Viagra is a very well-known treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED). Many men around the world take it to improve their erection problems. In this post, we answer the common question – how long does it take for Viagra to work? 

What is Viagra?

Viagra is the brand name erectile dysfunction medicine. It contains the active ingredient sildenafil. Men with erectile dysfunction can take Viagra to help get and maintain an erection during sexual activity.

Viagra works by relaxing the blood vessels in the penis. This means that when you become aroused, blood can flow into the penis through the blood vessels, resulting in an erection. Viagra is available in three strengths: 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg.

Common side effects of Viagra include hot flushes, stuffy nose, nausea, headache, and dizziness. Viagra should not be taken more than once in a 24 hour period. People with certain health conditions, such as a recent stroke or heart attack, should not take Viagra.

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When will the tablet take effect?

Viagra is quickly absorbed by the body, but how quickly Viagra takes to work can vary from person to person. Generally, Viagra starts working around 30 to 60 minutes after taking a tablet. For this reason, people are advised to take a tablet around 1 hour before sex. The amount of Viagra in the body peaks between 30 minutes and 2 hours after a dose.

Viagra can improve erections for up to 4 hours after a dose and some men may prefer to take a tablet up to 4 hours before sex. Our previous blog post on how long Viagra lasts goes into more detail on this.

There are some important points to remember when taking Viagra:

  • For Viagra to help improve erections, you must be sexually stimulated
  • Viagra may not work for you the first time you take it, but you should try taking it on at least 4 occasions (only 1 tablet a day) before speaking to your doctor
  • Drinking large amounts of alcohol may make getting an erection more difficult

 

What can affect how quickly Viagra works?

The main factor that can affect how quickly Viagra works is food. If Viagra is taken with a high-fat meal, the food can slow down the absorption of Viagra and it can take longer to improve erection problems. Research has shown that taking Viagra with food means the absorption of Viagra can take around 60 minutes longer.

For this reason, if you want Viagra to work as quickly as possible, take a tablet with a glass of water on an empty stomach. This means ideally leaving around 2 hours between a meal and taking Viagra.

As well as being affected by food, Viagra should not be taken with grapefruit juice. Grapefruit juice can affect the way Viagra works.

What about other ED medications?

There are a number of erectile dysfunction medicines available. Below is a rundown of a few alternatives to Viagra, and how soon they can have an effect:

  • Vardenafil – this can be taken up to 25 minutes before sex because it can have an effect in this time. Taking it with high-fat meals can cause it to work more slowly.
  • Avanafil – this can work quickly and can be taken 15-30 minutes before sex. Taking it with high-fat meals can make it take much longer to work.
  • Tadalafil – this is recommended to be taken 30 minutes before sex. However, research has shown that tadalafil can work as quickly as 16 minutes after a dose. Tadalafil can also improve erections up to 36 hours after a dose. Taking it with a meal has no effect on how quickly it works.

 

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Tadalafil is also available as a lower dose, one tablet a day option. With this treatment, you take tadalafil once daily every day and it can improve your erections at any time of the day. Alternatively, higher doses of Tadalafil can be taken when required (no more than once a day) but should not be taken for continuous daily use.

Summary

It’s recommended that Viagra is taken about 1 hour before sex. The dose should take effect within 30 to 60 minutes, but it can improve erections up to 4 hours after a dose. This can vary from person to person. After using Viagra on several occasions, you might start to notice when the best time to take a dose is for you.

Taking a Viagra tablet with a meal can slow its absorption and cause it to take longer to work. People are advised to take it on an empty stomach with a glass of water. Other ED tablets are available and can work sooner than Viagra. This includes tadalafil and avanafil, both of which may work within 15 minutes of taking a tablet.

You can order Viagra, or the cheaper generic version sildenafil, from our UK registered online doctors. Other ED treatments are also available from our online doctor and pharmacy service. For other articles about Viagra, see our blog posts on the following:

How long does Viagra last?

Viagra vs Viagra Connect – What’s The Difference?

Cialis vs Viagra