Viagra® (Sildenafil) 101: How It Works, Effectiveness and Side Effects

In this article, we will be explaining what Viagra® is, how it treats erectile dysfunction, how long it lasts and the potential side effects that could occur after taking it.

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If you’ve done any research into treating your erectile dysfunction on the internet, you might have heard this little blue pill that gets touted as the best way to treat erectile dysfunction and as “The Pill To Take” to get your mojo back in the bedroom. So what is with this mighty little blue pill and why is it so synonymous with erectile dysfunction treatment? In this article, we will be explaining what Viagra® is, how it treats erectile dysfunction, how long it lasts and the potential side effects that could occur after taking it.

What Is Viagra® and How Does It Help Treat Erectile Dysfunction

Viagra® is a brand-name prescription oral medication pill used to treat male erectile dysfunction (ED). 


The main active ingredient in Viagra® is sildenafil, a phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE5) inhibitor. PDE5 inhibitors help slow the enzyme phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE5) from regulating the chemicals in your blood which can make it more difficult for you to get and maintain an erection. By inhibiting and slowing PDE5, Viagra® is able to relax the walls of the blood vessels and allows the blood to flow more readily to create and maintain an erection.

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How Effective Is Viagra® and How Can You Maximize Its Efficacy

By slowing down the enzyme PDE5 and increasing blood flow to the penis, Viagra® is effective in treating erectile dysfunction. Researchers conducted several clinical studies and found that men who who took Viagra® saw an increase in their ability to get and maintain an erection for sex, Across the various studies and experiments conducted, between 43% to 83% of men who consumed Viagra® before sex had seen improved rates of erections. 


Here are some ways to help maximise the efficacy of Viagra®:  


  1. Getting Yourself Into The Mood
  • Unfortunately Viagra®® alone will not be able to give you an erection as you need to be sexually aroused to get erect. If you need some ideas to get into the mood to help the Viagra® along, you and your partner could try giving each other a sensual massage, engage in roleplay (either with erogenous play or kissing to name a few) or even get it going with some solo pleasure!


  1. Be Patient and Give Viagra® Some Time To Kick
  • Viagra® does not kick in immediately so don’t expect to take it and get straight to sex right away. So be patient and don’t stress after consuming Viagra® as you can take it 4 hours beforehand and it will still be effective. 


  1. Keep Meals Before Taking Viagra® Light
  • While Viagra® will still work whether you eat or not, if you do want to have a meal beforehand, be sure to keep the meal light. 


Large meals or meals that contain a lot of fat can potentially delay the absorption of Viagra® in your body, which in turn could cause it to take longer to come into effect. 


If you did have a big meal beforehand, you might want to wait for a while for it to digest before taking Viagra® .  


  1. Don’t Drink Booze After Taking Viagra®
  • While a glass or two of wine before sex is fine, anything more than that could dampen the efficacy of Viagra®. Drinking moderately or heavily can make it difficult for you to get an erection as both booze and Viagra® tablets can lower your blood pressure, which means less blood is able to flow freely into your penis.  


A lower blood pressure could also bring on side effects like headaches, dizziness and lightheadedness which can also make it difficult for you to get hard and dampen the mood.

How Long Does Viagra® Last For

Viagra® will usually take from 30 to 60 minutes after you consume it to work. It is possible that Viagra® might only kick in after 2 hours. 

As mentioned earlier, it is important to note that Viagra® alone will not cause you to get an erection, it still requires you to be sexually aroused to get erect. Being comfortable and relaxed will help Viagra® kick in quicker. 

Viagra® is usually at its most effective for the first 2 to 3 hours before its effects begin to taper off. It is possible for Viagra® to last even up to 5 hours or longer, but that will depend on the dosage you take, your body’s metabolism rate and other factors. 

Usually, it is unlikely that Viagra® will continue to work immediately after ejaculation as your body isn’t physically prepared to get another erection so soon.



Potential Side Effects Of Viagra® (Sildenafil)

While taking Viagra® is generally safe, here is a list of mild side effects that could occur after taking Viagra®: 

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Chest Pains
  • Flushing
  • Indigestion
  • Nasal Congestion

While most of these side effects will subside and go away after a few hours of taking Viagra®, they can also be easily remedied at home. For headaches, dizziness and flushing, these can be reduced and eased by resting and lying down. Avoiding booze will help ease these side effects and turning down the lights will help with the headaches. If you do experience indigestion after taking the Viagra® tablet, you may want to take it alongside a light meal or snack. Do note that if you do take it with a light meal, Viagra® might take a longer time to get absorbed into your body so take that timing into consideration. 


It is also possible that side effects like flushing, headaches, nasal congestion and indigestion could be the result of taking a higher dosage of Viagra®. If these side effects become bothersome, it is worth consulting your doctor about lowering the dosage of Viagra®. 


It is important that you contact your doctor immediately if you begin to experience the following serious side effects: 

  • You experience priapism, the prolonged erection of the penis that lasts more than 4 hours
  • The dizziness, nausea or chest pain you experience doesn’t go away after having sex
  • You experience a sudden decrease or loss in hearing
  • You experience a sudden loss of vision in either one or both eyes




If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction, it is advisable that you consult a doctor. Here at Noah, our doctors are best equipped with the knowledge to help you ascertain the root cause of your erectile dysfunction and can determine whether Viagra® is right for you. They will be able to advise you on the best treatment suited for you, and can also prescribe you the right medication should you need it


References

DailyMed - VIAGRA- Sildenafil Citrate Tablet, Film Coated.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (Link)

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Published On
June 7, 2021

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