Is Cialis available over-the-counter?

Felix Gussone, MD - Contributor Avatar

Reviewed by Felix Gussone, MD, Ro, 

Written by Chimene Richa, MD 

Felix Gussone, MD - Contributor Avatar

Reviewed by Felix Gussone, MD, Ro, 

Written by Chimene Richa, MD 

last updated: Nov 13, 2023

3 min read

We all wish obtaining medication was as easy as a trip to the corner store. Unfortunately, not all drugs are considered safe enough to purchase at the drugstore without a prescription. Cialis, a brand-name drug used to treat erectile dysfunction, is not available over-the-counter (OTC). Many pharmacies provide Cialis online, but all avenues require a consultation with a healthcare provider and a prescription. Continue reading to learn more about how to get Cialis online, and whether Cialis will be available OTC anytime soon. 

Erectile dysfunction

Always be ready when the mood is right. Consult a healthcare provider about Cialis®

Is Cialis available over-the-counter?

The short answer? No, Cialis is not available over-the-counter. You need a prescription from a licensed healthcare professional to get Cialis.

In 2014, the pharmaceutical company Sanofi acquired the exclusive rights to apply for approval to market OTC Cialis from Eli Lilly. This sparked a lot of interest in whether Cialis would be available without a prescription. The plan was for Sanofi to make applications for OTC approval in the United States, Australia, Canada, and Europe once the drug patent expired in 2018. 

However, the hurdles to make Cialis available OTC in the United States were significant. Concerns included the potential for misuse, drug interactions, and fears that underlying medical conditions that cause ED may go undiagnosed. Health conditions you may not know can cause ED include:

Viagra has been available over-the-counter in the United Kingdom since 2017, but there are currently no plans for Viagra or Cialis to go OTC in the United States The generic version of Cialis, tadalafil, also requires a prescription. However, the Sanofi deal with Eli Lilly remains, so Sanofi may explore the potential for Cialis to go OTC one day.

Cialis Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.

Viagra Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.

How to get a prescription for Cialis

If you struggle to get and maintain an erection firm enough for satisfying sex, make an appointment with a healthcare provider who can rule out any underlying causes of your ED. They’ll also discuss with you the potential risks and benefits of taking an ED drug like Cialis. If appropriate, your provider will give you a prescription for it. 

However, if Cialis isn’t right for you, don't despair. There are several effective treatments for ED. Other ED medications that work like Cialis you can try include sildenafil (brand name Viagra), vardenafil (brand name Levitra), and avanafil (brand name Stendra).

Aside from oral medications, other treatment options include:

Are there over-the-counter options like Cialis?

While you can't get Viagra or Cialis over-the-counter in the United States, there are natural or herbal OTC products that may help. However, it is very unlikely that these supplements have the same effects as FDA-approved drugs like Cialis or Viagra. While some studies on herbal supplements to support healthy erections show promising results, more research is needed to fully understand the efficacy and safety of supplements. 

These supplements include: 

Be extremely cautious when it comes to pills available online or at gas stations and stores that claim to treat ED. Erectile dysfunction medications (Viagra in particular) are one of the most counterfeited drugs on the market. Counterfeit pills have been found to contain harmful ingredients like printer ink and talcum powder.

In summary, Cialis isn’t available over the counter right now, but this could change in the future. For now, make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you experience erectile dysfunction. You’re not alone, and your provider can help you explore many safe and effective treatment options.

DISCLAIMER

If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.


How we reviewed this article

Every article on Health Guide goes through rigorous fact-checking by our team of medical reviewers. Our reviewers are trained medical professionals who ensure each article contains the most up-to-date information, and that medical details have been correctly interpreted by the writer.

Current version

November 13, 2023

Written by

Chimene Richa, MD

Fact checked by

Felix Gussone, MD


About the medical reviewer

Felix Gussone is a physician, health journalist and a Manager, Medical Content & Education at Ro.

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