Spedra is the brand name for avanafil, a medication prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction. It is generally well tolerated, but like all medications it can cause side effects in some users. Spedra belongs to a group of drugs called PDE-5 inhibitors, of which Viagra is likely the most well-known. For the most part, side effects for these medications tend to be very mild and short term, although the strength of dosage may need to be assessed to find the right balance between effectiveness and toleration.

Erectile dysfunction treatments have come a long way in recent decades. Since Viagra in 1998, Levitra became available in 2003 and its generic version vardenafil in 2018. Because there are several options available it is likely, with a little patience, that you will be able to find the right treatment for your condition without experiencing significant side effects.

Spedra clinical trials

Clinical trials for Spedra suggested some unique benefits over similar treatments, most notably the speed at which it takes effect (from as little as 15 minutes, compared to other options which are effective from 25-30 minutes). Other trials concluded that avanafil showed significant superiority to the placebo, particularly in those under the age of 70.

Spedra side effects

Side effects from Spedra and avanafil have been documented. The medication has been on the market for fewer years than other similar drugs, so the list of reported side effects is smaller. Your prescribing clinician will be able to discuss these with you as well as the likelihood of them occurring. A patient information leaflet is also available, which can be found inside the medication packaging, and lists all side effects as well as their estimated frequency.

If you experience any of the following you should seek immediate medical attention and discontinue use: erections that last for hours more than four hours (which must be treated immediately), blurred vision, sudden decrease or loss of vision in one or both eyes, tinnitus, dizziness and sudden decrease or loss of hearing.

Other side effects that have been reported in those using Spedra include:

Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people): headache, flushing and nasal congestion.

Uncommon (may affect up to 1 in 100 people): dizziness, sleepiness, fatigue, congestion, back pain, flushing, breathlessness, increased heart beat, palpitations, indigestion, nausea, vomiting and raised liver enzymes.

Rare (may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people): influenza, stuffy or runny nose, hay fever, congestion in the upper part of the airways to the lungs, gout 5, insomnia, premature ejaculation, unable to keep still, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, dry mouth, stomach ache, heartburn, pain in the lower abdomen, diarrhoea, rash, pain in the lower back, pain in the side of the lower chest, aches or pains, spasms, frequent urination, penile disorders, spontaneous erections, itching in the genital area, weakness, fatigue, swelling of the feet or ankles, increased blood pressure, pink or red urine, blood in the urine, abnormal sound from the heart, abnormal blood test results, weight gain, fever and nosebleeds.

Minimising the risk of Spedra side effects

There are a number of things you can do to maximise the effects of the treatment while minimising the risk of side effects from occurring. If you experience side effects, you should inform your doctor so they can adjust your treatment. This might require lowering the strength to see if the side effects clear up without reducing its efficacy. If this is not possible, they might suggest a different PDE5 inhibitor treatment, such as Cialis. There are also other forms of erectile dysfunction medications available in cases where tablets aren’t effective, including those that can be injected directly into the penis, such as Caverject, or topical agents, such as Vitaros Cream.

It is essential that if you are not getting the effects that you require from the treatment that you do not increase the dosage without first speaking to your doctor. Only then can your treatment be properly and safely monitored and the risks of side effects managed.

How to report Spedra side effects

If you experience any side effects, you should speak with your doctor to discuss the options available to you. You can also report them to the government Yellow Card Scheme, which tracks all known side effects for all healthcare products in order to fully inform the public of the risks involved.

Page last reviewed:  24/07/2020