Erectile dysfunction affects roughly 30 million men in the United States alone.
Today, most ED medications are no longer protected by patents that prevent other companies from stepping in with cheaper options.
Drugs like Forzest are made by third-party pharmaceutical companies at a much lower cost than brands like Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra.
In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about the generic ED medication, Forzest. We’ll cover the cost, benefits, and risks of using this medication.
Forzest is a generic version of Cialis (tadalafil) — a brand name pharmaceutical erectile dysfunction medication made by Eli Lilly.
Cialis is the second most popular ED medication in the United States to Viagra.
When the patents for Cialis expired in 2017, the Indian drug maker Sun Pharmaceuticals was approved to begin making their own version of the drug — which they called Forzest.
Forzest is about 99% identical to Cialis. It uses the exact same active ingredient (tadalafil) and the same dose (20 mg).
In order for a generic drug to be approved, it has to be an identical copy of the original drug. If the manufacturer wants to change the dose, they’ll need to conduct their own set of clinical trials to prove the efficacy and safety of the new dose — which is very expensive.
Virtually all generic medications are identical copies of the original drug for this reason.
Cialis comes in four different doses — 2.5, 5, 10, and 20 mg per tablet. Sun Pharmaceuticals only makes Forzest in the highest, 20 mg dosage.
The active ingredient in Forzest (tadalafil) is classified as a PDE5 inhibitor (phosphodiesterase type 5).
PDE5 is an enzyme located in the blood vessel walls tasked with breaking down a compound called cGMP (cyclic GMP) — which is a chemical messenger that tells the blood vessels to widen or dilate.
Forzest stops this enzyme from breaking down cGMP — which allows concentrations to increase.
The more cGMP in the area, the greater its effect on widening the arteries.
This is relevant for ED because forming an erection relies on the ability to dilate or widen specific arteries that direct blood flow into the penis.
During arousal, a signal is sent from the brain to the penis to initiate the erection process.
This signal triggers the release of chemical messengers into the area — including cGMP — which cause arterioles to widen and allow more blood to flow into the erectile tissue.
People with ED have a problem widening these arteries. Drugs like Forzest help overcome this issue.
The result of this effect is harder and longer-lasting erections in men.
Forzest only comes in one dose — 20 mg per tablet.
This is the highest available dose for its brand-name counterpart, Cialis.
Most doctors prescribe the 10 mg version of Cialis and only bump them up to the 20 mg dose if it doesn’t work. The higher the dosage used, the greater the risk of side effects.
Sun Pharmaceuticals has a habit of producing only the strongest form available for all its generic medications.
If the 20 mg version is too strong, you’ll need to switch to something like Cialis 10 mg or Cialis 5 mg.
Forzest is suggested to be taken about 30 minutes to an hour before engaging in sexual activity. It takes between 20 to 40 minutes for the drug to take effect.
Factors that can affect how quickly the medication work:
- When you last ate — taking Forzest after a meal can slow absorption
- The health of your digestive tract — gut inflammation can slow the absorption of Forzest
- Other medications — some medications or supplements may slow the onset of effects
Tadalafil is the longest-lasting erectile dysfunction medication currently available. It can last up to 36 hours after taking the pill. The original version, Cialis, is known as “the weekend pill” for its long duration of effects.
For most people, the drug lasts around 17 hours, with minor residual effects up to 24 hours.
This is substantially longer than most ED medications, which usually last between 4 and 6 hours total.
Forzest is cheap — costing patients between $2.30 and $3.00 per tablet depending on how many you buy at a time.
This is significantly cheaper than Cialis or other brand name drugs — which can cost anywhere from 460 – $100 before rebates or health coverage.
Most people should be able to get drugs like Cialis for about $10 – $20 per pill after rebates and health coverage are applied — but this is still five times the cost of Forzest.
The most cost-effective way to buy Forzest is to order it in bulk. You can order 56 tablets for $127 — bringing the cost per pill down to $2.27. For seven tablets, the cost is about $20 — which makes the cost per pill around $2.70.
Forzest is a prescription-only medication and should only be used under the guidance and supervision of a medical doctor.
The PDE5 class of drugs poses various risks, some of which can be very severe. Your doctor will be able to assess your risk-to-benefit ratio based on other medications you’re using and any underlying health conditions.
Forzest is used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction — which is characterized by an inability to achieve or maintain an erection long enough to engage in sexual intercourse.
There aren’t any studies that assess the safety of Forzest specifically. However, there’s plenty of research available on the active ingredient — tadalafil — from the work Eli Lilly published while developing Cialis.
This research can be directly applied to Forzest because both medications contain the exact same ingredients. The only difference is the shape of the pill, and the individual fillers or binding agents used (which are inert and should have no impact on the effect of the drug).
Tadalafil was approved as a safe and effective medicine by the FDA in 2011. Several clinical trials conducted on over 9000 men have proven the drug has a high margin of safety as long as drug interactions are ruled out first. Throughout these studies, the dropout rate for adverse reactions was only 3.1%.
With that said, tadalafil (and Forzest) can lead to a handful of side effects.
Side Effects of Forzest Include
- Headache (6% of users)
- Dyspepsia (5% of users)
- Back Pain (3% of users)
- Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (3% of users)
- Flushing (3% of users)
- Myalgia (muscle pain) (2% of users)
- Cough (2% of users)
- Diarrhea (2% of users)
- Nasal Congestion (2% of users)
- Pain in the Extremities (2% of users)
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (1% of users)
- Abdominal Pain (1% of users)
- Priapism (<1% of users)
- Angina or Chest Pain (<1% of users)
- Vision Disturbances (<1% of users)
A few known drug interactions exist with Forzest — some of which can be life-threatening.
The most severe interactions with this drug are nitrite heart medications. Both Forzest and nitrites like nitric oxide cause blood vessels to widen — leading to a reduction in blood pressure. When taken together, the effects of both drugs are compounded and can cause users to feel lightheaded and may lead to fainting.
Other blood pressure medications can have similar interactions with Forzest, such as alpha-blockers, ACE inhibitors, or diuretics.
Forzest should be avoided when consuming alcohol, marijuana, or other illicit drugs. Both alcohol and marijuana can affect blood pressure and interfere with the liver’s ability to metabolize the drug.
Forzest should be avoided by people with heart disease (angina, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, hypertension), kidney disease, or liver disease.
Always speak with your doctor before ordering Forzest to rule out any potential underlying health conditions or negative drug reactions before using the drug.
Erectile dysfunction could indicate something more serious going on, so it’s important to go for an assessment to rule out any underlying health issues that could be responsible for your symptoms.
Forzest is just one of the many erectile dysfunction medications available. Here are a few of the alternatives you may want to consider before settling on Forzest.
1. Cialis (tadalafil)
Cialis is the primary alternative to Forzest and the original version of the drug. It’s made by the American pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly.
You can find Cialis at virtually any local or online pharmacy in the US, and it is the recommended version by most health professionals.
The only downside to using Cialis is the cost — which is around 5 times as expensive as Forzest (or more).
2. Viagra (sildenafil)
Viagra has been the number-one selling ED medication since its approval in 1998. It works the same way as Forzest but has a much shorter duration of effects.
There are several generic forms of Viagra available at a comparable price to Forzest, including:
3. Levitra (vardenafil)
Levitra is another PDE5 inhibitor made by Bayer Pharmaceuticals. It’s the most expensive option but works in the same way as Forzest, Viagra, and Cialis.
You’ll likely be able to find this medication at your local pharmacy.
4. Stendra (avanafil)
Stendra is made by Vivus Inc. but marketed by various other pharmaceutical companies in different parts of the world. It works the same way as Forzest by blocking the PDE5 enzyme.
Natural ED supplements exist, but none of them are as potent as the pharmaceutical versions. Natural supplements usually take several days or weeks or regular use to provide results and usually work by supporting underlying causes for the condition instead.
Here are some of the most popular natural ED supplements used today:
- Horny Goat Weed (Epimedium spp.)
- Korean Red Ginseng (Panax ginseng)
- Tribulus (Tribulus terrestris)
- Ageless Male
- VigRX Plus
Most local pharmacies in the United States don’t carry Forzest. This is a cheap generic brand offered by online pharmacies only.
Be very cautious when shopping for this medication online — many digital pharmacies specializing in prescription drugs are a scam. Never order from a website that promises prescription medications like tadalafil without requiring the submission of a prescription.