Things You Should Know Before Taking Viagra for the First Time

Things You Should Know Before Taking Viagra for the First Time

Let’s talk about Viagra. That’s right, that blue little pill. A well-known medication that helps you achieve and maintain an erection. But how does Viagra work? How do you take it? When? And how long does Viagra last? Don’t worry. We have the answers to all your burning questions here.

Here’s what you should know before you try it for the first time.

The Basics Of Viagra

Believe it or not, Viagra is one of the most popular drugs in the US. Known for its ability to help men suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED). A condition that afflicts over 150 million people worldwide.

But did you know Viagra only works if you’re aroused? That’s right, and you can take it anywhere from 30 minutes up to 4 hours before sexual activity. But Viagra should not be taken more than once per day. And if your erection lasts for longer than 4 hours, get medical attention right away – this is known as priapism and it can cause permanent damage. But we go into more detail below.

How Does Viagra Work?

When you are turned on your body releases nitric oxide – a molecule that triggers an erection. But an enzyme called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) breaks down certain messengers involved in this, causing a not so desirable effect.

While there are many reasons why someone might have trouble getting or maintaining an erection, PDE5 inhibitors (like Viagra) block this enzyme.

Viagra and similar ED drugs like Cialis and Levitra work by relaxing muscles and arteries inside the penis, allowing more blood to reach it. So when aroused – and only when aroused – the combo of relaxation and increased blood flow helps fill the penis with blood, helping you achieve an erection. Yay!

How Quickly Does Viagra Work?

Once you take Viagra, the drug quickly enters your system and starts kicking in after about an hour. But you can take it anywhere from half an hour to 4 hours ahead of time. So in essence, that means you’ll want to take it about an hour before sexual activity, but you’ve got a wider window of time to benefit.

So you might be wondering if there are ways to help the effects kick in even quicker. Chewing or crushing the tablet won’t help it work any faster – it should be swallowed whole and taken as prescribed.

How Long Does Viagra Last?

Whilst varying from person to person and of course on the dosage you take, the effects of the blue little pill can last anywhere from 4 to 8 hours. Some people even experience multiple erections during this time. But just because it can stay in your system for up to 8 hours, doesn’t mean your erection should last this long.

In fact, it’s a bad thing if it does. Even if you’re not in pain, if your erection lasts longer than 4 hours you should seek medical attention immediately.

If you suffer from sickle cell anemia, leukemia, multiple myeloma, or penile deformities, you’re more likely to experience a prolonged erection.

Related Read: What You Need to Know About Extended Release Tablets

How to Take Viagra

If you’re wondering how to take Viagra for the most effective and safest results, here are some guidelines:

  • Follow Prescribed Doses. Taking safe, recommended doses prescribed by your doctor is key. The standard dosage of Viagra for treating ED is 50 mg, but your doctor might prescribe anything from 25 mg to 100 mg. It is also only recommended that you take it once daily. Meaning if you’re planning on engaging in intercourse more than once during the day, you do not take a pill each time. Even if you take one and it doesn’t work for you – do not take more. This puts you at risk for serious effects. Since Viagra can affect other parts of the body, like the lungs and heart – it’s important to stick with the instructions your doctor gave you.
  • Take It On An Empty Stomach. While it can be taken both with and without food, Viagra tends to work better when taken on an empty stomach. So if you want to maximize its effects, take it separately from meals. But if you do end up eating before you pop a pill, avoid eating a high-fat meal, since it may impact how quickly the drug is absorbed, and how quickly it kicks in.

What Are The Potential Side Effects of Viagra?

While the risk of a prolonged erection should be treated as an emergency, Viagra has other side effects, including:

  • Flushing
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Changes in vision
  • Nosebleeds and nasal congestion

If you have heart conditions or take specific kinds of blood pressure medication – which also relax your blood vessels – your doctor may warn you against using Viagra due to its risk of heart attack or low blood pressure.

There’s no known maximum time to safely take Viagra, but ensure that your doctor is aware of any other kind of medication you’re on in case they prescribe something that interacts badly with Viagra.

Does Viagra Make You Last Longer?

Like there are some reasons why people experience erectile dysfunction, the same goes for premature ejaculation. While medications like Viagra can help your erection stay firm, it’s not the first port of call for preventing ejaculation. 

But these two issues often occur together, so your doctor may recommend Viagra to help with any underlying ED. As a result, you may see some improvement in how long you last. Otherwise, you might need to try out behavioral methods like counseling or other medication to help.

How Can I Get Viagra?

Viagra can be an effective treatment to help you maintain an erection. To get the best results, take it before eating, at least an hour before sex, and follow the instructions. If you’re having difficulty getting or maintaining an erection, you can connect with a medical professional on the Air Doctor app and get the help you need.

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Jenny Cohen Drefler

Jenny Cohen Derfler

Air Dr CEO & Co-Founder

Jenny is the CEO and one of the Co-Founders at Air Doctor. She spent more than 20 years at Intel, most recently as general manager of its manufacturing facility in Israel and before that in various engineering and manufacturing roles in Silicon Valley. Air Doctor is her second startup having previously founded electric vehicle company ElectRoad.