How Long Does Viagra Take To Work?: Everything You Need To Know

Introduction

Sildenafil, sold under the brand name Viagra. Is a medication created by Pfizer to treat erectile dysfunction. And pulmonary hypertension. It is the most effective drug ever created for such medical conditions. In 2007, it became a generic medicine, thus becoming much cheaper and more widespread. In many countries, including the United Kingdom, it is available as an over the counter (OTC) medicine. Despite its widespread usage, most people are not aware of how the drug functions. In this article, we will go over how Viagra gets activated in your system.

History

Pfizer originally developed the drug as cardiovascular pain therapy in 1989 by scientists Peter Dunn and Albert Wood. By 1991, Pfizer was testing the drug for respiratory diseases, gastric diseases, and erectile dysfunction. The clinical trials received phenomenal responses from most of the participants and by March 1998, the FDA had approved the use of Viagra for erectile dysfunction in the US. By June of that year, Newsweek magazine called it “the hottest new drug in the history of everywhere in the world”.

This success might also be chalked up to the drug’s fantastic marketing campaign. Featuring former US presidential candidate Bob Dole and Brazilian soccer forward Pelé, it introduced the tagline “Let the dance begin”. Since its introduction, Viagra has made Pfizer more than 1.4 billion dollars every year.

Function

To understand how Viagra works, we must first understand how erections work. An erection is produced when nerves in the penis are stimulated. After that, the muscles around two cylindrical chambers of mushy material along the penis, called the corpus cavernous, let the blood flow in thereby causing an erection.

For people with erectile dysfunction, these nerves do not communicate properly with the brain, and blood does not flow properly to the corpus cavernous. Taking Viagra relaxes the blood vessels of the body by blocking phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE-5), an enzyme that breaks down cGMP, the nucleotide which regulates blood flow in the penis. Thus, blood flows more easily into the parts of the penis that cause an erection. However, for Viagra to work, sexual arousal is necessary.

The most commonly observed side effects of Viagra are:

  • Headaches
  • Nasal congestion
  • Impaired vision
  • Photophobia, or increased sensitivity to light

Rarer but still potential side effects include:

  • Cyanopsia, an eye condition where everything appears with a blue tinge
  • Priapism, a long-lasting painful erection
  • Heart attacks
  • Sudden hearing loss

How long does it take to start working?

Viagra usually starts working 30-60 minutes when taken in as an oral tablet. It may take up to two hours to work in some cases. As arousal is necessary for Viagra to work, a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere helps Viagra to affect the system sooner.

How long does it last?

On average, Viagra lasts two to four hours before its effects diminish. It can even last five hours or more depending on the dosage, the user’s body metabolism, and other external factors. Viagra, however, does not help the user last longer in bed. No research proves that Viagra increases the duration of time someone can have sex.

Viagra may not affect the user immediately after they have had sex. This is due to the refractory period, a mechanism that prevents another erection from happening because the body. Is not physiologically prepared for it. This period can last from a few minutes up to a few hours.

The factors that affect how long Viagra can last are:

  1. Dosage – The dosage of Viagra the user consumes affects how long it stays in his system. The smallest available dose is 25 milligrams while the largest is 100 milligrams. Keep in mind that taking higher doses frequently is not always safe.
  2. Age – Age slows down your metabolism. Thus, Viagra lasts longer as the user grows older. In general, after 65 there is a marked increase in how long Viagra can help maintain an erection.
  3. Diet – Eating more or a lot of high-fat foods right before taking Viagra prevents it from being metabolized faster and effectively. But it also helps Viagra. Last longer as it’s metabolized along with the food. Alcohol decreases blood flow to the penis, so consuming it before taking Viagra makes the effects last for a shorter duration.
  4. Medications – Some medicines, especially the antibiotics erythromycin, clarithromycin, and ciprofloxacin interact with Viagra and affect how long it can last.
  5. Health conditions – Certain existing conditions affect how long Viagra lasts in the system and how effectively it works. Diabetes, heart conditions like atherosclerosis (fat buildup in the blood vessels) and nervous system conditions like multiple sclerosis can make Viagra’s effects last for shorter durations or be less effective. Some kidney conditions can also help Viagra last longer as such conditions slow down the body’s metabolism rate.
  6. Psychological state – Anxiety, nervousness, depression, and stress can all influence how the body responds to sexual stimulation. If the user is uncomfortable or has performance anxiety due to past sexual experiences, Viagra may not be as effective or as long-lasting.

Concerns

Viagra may last for a few hours but the user might not have an erection the entire time. The drug can only increase blood flow to the penis. If the user does not notice Viagra working fast enough, they should attempt masturbation or foreplay to stimulate arousal.

Even if Viagra does not work after 30 minutes, the user should not take any more than the daily dose. Taking excessive Viagra can cause priapism, a painful erection that lasts for hours. This damages the penis tissues as blood stored in the penis does not receive sufficient oxygen. In this case, the user should get immediate medical care.

Other health issues that can happen due to overdosing are:

  • Vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Papilledema, a swelling in the optic nerve
  • Optic neuropathy, or damage to the optic nerve
  • Tachycardia, or increase in heart rate
  • Blindness
  • Rhabdomyolysis, or breakdown of muscles
  • Diarrhea

Thus, taking more than the prescribed dosage of Viagra is not a medically healthy option.

Conclusion

Viagra is not a sexual stimulant. It can only work if the user is already aroused. Viagra also doesn’t improve the amount of time the user can have sex. All it does is increase blood flow to the penis.

Usually the effects of Viagra last two to three hours but depending on a variety of factors, this duration can be affected. A good diet, a healthy mindset, and an elderly age can increase the effectiveness and duration of Viagra, whereas negative health conditions and medications can decrease it. One should keep in mind not to consume more than the daily dose of Viagra as it is medically unsafe. A medical authority should be immediately consulted. In case of any adverse effects while consuming the drug.