In the UK Viagra is not an over-the-counter (OTC) medication. You cannot currently purchase it without a prescription issued by a doctor.

If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction and want to look into the possible treatments you should arrange a consultation with your doctor.

Approaching your doctor about this sensitive health problem can at first appear intimidating but it needn’t be. ED is a very common condition for which there are a variety of treatment options.

What should I expect at my doctor’s appointment?

Before you can receive a prescription for Viagra your doctor will need to establish whether it is a suitable treatment for you.

The active ingredient in Viagra is sildenafil which works by relaxing the blood vessels at the entrance of the penis to allow more blood into the area. The increased blood flow thereby improves erectile performance.

The physical reaction caused by Viagra’s active ingredient can interact with some health conditions and medications, so your doctor will want to make sure that it is a safe treatment option.

Depending on your health status your doctor’s appointment may contain one, some or all of the below steps:

  • Consultation

You should be prepared to answer questions about the nature of your erection disorder. It is likely that your doctor will want to know details about your symptoms, how long you have been experiencing them as well as general information about your health and sexual history.

A review of your past medical history may take place to see if there are any primary conditions responsible for the development of ED.

  • Physical examination and tests

ED can be a sign of cardiovascular impairment caused by narrowed blood vessels. There are some investigations that your doctor may wish to perform to rule it out. The tests might include taking a blood pressure reading, listening to your heart and measuring your height and weight.

If your doctor suspects that your prostate gland might be contributing to your ED they may ask to perform a digital rectal examination. It is quite common for your doctor to run routine blood tests to check for underlying health conditions and to assess your hormone levels.

Depending on the outcome of the above tests your doctor may be happy to prescribe ED medication such as Viagra.

Is Viagra available on the NHS?

No. Viagra is not available on the NHS. Whilst your NHS doctor can issue a private Viagra prescription it is not possible to purchase it at the levied prescription price.

Instead a private prescription will allow you to buy Viagra at the market price from a high street pharmacy or online chemist.

Your doctor may charge a fee for issuing a private prescription.

Sildenafil is the generic version of Viagra which can be prescribed by NHS GPs to treat erectile dysfunction but only under specific circumstances.

Can I safely buy Viagra online?

Yes, but it is important to check that the online pharmacy you use is registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

GPhC-regulated online pharmacies will carry out a doctor’s consultation which will cover similar questions to those asked in a face-to-face appointment.

You should avoid any websites that offer to sell Viagra to you without a prescription as they are breaking UK law. Websites that trade illegally may even sell counterfeit medication which is unregulated and potentially dangerous.