Reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
If you struggle with erectile dysfunction (ED), here’s some really good news: You have no shortage of treatment options. From therapy to medications, there are plenty of ways to manage this particular medical condition.
Even within pharmacology, you have several choices. So the more you know about each of these options, the more at ease you’ll feel about treating erectile dysfunction.
One of these medications, Stendra® (and the generic version, avanafil), has a special trick up its sleeve: It can work in as little as 15 minutes.
We’d bet that makes this particular medication very appealing to lots of guys. But did you know there’s more than one Stendra dosage available?
Keep reading to learn about the various avanafil dosages and what side effects to expect. After all, the more you know about your ED medications, the better off you are in treating your erectile dysfunction.
Stendra is one of the newest FDA-approved medications for erectile dysfunction, and it comes in multiple dosage forms.
A quick note: Stendra is the brand name of avanafil. In other words, avanafil is the main ingredient in Stendra. And if you’re wondering about Stendra versus avanafil, our in-depth guide covers all the details and differences between the two.
Stendra is part of a group of ED medications known as PDE5 inhibitors. This type of medication blocks the enzyme phosphodiesterase-5 that’s found in the smooth muscle cells of blood vessels. PDE5 inhibitors, along with sexual stimulation, increase blood flow for better erectile function.
You might be familiar with other common PDE5 inhibitors, such as Viagra® (which contains the active ingredient sildenafil), Cialis® (tadalafil) or Levitra® (vardenafil).
Not only is Stendra a faster-acting drug than other PDE5 inhibitors, but several clinical trials found the medication to be effective in those with diabetes and those who had a prostatectomy (prostate surgery).
This drug typically comes as an oral tablet, and there are three Stendra dosages:
Like other medications used to treat erectile dysfunction, it can take some time to work out the right Stendra dosage.
So how do you know what avanafil dosage is right for you? Should you take Stendra 200 mg (milligrams) or a lower dose of avanafil?
Below, we’ll go over the three commonly prescribed dosages of Stendra, as well as what side effects you can expect from each dosage.
Most often prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction, the recommended starting dose of Stendra is usually 100 mg.
Taking a Stendra 100 mg dose is highly effective at preventing ED. Most men who take this dose typically find it easier to get an erection when aroused and maintain their erection during sexual activity.
In a study of men affected by ED, patients randomly received a dosage of either 50 mg, 100 mg or 200 mg of avanafil for use over a 12-week period. The men given the 100-mg dose showed a 57 percent average improvement in erectile function.
Like other dosages of Stendra, 100 mg isn’t affected by your food intake or moderate alcohol consumption. So you won’t have to worry about when to take this particular ED medication on your next dinner date.
At a dose of 100 mg, the most common adverse reactions are headaches, nasal congestion, flushing and back pain.
The highest dose of Stendra available for the treatment of erectile dysfunction is 200 mg. Your healthcare provider might prescribe Stendra 200 mg if you haven’t experienced satisfactory results from the 100-mg dose.
Like the 100-mg dose of Stendra, the 200-mg dose typically starts working about 15 minutes after you take the medication.
Studies typically show that the 200-mg dose of Stendra is just as effective as the 100-mg dose of the medication for treating ED. For example, in the same study mentioned above, the researchers found no significant difference between 100-mg and 200-mg doses of Stendra for men with ED.
Another study of 182 Chinese men also found that both the 100-mg and 200-mg avanafil dosages were effective in treating ED. These doses were generally well-tolerated by participants, though this was a much smaller study than the others.
Something worth noting is that the Stendra 200 mg dose has a slightly higher risk of causing certain side effects than the standard 100-mg dose. Around 10 percent of men experience headaches at this dose, compared to about 7 percent of men prescribed the Stendra 100-mg dose.
Interestingly, some side effects — such as back pain and nasal congestion — appear to be slightly less common in men who use Stendra at this dose than in those prescribed Stendra at doses of 50 or 100 mg.
Stendra is also available in a 50-mg dose — currently the lowest dose used to treat ED. You might be prescribed Stendra at this dose if you have mild ED, are relatively young or experience side effects from Stendra at a standard 100-mg dose.
But you don’t have to worry about whether or not a lower Stendra dosage will work for you if you have mild ED. The study mentioned above also found that, compared to a placebo, all doses (even the lowest) helped men with ED during sexual activity.
So a 50-mg dose of Stendra could be enough to help you get hard, stay hard and improve your sexual performance.
However, this dose of Stendra takes slightly longer to start working than higher doses of the medication. On average, it takes about 30 minutes to feel the effects of Stendra at a 50-mg dose, compared to just 15 minutes for the 100 and 200-mg doses.
One advantage of using Stendra at this lower dose is that your risk of experiencing side effects is significantly lower.
Only about 5 percent of men who use a 50-mg dose of Stendra experience headaches, compared to roughly 7 percent of men at a 100-mg dose and 10.5 percent at a 200-mg dose.
Other side effects, such as nasal congestion, are also more common at a 100-mg dose. That said, back pain appears to be slightly more common with 50 mg than with the 200-mg Stendra dose.
Have more questions about Stendra dosages? Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below.
Stendra should not be taken more than once a day, as this can increase your risk of experiencing serious side effects. For longer-acting relief from ED, medications such as Cialis, which lasts up to 36 hours, might be more suitable.
A standard dose of Stendra 100 mg lasts approximately five hours, although the effects might start to decline earlier than five hours after you take the medication. Like other ED medications, Stendra produces the most significant improvements in ED the first few hours after taking the pill.
Many can contribute to erectile dysfunction, ranging from high blood pressure and cardiovascular medical conditions like heart disease to psychological factors. Depending on your symptoms and medical history, if you’re around 65 or older, your doctor may adjust your starting dose.
The recommended starting dose of Stendra is 100 mg, regardless of weight. Based on your results, a healthcare provider might recommend adjusting your dosage of Stendra to 50 mg or 200 mg after you’ve had time to assess the efficacy of the treatment.
If you find that Stendra isn’t fully effective at the dose you’re prescribed, seek medical advice from your healthcare provider about changing your dosage. Don’t increase your dosage of Stendra without consulting your doctor.
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Besides avanafil dosage, there’s some more critical information to know about this medication.
If you’ve been advised not to participate in sexual activity due to an underlying cardiovascular medical condition, like heart failure or angina, this medication is not safe for you.
If you’re taking medication for certain health conditions, you should be aware of potential drug interactions. For instance, antihypertensive medications, like alpha-blockers for high blood pressure (hypertension), can affect which Stendra dosage you take, as the drug interactions can cause hypotension (dangerously low blood pressure).
Stendra can have negative drug interactions with other compounds found in food or medication. This includes nitrates, CYP3A4 inhibitors, grapefruit and medications like:
If you use a CYP3A4 inhibitor, a healthcare provider may recommend taking no more than the 50-mg dose.
More serious side effects of Stendra include loss of hearing and sudden loss of vision, although this can occur with other PDE5 inhibitors. If you experience either of these side effects or a prolonged erection lasting more than four hours, seek immediate medical attention from a healthcare provider.
Before starting Stendra, tell your healthcare provider about all the medications you take, including prescription medicines, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and herbal supplements.
For more information about Stendra, including exactly how this drug works, check out our full Stendra 101 guide.
When looking for erectile dysfunction treatments, men have quite a few medication options. One popular choice may be Stendra (avanafil), an ED medication that works in as little as 15 minutes.
Known as a PDE5 (short for phosphodiesterase type 5) inhibitor, Stendra (and the generic version avanafil) treats erectile dysfunction in men by blocking the enzyme phosphodiesterase-5 that affects whether your penis becomes erect.
Stendra is prescribed in three dosages: 50 mg, 100 mg and 200 mg. All three are effective at treating ED and are generally well-tolerated by men, even those with underlying conditions like diabetes.
There are some side effects when taking Stendra, with headaches, back pain, nasal congestion and flushing being the most common. However, these may be experienced more or less severely depending on which avanafil dosage you take. And there’s a small risk of more serious side effects and adverse reactions.
Stendra and other PDE5 inhibitors like Viagra or Cialis are some of the most common ED treatments.
You can learn more about this medication and explore other erectile dysfunction treatments through an online consultation with a healthcare provider.