How Long Does Viagra Last?

Dr Babak Ashrafi

Medically reviewed by

Dr Babak Ashrafi

Last reviewed: 06 Jul 2022

Viagra is used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED), a common sexual problem in men. If you have ED, you’ll have difficulty in getting or maintaining an erection often. Most men will fail to get an erection at some point in their lives, so it only becomes an issue if this happens repeatedly.

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Man on the tube checking how long Viagra lasts on his smartphone
 

Treatment for erectile dysfunction includes tablets like Viagra. Viagra is taken around an hour before you have sex. The effects of Viagra can last for around 4 hours, but this may change depending on the dosage and other factors.

You can request Viagra from ZAVA without needing to make an appointment.

Viagra is the brand name for generic sildenafil and is manufactured by Pfizer.

How long does Viagra take to work?

It takes around 1 hour for Viagra to start working, but you can start to feel its effects sooner than this. As Viagra does not work instantly, you should try to take it about an hour before having sex.

Viagra contains the active ingredient sildenafil citrate. It can take around half an hour to 2 hours for sildenafil to be absorbed into your bloodstream. This means, on average, Viagra will start to work within an hour of taking the tablet, but it can be slightly sooner or later than this.

Sildenafil, in Viagra, is a phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE-5) inhibitor. It works by increasing the blood flow to your penis which makes it easier to get an erection when you are sexually stimulated.

Other PDE-5 inhibitors used for erectile dysfunction treatment include:

  • Cialis, which contains tadalafil
  • Levitra, which contains vardenafil
  • Spedra, which contains avanafil

Other alternatives to Viagra include using a vacuum pump or making lifestyle changes.

How long does Viagra last?

Viagra lasts around 4 hours. This is an average amount of time, so it can be slightly more or less than this. Usually, you’ll be able to get and maintain an erection if you are sexually stimulated up to 4 hours after taking Viagra.

Your body may metabolise Viagra quicker than average, which means its effects will not last as long. If the effects of Viagra disappear too quickly for you to get any benefit, you may need a higher dose. Speak to your doctor if this happens to you.

How long do erections last for on Viagra?

There’s no right or wrong length of time that an erection should last for as this is personal to you. Some men might get an erection that lasts for a few minutes while others may get an erection that lasts for around half an hour.

Keep in mind that a painful, prolonged erection is not normal, also called priapism. This is a rare side effect of taking Viagra but it can cause permanent damage to your penis if it happens. If your erection lasts for longer than 2 hours, contact your nearest accident and emergency department.

Does Viagra make you last longer in bed?

Viagra can possibly make you last longer in bed, but it can depend on other factors too. ED can occur due to too much alcohol, stress and other health conditions. Addressing the underlying cause of ED can help you to last longer in bed.

There can be other issues that keep you from lasting longer in bed, including premature ejaculation. Premature ejaculation happens when you ejaculate too quickly while having sex. Premature ejaculation and ED are two different conditions but are related to each other.

You can request treatment for premature ejaculation from ZAVA.

Can Viagra keep you hard after ejaculating?

It’s unlikely that Viagra will keep you hard after ejaculating. Your body will naturally need a period of time to rest after having an orgasm. This is called the refractory period. There’s mixed evidence on whether Viagra can reduce the refractory period.

Your refractory period can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. During this time, you will not be able to get another erection.

Factors that affect how long Viagra lasts for

There are a few factors that can affect how long Viagra can work for you. The main one is the dosage of Viagra that you are prescribed. Over the counter Viagra Connect contains 50mg of sildenafil.

You can also request to get 25mg and 100mg tablets of Viagra prescribed by a ZAVA doctor. A higher dose might not always give you a stronger reaction as your body may metabolise the medication quicker. This means it’ll last for less time in your body.

You may also experience more side effects with a higher dosage. Some side effects of Viagra include dizziness, nausea and low blood pressure. You might not be able to take a higher dose of Viagra if you have certain medical conditions, like heart disease. Speak to a doctor if you think your dose of Viagra needs to be adjusted.

Eating a fatty, greasy or heavy meal before taking Viagra can slow down how fast it works. A high fat meal will reduce how quickly sildenafil is absorbed from your digestive tract into your body.

You do not need to take Viagra on an empty stomach but try to avoid eating a heavy meal a few hours before taking Viagra. Drinking alcohol can also make it difficult to get an erection, which may make Viagra less effective.

Certain health conditions can affect how long Viagra lasts for. These include diabetes and heart conditions that affect your blood vessels. Your blood vessels need to be healthy for your penis to get an adequate blood supply. If a health condition damages your blood vessels, this can make it more difficult for you to get an erection.

If you’re feeling stressed, anxious or depressed, these can also reduce your ability to get an erection. If you’re feeling too stressed, it can make Viagra much less effective than it could be.

How long does Viagra stay in your system?

Viagra stays in your system for around 4 hours. You can get the benefits of Viagra within these 4 hours as long as you are sexually stimulated. You may not be able to get another erection if your body is recovering in the refractory period after having an orgasm.

Can you make Viagra last longer?

You can make Viagra last longer by addressing any underlying issues that are causing ED. This includes getting treatment for conditions like diabetes or psychological issues. You can also see a sex therapist if you think you have anxieties regarding your sexual performance.

If you have persistent erectile dysfunction, a doctor may suggest you try a penile pump alongside taking Viagra.

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Medically reviewed by:
Dr Babak Ashrafi Clinical Lead for Service Expansion

Babak studied medicine at King’s College London and graduated in 2003, having also gained a bachelor’s degree in Physiology during his time there. He completed his general practice (GP) training in East London, where he worked for a number of years as a partner at a large inner-city GP practice. He completed the Royal College of GPs membership exam in 2007.

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Last reviewed: 06 Jul 2022

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