for $24 each month
  • Viagra: Five 50 mg pills for $425 each month

Lemonaid

Sildenafil at Lemonaid starts at $2 for a 20 mg pill. You can get a monthly subscription of 30 pills for $60. There’s a one-time medical consult fee of $25.

Lemonaid offers a promotion of $30 off your first order.

Free shipping is included. You can cancel your subscription any time.

RexMD

RexMD offers customers branded and generic Viagra with free 2-day shipping. You can get generic Viagra in 25 mg, 50 mg, or 100 mg for $10 per pill. Branded Viagra costs $90 per pill.

RexMD doesn’t accept HSA or FSA and doesn’t work with insurance.

CVS

At brick-and-mortar pharmacies, ED drug prices can vary widely depending on location. Insurance is more likely to cover these drugs, at least partly, because you’ll need a prescription to obtain them. The website GoodRx allows you to compare prices per pharmacy.

Two pills of branded Viagra at CVS cost about $136.02. Generic Viagra costs about $32.38.

Costco

It’s no surprise that Costco has some of the best prices for sildenafil.

Two pills of generic Viagra costs about $7, while a 30-day supply costs $16.99. A 30-day supply of branded Viagra will be more than $2,000.

Walgreens

At Walgreens, a 10-pill supply of sildenafil costs $168.10. A 90-pill bottle costs $1,467.90.

Walmart

Walmart has some of the most competitive prices among retail stores. A 10-pill supply of sildenafil costs just $20.12. A 30-pill supply costs $26.35 and a 90-pill bottle is $49.30.

Rx Outreach

This is a nonprofit online pharmacy that provides discounted medications. You can send in a prescription or use the telehealth service the company offers.

The savings calculator on the Rx Outreach website shows a 100-mg pill of generic Viagra costs $10.

Like any medication, there are potential side effects when taking Viagra, so it’s important to check with your doctor before taking this medication if you have any underlying conditions or are currently taking other medications.

ED can sometimes be a symptom of a larger health concern, such as diabetes or sleep apnea. So getting treatment for an underlying concern may relieve ED symptoms.

Side effects of Viagra include:

  • headache
  • heartburn
  • flushed skin

Some people can have a severe reaction if used with alcohol.

Additionally, if you’re being treated with protease inhibitors or have HIV, you should steer clear of Viagra. And if you’re taking certain medications, such as nitrates, taking Viagra could make your blood pressure drop too low.

In general, most insurance companies won’t cover name-brand Viagra, but might cover the generic, sildenafil.

Depending on where you purchase the medication, it may be covered. If you go through an online telehealth medicine service for male enhancements, it’s likely you’ll need to pay out of pocket or with funds from your HSA or FSA.

There are plenty of ways to save money on Viagra and sildenafil.

Telehealth services such as Roman, Hims, or Lemonaid often offer multiple month subscription services for a discounted price and provide both brand name and generic. First-time customer coupons and occasional special promotions are common on these online health sites.

Mass-market pharmacies like CVS, Walmart, and Walgreens also offer discounts and coupons you can find online.

A gap in insurance coverage doesn’t mean you should pay full price for ED drugs. Some patient assistance programs (PAPs) will help cover the cost of these medications. PAPs are mostly sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, though some are run by states and nonprofits.

While there’s no standard enrollment form, most PAPs ask you to prove the following:

  • you’re a permanent, legal resident of the United States or Puerto Rico
  • you’re uninsured or that your insurance doesn’t cover your medication
  • you meet certain income eligibility requirements

Viagra is the most common prescription drug for treating ED, and it’s the first approved by the FDA.

While name-brand Viagra can be costly, the generic version, sildenafil, is also available from many manufacturers, and a much cheaper option.

Do your research before you buy, as many pharmacies and telehealth services offer competitive pricing.


Colleen de Bellefonds is a Paris-based health and wellness journalist with over a decade of experience regularly writing and editing for publications including WhatToExpect.com, Women’s Health, WebMD, Healthgrades.com, and CleanPlates.com. Find her on Twitter.