Do Gas Station Boner Pills Work?

Behind the counter of most gas stations and convenience stores you will find some strange looking pills and supplements making all kinds of health claims. Commonly known as "gas station boner pills",  some of these are related to sex and sex drive, and most claim to improve erections. So do gas station boner pills work? Are they safe? Since the ingredients of these pills are so vastly different from one another, we will need to analyze the ingredients and determine if it's a good combination.


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What is in Gas Station Boner Pills?

Gas station boner pills are composed of a multitude of ingredients. Here is a list of common ingredients and how they work. Yohimbine appears to be backed by the most research, but some of the other ingredients listed can be helpful as well. Note that scientific study sources are provided when relevant, but not all of these supplements and nutrients have been specifically studies for their claimed sexual applications, treatment of erectile dysfunction, and premature ejaculation.


  • Yohimbine: Blocks presynaptic alpha-2 receptors. Stimulates mid-brain, increases libido. Might increase local blood flow or decrease outflow.
  • Zinc: Improves testosterone and supports prostate health.
  • Horny Goat Weed: Improves blood flow to the penis by increasing the signaling molecule, nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels to deliver greater blood flow to the penis (1).
  • Oryza sativa: Traditionally used in the Philippines for sexual dysfunction, of an unknown mechanism.
  • Rauvolfia Serpentina: Works similar to SNRIs to boost mood and improve libido.
  • Black Pepper (Piper nigrum): Increases testosterone and boosts brain reception to testosterone leading to increased libido (2).
  • Maca (Lepidum meyenii): Improves libido and facilitates androgen signaling. A safe dose is up to 5g extract/kg which equals ~11g hypocotyls/kg.
  • Damiana (Turnera diffusa): Increases libido and decreases refractory interval for sexual encounters in male rats (3).
  • Rhodiola rosea: Reduces stress and fatigue, decreases premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction.
  • Siberia ginseng: Strengthens erections by potentiating nitric oxide effects on smooth muscle relaxation. increases libido by increasing blood testosterone levels through LH signaling, and through increased dopamine (desire), acetylcholine (arousal) and GABA (orgasm) signaling. Increased sperm count by stimulating GDNF expression and activation of CREM, which increases sperm cell survival, and promotes spermatid maturation (4).
  • Wild yam: Stimulates nitric oxide and cGMP to maintain cavernous sinus health and promote firm erections Promotes Leydig cell proliferation and testosterone secretion (5).
  • Soy: Has neither a positive or negative effect on testosterone, estrogens, or sex drive in males (6).
  • L Arginine: An antioxidant, has been shown in animal models to protect and promote sperm maturation and testosterone production by the testes compared to controls in toxic environments (7). 
  • Gingko biloba: In rat studies increases testosterone production, ejaculation frequency and decreases serum prolactin a hormone that can lead to decreased libido and testosterone in males (8).


Are Gas Station Boner Pills Safe?

As stated previously, not all of the listed supplements and nutrients have been specifically studies for their claimed sexual applications. And even worse, many of the gas station boner pills you see don't even list their ingredients. If a package doesn't list the ingredients, it's probably not safe to use. If a drug hasn't been prescribed by a doctor you should at least understand what the ingredients are doing.



Are Gas Station Boner Pills Better Than Viagra and Cialis?

The two most common prescription medications for Erectile Dysfunction are Sildenafil (Viagra) and Tadalafil (Cialis). After those two, Vardenafil (Levitra) and Avanafil (Stendra) are also commonly prescribed for ED. All four of these medications have extensive scientific evidence to support their effectiveness and safety. It's safe to assume that all four are more effect than gas station boner pills.

Sildenafil (Viagra)

  • Onset: 60 minutes
  • Peak effect: 1-2 hours
  • Duration of action: 2-4 hours
  • Effective in men after prostatectomy and with diabetic-induced ED
  • Taken as needed
  • Adverse effects: sudden hearing loss, dizziness or ringing in the ears, low blood pressure, blue tinged vision, skin flushing, headache up to 46% and nose bleed in up to 13%

Tadalafil (Cialis)

  • Onset: 60 minutes or less
  • Peak Effect: 2-3 hours
  • Duration of action: up to 36 hours
  • Adverse effects: should not be taken with severe renal dysfunction
  • Longer duration of action, can be taken as a once daily medication with additional as needed dosing
  • May be effective in psychogenic ED, unlike other PDE5 inhibitors
  • Can help with long term regeneration of endothelial (blood vessel lining) function
  • Also approved for symptoms of BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia)

Vardenafil (Levitra)

  • Onset: 60 minutes
  • Peak Effect: 0.5-2 hours
  • Duration of action: 4-6 hours
  • New oral dissolving tablet has a faster onset
  • Adverse effects: high fat meals delay onset of action by delaying absorption by 1 hour, headaches, skin flushing, dyspepsia and runny nose

Avanafil (Stendra)

  • Onset: less than 30 minutes
  • Peak Effect: 30-45 minutes
  • Duration of action: 5 hours
  • Most rapid onset
  • More selective for PDE5 than sildenafil, tadalafil or vardenafil
  • Taken as needed only
  • Absorption is not impacted by food

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Should You Try Gas Station Boner Pills?

Aside from the fact that many gas station boner pills don't list their ingredients, which is unsafe, prescription ED medications have been proven to be more effective. If you are experiencing Erectile Dysfunction, you should talk to your doctor and see if an ED medication prescription is right for you.