How long does the effect of Viagra (Sildenafil) last?

Sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra, is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for treating erectile dysfunction (ED). Sildenafil forms part of drugs known as PDE5-inhibitors, which stimulate blood flow to the penis, helping you to achieve an erection.

Just like any other drug, Sildenafil has a specific half-life, which is the time it takes to break down the active ingredient n the body. In this article, we will take a closer look at how long Sildenafil remains effective and what factors might impact that time.

How Quickly Does Sildenafil Take to Work?
The amount of time it takes for Sildenafil to be effective varies from person to person and can be influenced by a number of different factors.

Most commonly, the effect of Sildenafil will start about 30 minutes after taking it. Note, however, that you need to be sexually aroused to get an erection. Against popular believe, Sildenafil (Viagra) doesn’t just give you erections without the action.

Usually, people find that taking Sildenafil on an empty stomach allows it to take effect more quickly. However, in some instances, it can take up to 3 hours, especially if you've recently had a large, fatty meal as this slows down the absorption of the drug into your bloodstream.

The older you are, the longer it takes for Sildenafil to be effective in your in your body as your metabolism gets slower with age.

How Long Does Sildenafil Last?
The effect of Sildenafil will usually start to decrease 2-3 hours after taking it. However, in some instances, it can work for up to 5 hours.

There are a number of factors which impact the time Sildenafil remains effective in your body.

  • Age: Usually, the older you are the longer the effect of Sildenafil lasts in your body because the metabolic system gets slower with age.
  • Food: Similarly to the effect that food has on how quickly Sildenafil starts working, it also impacts how long it remains active in your body. In general, the more food you had, the longer the effect.
  • Alcohol: Having 2-3 units of alcohol should not stop Sildenafil from working, but will likely have an effect on the tablet’s efficacy and make it more difficult to get an erection. It is not recommended to drink more than 3 units of alcohol when taking Sildenafil.

  • Dosage: Usually, the higher the dose of Sildenafil, the longer it remains effective in your body. However, you should never exceed the recommended dose.

Can Sildenafil Cause Permanent Effects?

Sildenafil’s has a half-life of about four hours. Meaning, that with every four hours the active ingredient halves. After about 24 hours, almost all traces of Sildenafil will be gone. At which point it will no longer have any effect on your body.

So the answer is: No, Sildenafil does not cause permanent effects and will only be active as long as it is in your body.

However, long-term Sildenafil use can increase the potential to develop a psychological dependency.


What if Sildenafil isn’t Working?

Sildenafil has been proven to be the most effective medication to treat erectile dysfunction. A study covering over 47,000 patients found that Sildenafil 50mg had a greater efficacy than all other PDE5-inhibiting medications.

However, it can happen that you will not notice any improvement in your ability to get or maintain an erection. Especially if you take Sildenafil for the first time. However, do not increase the dosage if you can’t see any positive effects.

If Sildenafil doesn’t have any positive effects, you should seek medical advice to see if an alternative solution might be more suitable for you.

Often a change in lifestyle can have positive effects on your ability to get erections.

Alternatives to Viagra?

Even though Viagra (Sildenafil) is the most popular and effective medication to treat ED, it is not the only solution out there.

Alternatives to Sildenafil are Tadalafil (Cialis) and Vardenafil (Levitra) and are also some of the most commonly used ED medications on the market today. They all form part of PDE5-inhibitors and hence work in a similar manner: stimulating blood flow to the penis and helping you to achieve an erection.

Cialis usually begins to work within 30 minutes of consumption, but can stay effective to up to 36 hours after it was consumed.

Levitra should be taken 60 minutes before sexual activity to give it time to begin working and is active for about 6 hours.