What does Viagra do?

If you’ve got symptoms of erectile dysfunction (ED) you may be considering taking Viagra. Before you decide if this is the right approach for you, you’ll probably have questions about what exactly Viagra does and how it works.


What is Viagra?

Viagra is a medicine used to help men living with the symptoms of erectile dysfunction to help them achieve an erection. It contains an active ingredient called sildenafil and is the most well-known drug for treating men with the symptoms of erectile dysfunction, although other oral and non-oral treatments are available that may be more suitable for some men.

Erection problems are common, especially in men over the age of 40, and can be the result of a number of different factors including lifestyle, stress levels and psychological issues.

If you are living with ED, it’s important that you do see a GP to make sure that your symptoms are not being caused by an underlying health issue, such as heart disease, diabetes or other medicines being taken. Sometimes treating an underlying health issue will see symptoms of erectile dysfunction ease or disappear.

Read more about the possible causes of erectile dysfunction.

 

What does Viagra do?

Viagra is a drug that helps men with the symptoms of erectile dysfunction get and maintain an erection hard enough for sex. It works by increasing blood flow to the penis which, when sexually stimulated, will help you get an erection.


How does Viagra work?

When a man is sexually stimulated, his brain sends a signal telling the arteries in the penis to relax and open up, which allows more blood to flow into the penis, resulting in an erection. When a man has erectile dysfunction this process doesn’t happen as effectively, making it difficult to get an erection hard enough for sex.


How do you take Viagra?

Viagra can be taken with or without food, about an hour before you plan to have sex. Effects can be delayed if you have a meal before taking Viagra, especially if it’s a big meal with high fat content. Drinking alcohol can temporarily affect your ability to get an erection. To get the maximum benefit from your medicine you are advised not to drink excessive amounts of alcohol before taking Viagra.

It’s also important to remember that you shouldn’t take more than one Viagra tablet in a 24-hour period. You also shouldn’t take Viagra if you’ve previously taken Cialis, Levitra, Sildenafil or Spedra within the last 24 hours.


How fast does Viagra work?

Viagra usually takes between 30 and 60 minutes to work, so it’s recommended that you take it about an hour before you plan to have sex. Remember, Viagra is not an aphrodisiac and will only give you an erection hard enough for sex if you’re sexually aroused.


How long does Viagra work for?

Viagra remains effective for four to five hours. This doesn’t mean your erection will last that long, it means you’ll have the ability to get an erection if you are sexually aroused during that period of time. Generally, after about four to five hours the effect of Viagra will have left your system, so don’t take it in the morning if, for example, you’re planning on having sex that evening as the effect will have worn off and you won’t be able to take Viagra again until the next day.


How long will an erection last once you’ve taken Viagra?

The duration of an erection after taking Viagra varies from person to person, but studies have shown that men reported erections lasting up to 30 minutes when they had sex within an hour of taking Viagra. After that, the duration of the erection gradually diminishes. After four to five hours of taking Viagra you should expect that it will no longer have an effect.


What are the side effects of Viagra?

Common side effects of Viagra include:

· Headache

· Hot flushes

· Upset stomach

· Vision changes and blurred vision

· Stuffy or runny nose

· Muscle pain

· Nausea

· Dizziness

Serious side effects of Viagra are rare, but if you experience any of the below after taking Viagra you should contact your doctor immediately:

· An erection that won’t go away

· Sudden loss of vision (in one or both eyes)

· Loss of hearing or ringing in the ears

Viagra may not be suitable if you’re currently taking other drugs, such as:

· Nitrates, present in some medicines used to treat heart conditions

· Certain recreational drugs

· Certain medicines used to treat hypertension

Always read the patient information leaflet before taking Viagra.

If you’re unsure about whether you can take Viagra alongside your current medication, or you start using any new medication, then seek advice from your doctor.

† Erectile dysfunction medicine without a prescription. Subject to stock availability & pharmacist approval. Contains sildenafil. Always read the label ​​​​​​​