Avanafil is a PDE5 inhibitor which was approved by the FDA on April 27, 2012 and EMA on June 21, 2013 for erectile dysfunction. Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, formerly known as Tanabe Seiyaku Co., developed it and licensed it to Vivus Inc., which collaborated with the Menarini Group to sell Spedra in over forty countries in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Within the United States, Metuchen Pharmaceuticals gained exclusive rights.
Avanafil works by inhibiting a particular type 5 phosphodiesterase enzyme found in different tissues of the body, especially in the penis of the corpus cavernosum. Sildenafil, tadalafil and vardenafil are other medications that are similar. Compared with other PDE5 inhibitors, the benefit of avanafil is that it has a very rapid onset of action. It is rapidly absorbed and, in around thirty to forty-five minutes, achieves full serum concentration. Within fifteen minutes, approximately two-thirds of the participants were able to participate in sexual activity.