How long does Viagra last?

Dr Kathryn Basford

Medically reviewed by

Dr Kathryn Basford

Last reviewed: 29 Oct 2021

If you’re thinking of using Viagra, you might be wondering how long it can last for.

Viagra is a medicine used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). The way your body absorbs and clears Viagra means the effects of Viagra can last for a few hours after taking a tablet.

Viagra does not make you have an erection randomly as you need to be sexually stimulated for that to happen.

Essentially, this means you’ll need to be in the mood for sex for you to get an erection. This erection should last long enough for you and your partner to have pleasurable sex.

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How long does Viagra last for?

The effects of Viagra can last for up to 4 hours. After you take Viagra and if you’re sexually stimulated, you should be able to maintain an erection. This means you can get more than 1 erection within a few hours after taking Viagra.

After you take Viagra, if you have an erection that lasts for more than 4 hours, you need to call 999 or go to A&E immediately.

How long do erections last for?

A normal erection (without taking any medicines) can last anywhere between a few minutes to under half an hour. Viagra helps you to get and keep an erection if you have difficulty doing so. Some men who find they come too quickly (premature ejaculation) but also have difficulty getting an erection, can find that Viagra helps with this.

How long does Viagra take to work?

It can take Viagra around 30 to 60 minutes to absorb into your bloodstream before you feel it working. If you take Viagra an hour before you expect to have sex, you’ll be able to get and maintain an erection for up to 4 hours.

If you find that Viagra is not helping you, your doctor might decide to change your dose or suggest an alternative to suit your needs.

How to take Viagra for the best results

You should swallow 1 Viagra tablet with a glass of water, and for best results you should:

  • take Viagra on an empty stomach or with a light meal
  • make sure you’re in the mood to have sex

Heavy meals can slow down how fast Viagra can get to work, and you should also avoid:

  • drinking too much alcohol as this can affect your ability to get an erection
  • drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruits as these will interact with Viagra

Best time to take Viagra

The best time to take Viagra is around an hour before you want to have sex. You should only take a maximum of 1 Viagra tablet a day.

If you take more Viagra tablets than recommended, it will not make it easier to get an erection or make your erection last longer.

What helps Viagra last longer?

To help Viagra last longer, it’s important to be sexually excited for it to work. This is the same type of stimulation as you would normally have before sex, such as foreplay.

If you take Viagra on an empty stomach, it will be absorbed into your body quicker than if you eat a heavy meal. While food does not stop Viagra from working, it can help to avoid heavy or greasy meals before using Viagra.

Certain medicines can interact with Viagra and change how long it lasts. If you’re taking any of the following, make sure you speak to your doctor or pharmacist before using Viagra:

  • medicines that contain nitrate, such as glyceryl trinitrate or isosorbide mononitrate for heart problems
  • nitric oxide donors such as amyl nitrite, also called ‘poppers’
  • HIV treatment such as ritonavir or efavirenz
  • antibiotics or antifungal medicines such as erythromycin or ketoconazole
  • medicines for heartburn such as cimetidine
  • alpha-blockers used to treat high blood pressure such as doxazosin
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Medically reviewed by:
Dr Kathryn Basford

Dr Kathryn Basford is a qualified GP who works as a GP in London, as well as with ZAVA. She graduated from the University of Manchester and completed her GP training through Whipps Cross Hospital in London.

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Article created: 29 Oct 2021

Last reviewed: 29 Oct 2021


Asda Online Doctor by ZAVA offers a convenient and discreet service to help men improve their erectile dysfunction. There are a number of treatments you can consider. Continue to our erectile dysfunction service page to learn about the treatment options available.



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