How long does Viagra last?

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Sildenafil is a drug commonly used to stimulate erections in people with erectile dysfunction (ED). May also treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (high blood pressure affecting the lungs and heart).

To specifically treat erectile dysfunction, Viagra is the well-known brand name version of this drug.

There are many factors that can influence the time it takes for Viagra to start working. Usually Viagra takes about 30 minutes to produce noticeable effects.

But your diet, your overall health, the medications you take, the underlying conditions, and more can all affect how long Viagra takes to work in your body, and how long it lasts.

An erection occurs when the nerves in your penis are stimulated.

As a result, the muscles around two cylinder-shaped chambers of spongy material along your penis, known as the corpora cavernosa, relax and allow blood to flow, causing an erection.

With ED, your nerves don’t communicate properly with your brain, and blood doesn’t flow properly through the cavernous bodies. Taking Viagra relaxes the walls of your blood vessels and allows blood to flow more easily to the parts of your penis that cause an erection.

Viagra normally starts to work 30 to 60 minutes after you take it as an oral tablet. It may take up to 2 hours to work.

Viagra does not work on its own. You will still need to feel sexually aroused to get an erection. Feeling relaxed and comfortable can also help Viagra work sooner.

On average, Viagra lasts between 2 and 3 hours before its effects start to wear off. Viagra can last up to 5 hours or more depending on your dose, your body’s metabolism, and other external factors.

Depending on how your body metabolizes it, you may be able to get an erection multiple times with Viagra in your system. However, Viagra probably won’t make you last longer in bed. No research has definitively proven that Viagra can increase the duration of sexual intercourse.

Viagra may not work again immediately after having sex. Normally, you cannot have another erection right after you ejaculate because your body is not physically prepared for it.

This is called the refractory period. It might only last a few minutes, but it might last a few hours or a few days. However, a 2000 study have found that Viagra can reduce this recovery time.

Several important factors can influence the lifespan of Viagra:

  • Dosage. The amount of Viagra you take affects how long it stays in your system. The smallest available dose, 25 milligrams (mg), will not last as long as the largest available dose, 100 mg. But taking a higher dose is not always recommended, as it may not be safe for you.
  • Age. As you age, your metabolism slows down. Thus, Viagra may last longer with age. In general, you may notice that Viagra works longer when you are 65 or older.
  • Diet and lifestyle. Eating a large meal or a lot of high fat foods right before taking Viagra can prevent it from being metabolized quickly or efficiently. But it can also make it last longer because it is metabolized with your meal. Drinking alcohol or smoking can also decrease blood flow to your penis, making Viagra less effective or of shorter duration.
  • Medications. Some medicines, especially antibiotics such as erythromycin (Ery-Tab), clarithromycin (Biaxin), and ciprofloxacin (Cipro), can interact with Viagra and affect its duration.
  • Overall health. Certain existing conditions can affect the lifespan of Viagra and its effectiveness. Diabetes, nervous system disorders like multiple sclerosis (MS), and heart conditions like atherosclerosis (a buildup of fat in the blood vessels) can all make Viagra less effective and lasting. Certain kidney conditions can prolong the life of Viagra due to its effect on your metabolism.
  • Psychological state. Feeling anxious, nervous, depressed, or stressed can all influence how your body responds to sexual stimulation. If you are not relaxed or comfortable during sex, or if you suffer from performance anxiety from past sexual experiences, Viagra may not last long or be fully effective.

Viagra usually leaves your system after 2 to 3 hours. Depending on your metabolism, Viagra may take 5 to 6 hours to completely exit your system.

A higher dose will take longer to leave your body. A 25 mg dose may go away after a few hours, but a 100 mg dose may take almost four times as long to leave your system.

Viagra often lasts a few hours. Normally, you won’t get an erection all the time, as Viagra is only used to help increase blood flow. If you think Viagra is not working fast enough, try masturbation or foreplay to stimulate arousal.

If Viagra does not work after 30 minutes, do not take more than the daily dose prescribed by your doctor. Never take more than 100 mg of Viagra in a 24 hour period.

Too much Viagra can cause severe headaches, low blood pressure, and orthostasis (drop in blood pressure when standing) which can lead to fainting.

Higher doses can also cause priapism, a painful erection that lasts more than 4 hours. This can damage the tissues of the penis because the blood stored in the penis does not receive oxygen. Get emergency treatment immediately if this happens.

Talk to your doctor before taking Viagra or any related medication for erectile dysfunction. It is important to take a safe dose and to understand how much to take in a 24 hour period.

Some heart disease medications, such as nitroglycerin and other nitrates, can interact dangerously with Viagra and cause your blood pressure to drop too low.

If Viagra doesn’t work or is not safe for you, talk to your doctor about other possible treatments for erectile dysfunction, such as:

  • penis pumps
  • penile implants
  • intracavernous injection (ICI)
  • intra-urethral gels or pastilles
  • exercises
  • therapy for anxiety, depression, or other similar conditions

Viagra usually starts working within 30 to 60 minutes and lasts about 2 to 3 hours after that.

See a doctor if you have an erection that lasts longer than 4 hours.

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