How Long Does Viagra Last? What’s The Truth?

how long does viagra last

The active ingredient in Viagra is Sildenafil Citrate. This ingredient will generally help you to last long enough (in terms of an erection) for sex, any time between 30 minutes and an hour after consuming it. Up to 4 hours of effectiveness is normal but anything beyond that can cause a complication (read below in our “when to take again” section). 

Depending on your metabolism, Viagra medication can take three to four hours to fully leave your system. A higher dosage will take longer to be removed from your body. A 25-mg dose for example may wear off after a few hours, but a 100-mg dose may take nearly four times as long to leave your system (meaning up to 12 hours). Naturally, you want to take Viagra at a time when the peak dose in your system co-related with the time you anticipate having sex. This is because viagra typically “kicks in” within a half-hour to an hour after consumption. Another challenge is slightly based on what your last meal was. 

How Long Does Viagra Last: Top Factors 

How long does Viagra last?

Viagra’s effects will usually last between an hour and four hours, but it doesn’t mean you’ll have an erection for this length of time. If you have an erection that lasts longer than four hours (priapism) you should call 111 immediately, as this can cause permanent damage to your penis if left untreated. 

Not feeling the effects? When can you take Viagra again?   

  • The peak of the medication tends to be around 1-2 hours after consuming the dose, so you will likely feel the effects more in the first 1-2 hours and feel the effects less in the remaining 3-4 hours. Even if the medication seems to no longer be affecting or reacting to your body, do not take more than 1 dose of Viagra or Sildenafil daily.   
  • The effects of Viagra or Sildenafil should start to reduce after about 3-4 hours at the latest.   
  • If you find that you have a painful erection lasting 4 hours or longer, or off and on for several hours, you are experiencing a dangerous medical condition called Priapism. This deadly condition can cause permanent damage to the penile tissues and you will need to seek medical attention immediately.   
  • Don’t forget to take your medication with you to the emergency room if you are experiencing priapism.  
  • After the priapism event, discuss with your doctor about your viagra dosage or further consumption. 
  • Even if you feel that the effects of your Viagra or Sildenafil wore off, or you do not think that your dose was strong enough, do not take another dose until the next day.   
  • You will still have small amounts of medication in your body even if you are not still feeling the magical blue pill Viagra. So just remember that taking another dose can increase your risk of dangerous side effects.   
  • Do not take Viagra or Sildenafil more than once a day.   
  • Sometimes your doctor will advise you to not take any more often than a few times a week, in this case, listen to your doctor’s instructions for taking Viagra or Sildenafil. 

How much Viagra can I take?

  • You should only take one Viagra tablet once in a 24-hour period, regardless of whether this is a 25mg, 50mg or 100mg tablet. 
  • Consuming  too much sildenafil can cause unpleasant side-effects, such as headaches, dizziness, indigestion, blocked nose or blurred vision. 
  • Having low blood pressure from overdosing on Viagra could cause symptoms such as heart palpitations. 
  • Fainting is another side effect. 
  • If you think you’ve taken too much Viagra by accident, get medical help asap. 

How long does it take for Viagra to start working?

A lot of men start to see the effects of Viagra between 30-60 minutes after consuming their dose. For others, the onset may take as long as 120 minutes to start showing. The time it takes for the tablet to start being effective varies in accordance to age, other conditions, other medications, your metabolism, or the diet you just had. For example, consuming Viagra or Sildenafil along with a high-fat meal has been proven to reduce the tablet’s absorption and can make it take longer for Viagra to start working for you.  

Men are advised to take the medicine around an hour before they plan to have sex to give the treatment sufficient time to enter the body. 

Try to feel as relaxed as possible in a comfortable environment when you consume Viagra. Not doing so, or consuming Viagra whilst feeling nervous or rushed can have a negative mental effect, which may make it harder to get an erection.

Is there any way I can make Viagra work quicker?

Sadly nothing can make Viagra’s effects work quicker, so don’t ‘double dose’ or take more than one tablet per day. It does take Viagra longer to work if you have it after a heavy and fatty meal, so you could try to take a tablet on an empty stomach with a glass of water. 

Is there anything that makes Viagra work slower?

Yes, consumption of a high-fat meal, alcohol, grapefruit and pomegranate before you take Viagra can result in the effects taking longer to kick in. 

Foods to avoid when on Viagra:

High-Fatty Foods:

The consumption of a high-fat meal before you take Viagra can result in the effects taking longer to kick in. This is because the drug has to be absorbed into your bloodstream to kick in which won’t happen quickly if your stomach is busy digesting a meal. 

Booze:

Another thing that can make Viagra work slower, or even not at all, is alcohol. Alcohol decreases the amount of blood that stays in your penis, so the more you drink, the harder you’ll find it to get an erection. Drinking a small amount of alcohol such as one glass of beer isn’t likely to prevent Viagra from working, but you shouldn’t be piling on the drinks if you want the tablet to have optimal effect.

Grapefruit:

It’s also important to avoid grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit as it can have an effect on how the medicine works, so avoid both when consuming Viagra.

You actually absorb more viagra when you consume Grapefruit, however, it takes way too long for your body to process it so then it actually blocks it at first. A study found that Viagra absorption was 23% more when eaten with Grapefruit, but that the desired effect was delayed. These changes in how Viagra works differed depending on the brand of grapefruit juice and the amount consumed. Because grapefruit juice effectively changes the absorption, and because the time Viagra begins to have its desired effect is altered, don’t eat or drink grapefruit when using Viagra.

Also avoid Pomegranate:

Pomegranate can affect enzymes similar to grapefruit. Another study showed that the use of Viagra with pomegranate juice can lead to the development of priapism (priapism is a persistent and painful erection).

Is it ok to take Viagra on an empty stomach?

Yes, ideally  take Viagra on an empty stomach. Because it takes effect between 30 minutes to an hour, it should not inconvenience your eating schedule too badly. Of course, you can eat after having sex!

How long does an erection last when taking Viagra?

When asking “how long does Viagra last?”, you might actually be more interested in knowing “how long does the erection last”? Viagra can reduce the “refractory period” (the period a man needs to recover after having an orgasm). One study showed that Viagra reduced the refractory period by an average of 11 minutes for a group of 20 men who were around 32 years old.

Will Viagra become less effective over time?

Becoming “used to” medical treatment is common as we develop a tolerance but at the same time, we are still unsure whether Viagra makes people more “tolerant” over time. This is because the underlying condition causing the need for Viagra may have worsened and this may be the cause of Viagra no longer being as effective as it once was. While there are anecdotal examples of Viagra tolerance, there are others who report no increase in tolerance over many years. In one four-year study, men who suffered from radiation-associated erectile dysfunction reported their Viagra use. 363 men took part in the study. The following are the findings of the study

Initially 75% of the men responded to the treatment. After almost four years of follow-up, “96% of the men who initially responded to Viagra were still taking the drug, and all but six of the men said the drug was still effective,”commented one doctor. 

It is surprising that only 6% of the men no longer responded to Viagra as they once did, after four years. It is possible that the men could have reduced sensitivity to Viagra simply because they were four years older. The conclusion is that Viagra is not known to become less effective over time or cause issues of tolerance, such as you might expect from opioid-based pain medication. 

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