What is Viagra?

Viagra is a medicine that can help men aged 18 years and over who have erectile dysfunction (ED). It works by improving bloodflow to the penis, which makes it easier for men living with erectile dysfunction to get erections and sustain them. This can improve the sex life of these men and their partners.

Viagra is a diamond-shaped blue pill, and doctors or clinicians can prescribe it in strengths of 25mg, 50mg and 100mg. Most doctors or clinicians will usually prescribe the 50mg tablet at first to patients who are just starting to take Viagra.

Viagra Connect 50mg* has come onto the market as the first over-the-counter erectile dysfunction treatment. Viagra must be prescribed, whereas Viagra Connect can be purchased from a pharmacist. You should always read the label before taking Viagra or Viagra Connect, and should only take it once in a 24-hour period.

Viagra Connect is available as an over-the-counter medicine at Boots and is also one of a number of oral ED treatments which are accessible via our Erectile Dysfunction Online Clinic. You’ll only be offered treatment through our clinic once you’ve completed an online consultation so one of our clinicians can check that Viagra Connect, or any other ED treatment, is suitable for you. We also offer access to Viagra 100mg through the online clinic.

The active ingredient in Viagra and Viagra Connect is sildenafil. Men can access Sildenafil – the generic version of Viagra – through our ED online clinic in 25mg, 50mg and 100mg strengths (subject to availability and clinician approval).

Sildenafil makes it easier for men to get and keep an erection which is hard enough for sex. It’s not an aphrodisiac, and can’t treat low libido. Men who take it must be sexually aroused to get an erection. When researching Viagra, watch out for any claims that Viagra will boost your sex drive or instantly arouse you. If you spot them, there’s a chance that Viagra and the website might not be legitimate and you could be putting your health at risk. 

Boots will always need you to answer questions before giving you access to Viagra or Viagra Connect. If you order with Boots, your consultation will be reviewed by a clinician who will decide if Viagra or Viagra Connect is suitable for you; if it’s not, you’ll be given advice on seeing your GP.


How does Viagra work?

Viagra works by relaxing the blood vessels in the penis, to help increase blood flow into it. This means that men living with erectile dysfunction can find it easier to maintain an erection hard enough for sex. The tablet is capable of working for up to four hours, with Viagra beginning to work around 30 to 60 minutes after it is first taken.
As it isn’t an aphrodisiac, it won’t work unless the man taking it is already sexually stimulated. Always read the leaflet included with your Viagra or Viagra Connect and take it as directed.


Possible side effects

Like any drug, Viagra can have side effects. Because Viagra affects bloodflow, common side effects include things like: 
•    headaches
•    dizziness
•    feeling flushed
•    an upset stomach or nausea
•    a stuffy or runny nose
•    changes in vision (eg blurred vision or a blue tinge to colours) 

You can find a full list of Viagra side effects by looking at the patient information leaflet, but if you experience any side effects that include loss of vision after taking Viagra, contact a healthcare professional immediately.

Priapism, a condition where an erection lasts longer than four hours, is a rare side effect that has been associated with Viagra. If you take Viagra and experience this, contact a doctor or call 111 immediately. An erection which lasts an excessive amount of time can permanently damage the penis unless treated quickly. Read the leaflet that comes with your Viagra to make sure you have the full information about your medicine.


How to safely take Viagra

You can take Viagra with or without foo