Dr Clare Morrison

Article by Dr Clare Morrison


Spedra (Avanafil)  is a newly-launched prescription-only  medicine in the UK, licensed for the treatment of  erectile dysfunction (impotence) in men. It works by relaxing the muscle, which allows blood flow to the penis, causing an erection. For Spedra to be effective, sexual stimulation is required. Spedra belongs to the group of medicines called PDE-5 inhibitors (phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors), and belongs to the same class of medicines as Sildenafil, Viagra, Cialis and Levitra.

How to take Spedra

Spedra is available in tablet form of 50mg, 100mg and 200mg. The recommended dose of Spedra is 100mg,  taken approximately 30 minutes before sexual activity, preferably on an empty stomach, as food may delay its effectiveness. A dose of 200mg may be taken, or a lower dose of 50mg, depending on tolerability and the effectiveness in producing desired results.

Spedra should only be taken once per day and should not be taken with other medicines used to treat erectile dysfunction, such as Sildenafil, Viagra, Cialis, Levitra. No more than two units of alcohol may be consumed with Spedra as this may reduce its effectiveness and increase side effects.

How effective is Spedra?

The effectiveness of Spedra has been shown in three main studies1,2,3,4  involving over 3,000 men with erectile dysfunction. Men with erectile dysfunction who have diabetes, and those who developed erectile dysfunction  post surgery were also studied. In all three studies, which lasted over 12 weeks, Spedra was found to be significantly more effective than placebo in maintaining erections that lasted long enough for sexual intercourse, at a dose of 100mg to 200mg.

The percentage of successful attempts at intercourse increased from 13 percent before treatment to 57 percent, compared with placebo, which only only increased it to 27 percent.

What are the side effects of Spedra?

The most common side effects with Spedra  are headaches, flushing (redness in the skin) and a blocked nose. The other side effects are listed in the patient information leaflet and are less common.

What are the risks of taking Spedra?

There are certain medical conditions which Spedra cannot be taken with. Men with history of strokes, heart attacks, irregular heart beats and other underlying heart conditions may be advised to avoid taking Spedra by their doctors. Also those with liver or kidney dysfunction, or those who have loss of sight due to poor circulation, may be advised to avoid taking Sepdra.

Spedra interacts with some medicines and must not be taken with nitrates (a type of medicine used to treat angina). Other medicines may also change the affects of Spedra in the body and should be avoided taking with Spedra.

If you need any further information on Spedra feel free to get in touch. 

1. European Medicines Agency www.ema.europa.eu

2Goldstein I et al. J Sex Med 2012; 9: 1122−33

Mulhall JP et al. J Urol 2013; 189: 2229−36

Goldstein I et al. Mayo Clin Proc 2012; 87: 843−52.


Dr Clare Morrison
Dr Clare Morrison
Experienced General Practitioner in Hampshire since 1995, with particular interest in Nutrition, Obesity and Smoking Cessation.
Originally published May 20 2014, updated July 08 2019