Shopping cart with medications

Buying Medications Online: How to Do It Safely


  • Buying medications online can be risky as there are many unsafe and unlicensed online pharmacies.
  • The FDA cautions that unsafe online drugstores can steal your information and sell potentially dangerous drugs.
  • U.S.-licensed online pharmacies always require a doctor’s prescription.
  • eDrugstore has been the top online destination for erectile dysfunction medications since 1998. 

Buying medications online from various online pharmacies is something that more and more people are doing. The FDA understands, however, that drugs aren’t like other goods you may buy online. The Administration has recently published a warning and released a guide to help consumers identify safe online pharmacies. 

What are the Pitfalls of Buying Medications Online?

Pharmacies went online to offer convenience, allowing people to shop for medications from the comfort of their homes. Current shopping trends and skyrocketing ecommerce revenues also had a hand in pushing legitimate businesses to exploit the online space. 

Unfortunately, criminals have also identified a potentially lucrative niche in the online sales of pharmaceuticals. Online, they can pose as legitimate pharmacies, where they peddle deeply discounted drugs of dubious origin. The FDA periodically warns against unsafe online pharmacies and those who sell tainted sexual enhancement products, but it’s easy to set up a new operation once an old one is forced to close. 

Many patients can’t tell whether they’re dealing with an unsafe online drugstore or a legitimate one. Here’s how the FDA says you can identify an unsafe online pharmacy. 

Not Requiring a Doctor’s Prescription

Unsafe online pharmacies don’t operate legally. They can afford to go overboard with convenience, and they do so by offering prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription. 

In the U.S., strict laws govern the distribution of medications. Before prescribing a drug, a physician must understand how it works and what it does. A pharmacist must know about the potential interactions a medicine may cause in the patient to whom they prescribe it. 

Unlike safe online pharmacies, illegal operations aren’t concerned with these details; they only care about sales. Illegal pharmacies will give you whatever you’re looking for without bothering with prescriptions or medical expertise. 

Lack of Licensing

Unsafe online drugstores don’t worry about licensing, but safe, legal online pharmacies are licensed and registered with the appropriate authorities

Lack of Qualified Personnel

Illegal online drugstores don’t have qualified doctors or pharmacists on staff to answer patients’ questions. For unsafe pharmacies, clarifying problems and ensuring the well-being of patients are not priorities; they focus exclusively on sales. 

Prices That are Too Good to be True

When you’re selling medications that may not contain the active ingredients you advertise and you’re not concerned about quality standards, you can afford to cut your prices. That is what illegal online pharmacies do — they try to outdo legal pharmacies by offering prices that are too good to be true. 

Suspicious Products

You may save a buck when buying your medications through an illegal online pharmacy, but you will have an unpleasant surprise when your products arrive. You may receive medication that: 

  • Comes in broken or damaged packaging
  • Has expired
  • Doesn’t have an expiration date at all
  • Comes with a patient information leaflet in a foreign language 

Surprised man looking at a letter and holding a pill

You get what you pay for, as they say. 

Selling Your Personal Information

When you give your personal information to the people who operate illegal online pharmacies, you may as well release it on the dark web. Criminal rings are running these sites. When they close one down, they launch another, and they share client information so they can sell people medications multiple times. 

Unsafe online pharmacies don’t guarantee the protection of your personal and financial information in writing. And why would they? They never intend to protect it. 

Charging You for Products You Never Ordered

Unlicensed online pharmacies often take liberties with your personal data and orders. They may charge you for medications you never ordered and they never intended to deliver. 

Or they may set you up with a recurring prescription, either without your knowledge or because you missed this important point in the fine print. You will then be charged every month, and it may be difficult or impossible to contact the company to stop the payments.

If you spot any of these red flags, you are likely the victim of an illegal online pharmacy. Report the site to the FDA. The unlawful sale of medical products is a crime. If you believe you are the victim of an illegal site, don’t take any drugs or supplements you buy from them.

Illegally Sold Drugs are Dangerous

Unsafe online pharmacies deal in unsafe medications. They may be offshore operations, meaning their products don’t have to conform to safety or efficacy standards. 

Because no one checks the quality of these medications, their makers can put too much or too little of the active substances in them. The active ingredient is what makes drugs effective. 

Unsafe drugs may: 

  • Not contain the right active ingredient in the right amounts
  • Have too much or too little of the active ingredient, rendering them ineffective or toxic
  • Contain other ingredients not listed on the label
  • Be tainted with potentially dangerous or toxic ingredients 

You should only take FDA-approved medications. When you buy Viagra online, for instance, you should ensure that you get the FDA-approved product and not a counterfeit version. 

Improper storage can also damage pharmaceutical products, and some illegal online pharmacies sell expired medications. 

How to Buy Medications Online Safely

Here are a few tips to help you find a safe online drugstore. 

A legal, licensed, U.S.-based online pharmacy always requires prescriptions for the medications it sells you. The pharmacy may have licensed doctors who legally write you the prescriptions you need. 

Legitimate online pharmacies always have a phone number and physical address in the United States.

Safe online pharmacies have licensed pharmacists who can address your questions and concerns about the medications you order. 

Doctor video on a laptop

The companies behind safe online drugstores have a license from a state board of pharmacy. 

Licensed online pharmacies only sell FDA-approved drugs. 

When Buying Medications Online, You Can Trust eDrugstore

If you order erectile dysfunction medications from, you can be sure that you get legitimate medications, like Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra, and not a counterfeit or tainted medication. The generic versions of the drugs also carry proper amounts of active ingredients, as approved by the FDA.

If you need an ED prescription, eDrugstore can help with that, too. We have in-house, U.S.-licensed doctors who can provide virtual health visits and write the prescriptions you need to get your medications. We also honor prescriptions from your personal provider.

Looking to Buy Viagra Online?

We are a U.S.-based, licensed online pharmacy, and we provide our customers with the following: 

  •  Legitimate, FDA-approved prescription drugs
  • Complimentary consultations online with U.S.-licensed doctors
  • Doctors and pharmacists who can answer your questions about your condition and medications 
  • Affordable prescription drug prices
  • Secure handling of personal information
  • Doctor-patient privacy observed according to U.S. laws
  • Quick, reliable, and discreet shipping
  • Exemplary customer service since 1998 

If you want to address your erectile dysfunction with safe, FDA-approved medications you can trust, order from us with confidence.  

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