What to expect when you take Viagra for the first time

Dr Kathryn Basford

Medically reviewed by

Dr Kathryn Basford

Last reviewed: 28 Oct 2021

If this is the first time you’re taking Viagra, you might be wondering what to expect before you take that little blue pill.

You may be able to use Viagra to help treat erectile dysfunction (ED) or if you have difficulty getting hard before sex. Viagra contains sildenafil which causes an increase in blood flow to your penis. More blood flow means your penis will get hard and you can maintain an erection.

All you need to do is take 1 Viagra tablet an hour before you expect to have sex and make sure you’re sexually stimulated.

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Somebody tipping a tablet out of a medication bottle
 

What to expect when taking Viagra

When you take Viagra for the first time you might expect to feel some side effects. These can include flushing of the skin, feeling dizzy or getting a headache.

These side effects are normal as the blood vessels in your body are adjusting to the effects of Viagra. It usually takes a few hours before these side effects wear off.

After you’ve taken Viagra, it’s important to make sure you do not feel dizzy before you drive or operate machinery.

How to use Viagra

How much Viagra to take for the first time

You can take a Viagra tablet about an hour before you have sex. You can swallow the tablet with a glass of water but make sure you do not crush or chew the tablet.

You should only take 1 Viagra tablet in a 24 hour period. The usual starting dose of Viagra is 50mg, but your doctor will discuss which strength is the right one for you based on your needs. There are other strengths of Viagra available such as 25mg or 100mg.

Maximising the effects of Viagra

To maximise the effects of Viagra, you’ll need to make sure that you are sexually stimulated before you take it to maintain an erection.

You can eat a light meal before you take Viagra. A heavy or greasy meal can slow down how fast Viagra will work, so avoid anything high in fat or deep fried in oil.

Drinking too much alcohol can make it difficult to get an erection, but a small amount of alcohol will not affect the way Viagra works. Try to avoid drinking more than 3 units of alcohol per day.

You’re more likely to look flushed or red faced and get a headache if you drink alcohol with Viagra. This does not mean you have to avoid drinking alcohol altogether. You should just keep in mind how alcohol can affect you when using Viagra to have better sex.

Frequently asked questions

Is it safe to take Viagra?

Viagra is a safe and effective medicine you can take to treat erectile dysfunction (ED), under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional. However, if you have certain health conditions, you may not be able to use Viagra.

Your doctor or pharmacist will talk to you about your general wellbeing to make sure Viagra is safe for you to take. They’ll also be able to answer any questions you have about treating ED.

If you have any of the following health conditions you should speak to a doctor before using Viagra:

  • an allergy to sildenafil or any other ingredients in Viagra
  • heart problems
  • liver problems
  • blood pressure problems

If you have had a stroke or heart attack in the past, then Viagra might not be suitable for you. You can find out whether you can use Viagra by speaking to a doctor.

Will Viagra help with premature ejaculation?

Viagra does not help with premature ejaculation. You may have premature ejaculation if you ejaculate too early when having sex, usually within a few minutes of starting sex.

Viagra only affects your erection and not how soon you ejaculate. There will not be a difference in how quickly you ejaculate after you take Viagra.

Taking Viagra may make you feel more sexually confident. And when you feel confident in yourself, your sexual performance can improve. Having more confidence can help you reduce premature ejaculation.

There are different ways to treat premature ejaculation, including:

Does Viagra have any side effects?

You might feel some side effects when you take Viagra. As Viagra works on your blood vessels this means the side effects can affect different parts of your body.

The most common side effects of Viagra are:

  • headache
  • feeling sick
  • dizziness
  • visual changes
  • stuffy nose
  • feeling hot

Some less common side effects of Viagra include:

  • palpitations (when your heart beats fast)
  • muscle pain
  • vomiting
  • changes in your blood pressure

It’s normal for side effects to go away within a few hours as the effects of Viagra wear off.

How long do the effects of Viagra last?

The effects of Viagra can last for up to 4 hours. You can usually get an erection with Viagra within the first couple of hours of taking a tablet.

If you find your erection is painful or lasts for more than 4 hours, this might be due to a condition called priapism. If this happens to you, call 999 immediately.

dr-kathryn-basford.png
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: 28 Oct 2021

Last reviewed: 28 Oct 2021

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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.



(Reviews are for ZAVA UK)

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Excellent service as usual, medication very easy to order and always a quick reply to say prescription has been approved. Also notification to say order has been dispatched and usually quick delivery, any delays are due to Royal Mail. I shall use Zava UK again in the near future for the same medication.
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