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What is Viagra?

Viagra is a prescription medicine used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction and impotence in men. It works by increasing blood flow to the penis in order to help a man get and sustain an erection when he is sexually aroused or stimulated.

The active ingredient in Viagra  is sildenafil and the dose ranges from 25mg to 100mg per tablet.

How long does Viagra take to work?

The effects of Viagra will vary from person to person. As a general rule, Viagra is thought to start working in most people from around 30 minutes after taking the drug.

It is important to understand that taking Viagra tablets alone will not cause an erection. Viagra must be taken in combination with some form of sexual stimulation (visual, tactile or otherwise) in order for an erection to occur.

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How long does Viagra last?

The length of time Viagra lasts for will also vary from person to person, but it has been known to work for up to 5 hours at a time, when used alongside sexual stimulation. Most men will find, however, that the effects of the pill will start to wear off 2-3 hours after first taking it.

There are certain factors that will contribute to how long Viagra will last for in your individual situation, and you should always discuss your full medical history and details of any medicines you are currently taking before starting a course of treatment with Viagra.

Which factors will affect how long Viagra lasts for?

The effectivity of Viagra, or how long Viagra will last for, depends on a number of things. These can include:

  • Age. Men over 65 years of age will find that the tablet stays in their body for longer because the body’s metabolic  system tends to slow down with age. Essentially, this means that Viagra’s effects can last longer the older you are.

  • Diet. Having a large meal with a high fat content just before you take your Viagra pill can delay it from working as your body will be working hard to digesting the food. By taking it on an empty stomach, the effects will work more quickly.

  • Alcohol. Drinking alcohol decreases the blood flow to the penis making it harder to get and keep an erection. A glass of wine or a single beer is usually fine, but more than 2 units of alcohol will increase the risk of negative side effects and will make it much more difficult to maintain an erection.

  • Dosage. Viagra comes in tablets ranging in dose from 25mg to 100mg. As a rule of thumb: the higher the dose, the more effective and long-lasting the effects will be, but your prescribing doctor will decide which dosage is appropriate in your situation.

  • Health. If you have liver or kidney problems, Viagra’s effects could last for longer. This is because the tablet will take longer to be broken down by your body, so you must always tell the doctor if you suffer from any of these.  

  • Drug interactions. Certain medicines can alter how long the effects of Viagra will last. This includes medicines such as the antibiotic rifampicin (used to treat tuberculosis). Always discuss your full medical history and any medicines you are currently taking with your prescribing doctor so that they can ensure it is safe for you to take Viagra.

How long does Viagra stay in your system?

If Viagra is broken down normally by the body the effects usually do not last more than four hours.

Always follow the instructions given to you by your prescribing doctor to avoid negative side effects and do not exceed the recommended dosage.

Can Viagra have any long-lasting effects?

In extremely rare cases, often when Viagra has been taken in combination with other medication or illegal drugs, a condition called ‘priapism’ can occur. Priapism is the name for a painful erection lasting for longer than 4 hours.

This is a serious medical condition that can be painful and lead to long-lasting damage to the penis. If you have an erection that is painful or lasting longer than 4 hours, you should seek immediate medical attention.

 

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