Because Viagra has become a household name since it was released in 1998, this has unfortunately led to several counterfeit versions being circulated both in social settings and online. The ‘little blue pill’ itself is one of the most faked drugs in history, but this illicit practice has spread to other treatments for ED too.

Using counterfeit medications poses significant health risks, and if you’re seeking treatment for the first time, it can be difficult to know which are legitimate and which are not. So we have put together this page as an informative guide about where you can find approved, licensed ED treatment.

What form can you find ED treatment? 

ED treatments are available in a number of doses and strengths, which helps to treat both moderate and severe ED. Sildenafil is the active ingredient commonly found in a number of ED treatments - including Viagra. Other active ingredients licensed in the medication of ED include tadalafil, avanafil, vardenafil and alprostadil.  

With the exception of alprostadil, these active ingredients are put into tablets or ‘pills’. Alprostadil available as an injectable solution (Caverject, Viridal) a cream (Vitaros) or a urethral suppository (MUSE).

A more recent option to become available is a combination of aviptadil and phentolamine mesilate, which is also given as an injection (Invicorp).

All of these treatments work in similar ways. They dilate the blood vessels which allows for more blood flow. It’s important to note that they won’t work as an aphrodisiac. The user will still need to feel sexual arousal for them to be effective. 

If you’re on a site that offers gels, jellies, patches or ‘strips’ of ED treatment, these forms aren’t currently licensed for use in the UK. So in all likelihood, the site is operating illegally. 

However, this isn’t to say illicit providers don’t also try and sell fake versions of real branded ED drugs, like Cialis, for example. 

Another indicative warning sign of illegal ED treatment is when sites offer ‘free trials’. This is a common tactic employed by illicit providers. At present, it’s illegal to give away medication on a private basis for free.

All treatments for ED except Viagra Connect and some very specific versions of Sildenafil 50mg are, at present, prescription only treatments, and require prior consultation with a doctor or pharmacy prescriber. Viagra Connect and Sildenafil 50g, where not issued as a prescription medication, are classified as Pharmacy medicines or ‘P’. These still require you to go through a health screening with a pharmacist before they can be issued. So you should expect to have to answer some medical questions before you get them.

Any site that offers to provide these without asking you questions about your health first is, again, not adhering to the law.

Again, if you are ever unsure you can speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Unlicensed medicines or those obtained from an unregistered pharmacy can often be ineffective or, worse, very dangerous. 

Non-medicinal erectile dysfunction treatments

Before taking medicinal treatment for erectile dysfunction, there are a number of non-medicinal methods you may wish to try first. If you think you may be suffering from erectile dysfunction, we recommend first speaking with your doctor about this.

ED can in some cases be a symptom of a more serious health condition, so it is important to rule these out. 

The condition can stem from physical and psychological causes, or a combination of the two. 

Physical causes may include heart problems, diabetes or high blood pressure. If you smoke, drink alcohol or take certain medications, this may also make ED more likely. 

Psychologically, depression and anxiety may also be a cause. General concerns about relationships or money may also affect the ability to get or maintain an erection. Even the idea of not being able to ‘perform’ (performance anxiety) can make it harder to get an erection.

So some solutions tackle these issues directly and are worth exploring. Talking to your doctor and getting any underlying conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure under control can help to improve erections. 

Quitting smoking, lowering alcohol intake and staying away from recreational drugs can help to fix ED. You can also make a difference by following a healthy lifestyle. So eating well (a healthy balanced diet), exercising regularly and making sure you’re getting enough sleep are measure to consider too.

Ordering ED treatment and Viagra online 

There are many places online that authorise sales of ED treatment. Not all of these sources will offer suitable, or even legal, medicinal treatment. 

If you are unsure - there are some things you can look for which will help to better inform your decision. 

You can visit the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) website and conduct a search to see if the online pharmacy you’re visiting is on their pharmacy register. You can also search on the governmental body Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to check if the pharmacy you wish to order from is registered and approved.

You can also look for the following stamps on a site which demonstrate whether a pharmacy is operating legally. 


Some prescribing services are regulated by the Care and Quality Commission (CQC). It’s not mandatory for pharmacies to be registered with them, but this can serve to provide an added layer of security. You can visit their website to search for a pharmacy or health service.

The CQC provides ratings based on safety, effectiveness, caring, responsiveness and leadership. is one of the first online pharmacies to receive a ‘good’ rating for all of the above. 

You can still order treatment from online pharmacies who are not CQC regulated. But when you choose a pharmacy that is regulated by them, you’re using a service that is regularly inspected and follows their standards of practice. 

Viagra on online shopping sites

Sites such as Ebay, Amazon and other online retailers do sell some medicinal treatments. 

However Ebay does not allow individuals to sell any medication that requires a prescription to obtain. Their official policy states that: 

  • Prescription drugs or drugs containing prescription strength medication cannot be listed
  • Over-the-counter medication containing non-prescription strength drugs must:
    • Clearly state the concentration of the prescription drug in the description
    • Not be expired prior to reaching the buyer, and clearly state the expiration in the description
  • Herbal, holistic, or drug-like remedies can't imply any non-government-approved treatments, or be compared to any prescription drug
  • It is not allowed to claim any health benefits from legal substances that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn't approved

Amazon has a similar page where they outline their official policy on the subject of pharmaceutical drugs. Sellers on the site are prohibited from offering prescription only medication. 

Is Kamagra legal?

It is in some countries, but not the UK. 

The licensed version of Kamagra that originated in India contains sildenafil citrate, which is the same active ingredient found in Viagra. It’s often sold without a prescription, and is unfortunately a frequently counterfeited drug.

In any case, Kamagra is not licensed in the UK or EU. So while many versions of Kamagra may be manufactured in a lab to respectable safety standards, it’s not legal to buy here. Non genuine versions of the treatment may also be dangerous, because they aren’t subject to testing and clinical checks.

Men looking for a cheaper version of Viagra are advised to try sildenafil instead.

Page last reviewed:  28/09/2021