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What To Expect: A Comprehensive Guide On Taking Viagra For Optimal Results

Apr 3, 2023
What To Expect: A Comprehensive Guide On Taking Viagra For Optimal Results

Taking Viagra for the first time? If so, you may have some questions. No one wants an important moment ruined by a medication that does not act as you expected. Viagra is the brand name for sildenafil. Thousands of men have used Viagra since it was first introduced to the market by Pfizer pharmaceutical in 1998. The “little blue pill” has helped men get and maintain an erection for more than 20 years.

Sildenafil is the generic form of Viagra. It is exactly the same medication, only cheaper. When Pfizer pharmaceutical developed Viagra, the company had to pay all the research and development costs. In exchange, they enjoyed patent and exclusivity rights to give them time to recoup these costs. This protection has expired, and other manufacturers can produce generic sildenafil for a fraction of the cost and pass the savings on to you.

What To Expect When You Take Viagra For The First Time

Viagra is a phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor. Essentially, it increases nitric oxide levels in your bloodstream to maintain blood flow into your penis.

When you take Viagra for the first time (typically 30 to 60 minutes before sexual activity), you will notice …….nothing. Viagra requires sexual stimulation to work. For many men, it takes up to an hour for Viagra to work well enough for sexual penetration. The average, according to one study, is 27 minutes. You do not have to worry that after taking Viagra you will get an erection at an inopportune time.

Viagra has effects for about 4 hours. If you are sexually stimulated within 4 hours after taking Viagra, you should notice that it is easier to get and sustain an erection. If you don’t get an erection, it is possible that you need a higher dose of medication or even a change in medication. But be patient. Before asking for a different dose or medication, try changing your medication timing, the amount or type of sexual stimulation, and the food and drink you consume before taking Viagra.

Typically, your doctor will start you off with 50 mg of Viagra. Viagra is also available in 25mg and 100 mg doses. If Viagra doesn’t work for you, don’t adjust the dose on your own. Contact your doctor. Depending on whether you have other medical conditions or are taking other medications, Viagra can have more side effects for some men.

It is also important not to take more than one ED medication at a time unless prescribed by your doctor or take more than one dose of Viagra in a 24-hour period. Doses over 100 mg do not improve ED symptoms and are more likely to cause side effects.

A man talking with his doctor

What Are Viagra’s Known Side Effects?

Headache, facial flushing, upset stomach, and nasal congestion are the most commonly reported side effects.

Other less common side effects include the following:

  • Abnormal vision
  • Back pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Rash

More serious side effects include the following:

  • Priapism
  • Loss of vision in one or both eyes
  • Hearing decrease or loss
  • Chest pain or heart attack
  • Low blood pressure
  • Allergic reactions

Viagra/sildenafil should not be taken with nitrates. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if your other medications interact with sildenafil.

Another side effect to be aware of is priapism. This is a sustained, painful erection. An erection occurs when blood is trapped in chambers in your penis, called corpora cavernosa. When these spaces fill with blood, pressure in the penis increases, generating an erection.

To trap blood in the penis, blood vessels entering the penis dilate to allow blood to flow into the penis, and small vessels draining the penis are compressed so the blood cannot easily drain back out. Nitric oxide is a molecule released by blood vessels that cause than to dilate and increase blood flow. cGMP (another chemical in the cascade) levels must remain high to maintain the erection. Phosphodiesterase inactivates cGMP. Inactivating cGMP allows the smooth muscles in the walls of the small blood vessels to contract, decreasing blood flow and ending the erection. If phosphodiesterase works too quickly, it can cause problems with erections.

Sildenafil (Viagra) is a phosphodiesterase inhibitor. When it inhibits phosphodiesterase, nitric oxide levels remain high, and blood flows into the penis. If it is inhibited too long, blood sits in the penis too long. This means that tissues in the penis accumulate metabolic wastes and do not get a fresh supply of blood flow. This can damage the inner structure of the penis.

Your doctor will likely give you a prescription decongestant. This medication counteracts the effects of phosphodiesterase inhibitors and should end an erection. If it does not, be sure to call your doctor for further instructions. This condition, called priapism, is considered an emergency.

A glass of water and little blue pills

How Should I Take Viagra?

 You should take Viagra between 30 and 60 minutes before planned sexual activity. Viagra can be taken with or without food. For best results, avoid a large meal, especially one high in fat, because it could slow Viagra’s absorption into your bloodstream. Avoid antacids as well.

Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice because it affects how Viagra is metabolized and can increase its side effects.

Phosphodiesterase inhibitors, like Viagra, dilate all blood vessels, not just the ones entering the penis. You may notice nasal congestion as the vessels in your nose and sinuses dilate. As blood vessels dilate, your blood pressure may go down. If you get up suddenly or drink alcohol (also a vasodilator), you may experience dizziness and lightheadedness.

Though ED is not a topic most men want to discuss, talk to your doctor and your partner. You may find your partner is more than willing to support you as you try different ED treatments looking for the one that gives you the best results.

Looking to buy Sildenafil online? See how Invigor Medical can help you today!

What To Expect: A Comprehensive Guide On Taking Viagra For Optimal Results
Disclaimer
While we strive to always provide accurate, current, and safe advice in all of our articles and guides, it’s important to stress that they are no substitute for medical advice from a doctor or healthcare provider. You should always consult a practicing professional who can diagnose your specific case. The content we’ve included in this guide is merely meant to be informational and does not constitute medical advice.

What To Expect: A Comprehensive Guide On Taking Viagra For Optimal Results

Leann Poston, M.D.

Dr. Leann Poston is a licensed physician in the state of Ohio who holds an M.B.A. and an M. Ed. She is a full-time medical communications writer and educator who writes and researches for Invigor Medical. Dr. Poston lives in the Midwest with her family. She enjoys traveling and hiking. She is an avid technology aficionado and loves trying new things.


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