Spedra is the latest oral erectile dysfunction treatment to become available. Released in 2014, it has proven to be a well-tolerated and effective treatment, but, as is the case for all medications, that is not to say there are no issues with contraindications (interactions with pre-existing conditions).

Spedra, which is a tablet to be taken orally, belongs to a group of medications known as PDE5 inhibitors. Other similar treatments include Viagra, (and its active ingredient vardenafil) and Cialis (tadalafil). The active ingredient in Spedra is avanafil, which is thought to have a lower risk of adverse effects than similar medication when taken alongside other treatments for unrelated conditions.

While clinical trials show avanafil to be well tolerated, each person is different and some experimentation to find the right dosage is to be expected.

Contraindications and tolerance with erectile dysfunction medications

With the introduction of PDE5 inhibitors in the late 1990s, erectile dysfunction treatments became much more widespread, effective and tolerated. They also provided a much more convenient way of treating the condition than previous treatments. There are, however, many who are unable to take the likes of Cialis due to other medications they are taking or conditions they suffer from. In these cases, PGE1 prostaglandin treatments, such as Caverject (which is injected), might be better suited. In some cases, these may even prove more effective.

If you are taking a medication and find that it isn’t as effective as you’d like it to be, or that it’s producing side effects, it’s worth speaking to your prescriber. Sometimes simply tweaking the dosage of the treatment you’re already on fixes the problem, and your prescribing clinician can help you with this.

Contraindications for Spedra

You should inform your doctor of any conditions that you have or are prone to, whether related to erectile dysfunction or not. Only then will your doctor be able to prescribe a treatment safely. Your doctor can provide you with all the information you need relating to your treatment and contraindications, and you can always refer to the patient information leaflet that comes with your medication.

You should avoid use of Spedra if you are taking certain medications or have certain medical conditions. This includes if you have: allergies to Spedra or any of its ingredients, a serious cardiac problem, had a stroke or heart attack in the last six months, low blood pressure, high blood pressure, angina, chest pain during sexual intercourse, serious liver or kidney problems, loss of vision in one eye due to non-arteritic ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) or serious eye problems that run in your family.

Your doctor may decide that this treatment is not suitable for you if you have the one of the following conditions: heart trouble, priapism (persistent erection lasting four hours or more), sickle cell disease, multiple myeloma, leukaemia, a deformed penis, Peyronie’s disease, cavernosal fibrosis, bleeding disorders or an active peptic ulceration.

Other reasons why Spedra might be considered unsuitable

Other reasons why you may not be prescribed this treatment might not relate to pre-existing conditions, and your prescribing clinicians will need to ask you some personal questions about your erectile dysfunction to determine whether Spedra is appropriate for you. 

Spedra and alcohol or drug dependence

Alcohol and drug dependence is one of the most prevalent causes of erectile dysfunction and as such your doctor will need to establish whether this is the case for you. It is vital that you inform your doctor if this is the case as a medication will not get to the root cause of the condition. What’s more, alcohol and drug use is likely to render the treatment itself ineffective and in some cases might be considered a contraindication.

Taking Spedra if you don’t have erectile dysfunction

One of the greatest myths about Spedra and other PDE5 inhibitors is that they act as an aphrodisiac or enhance sexual performance even when erectile dysfunction is not present. But these medications do not trigger sexual arousal, nor do they enhance performance, aside from helping you achieve and maintain an erection if this is an issue for you. As a result, you should not use this treatment unless you have erectile dysfunction.

Spedra and relationship problems

Dealing with the emotional issues that come with difficulties in a relationship is extremely painful and can have an enormous impact on your wellbeing. It is common in these circumstances for that to lead to issues with erectile dysfunction. Your doctor may want to address these issues by suggesting a talking therapy, such as counselling, before addressing the physical effects of a difficult relationship. In such cases it’s possible these approaches will be more effective than Spedra.

Minimising the risk of Spedra contraindications

The risk of contraindications for Spedra can be minimised with some common sense practices and being open with your doctor. As previously mentioned, the most important of these is to inform your doctor of any health issues you have, but it is also important to inform them of any other treatments you are receiving.

You should also ensure that you obtain your medication from a reputable source. Buying counterfeit medication online can be extremely hazardous, with some products shown to have labelled the strength of the medication incorrectly as well as the medication itself. Some may also be cut with dangerous substances that can lead to serious health consequences.

You should always check to see if the pharmacy you are purchasing your medication from is GPhC registered before providing any personal information or purchasing any treatment. You can find information on a pharmacy registration on the GPhC site, but in most cases the pharmacy site itself will have the logo with details of registration. Spedra is a prescription-only medicine, so a qualified doctor or prescribing pharmacist will need to ask you questions to make sure it is safe for you. Websites selling ED treatments that don’t carry out these checks should be avoided.

Page last reviewed:  24/07/2020