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Dr Clare Morrison

Article by Dr Clare Morrison

How to use Viagra for Best Results


If you listen to pop culture, you might assume that taking ​Viagra ​automatically gives you a long-lasting erection which works at the click of your fingers and solves all erectile dysfunction problems. The truth is a little less clear cut.

While Viagra is ​proven ​to have an impact on mens’ erections, it’s essential to know ​how to use viagra for the best results​. Taken incorrectly, you might find the ‘little blue pill’ doesn’t work as fast, as long, or as easily as you might hope, so it’s worth understanding how the drug works, what can affect it and learn about the ​best way to take Viagra​.

Let’s look at ​how to take Viagra for the best results​.

How does Viagra work?

In order to understand the ​best way to take Viagra​, it’s first important to understand exactly how the drug works:

  • Viagra is the brand name of ​Sildenafil​, which is one of a range of drugs called PDE5 inhibitors. These drugs, such as ​Cialis​, can all be used to help with erectile dysfunction.
  • When a man becomes aroused, the muscles at the base of the penis relax, which allows blood to enter the member, making it hard.
  • However, for both physiological and psychological reasons, these muscles may contract during sex, and that means the penis does not stay as hard as the man might want. PDE5 is the name of the enzyme which causes these muscles to contract.
  • PDE5 inhibitor drugs like Viagra therefore stop the release of PDE5 and therefore prevent the muscles from contracting and ensure the man has a long-lasting erection.

However, ​just​ taking Viagra won’t mean that you get an erection. There are a number of factors which will affect how fast the drug works, and whether it kicks in at all.

What factors can affect Viagra’s effectiveness?

Like any drug, Viagra can be affected by other physiological – and even psychological – factors. Let’s look at some things which might reduce or affect how Viagra works:

1. You’re not aroused

Viagra will only work if you are actually aroused, so taking it will not immediately lead to an erection. If you have stopped finding that you are aroused, Viagra isn’t a ‘silver bullet’. It’s worth looking at your lifestyle, communicating with your partner and maybe seeking counselling to work out if there is a different issue going on:

  • Are you too stressed or distracted by work?
  • Have you lost sexual interest in your partner?
  • Do you have personal issues such as body image problems, guilt or other psychological factors which are preventing you from enjoying sex?

2. Consumption of alcohol and illegal drugs

Alcohol has long been associated with erection problems as have some other drugs. Alcohol for instance can affect the amount of blood that goes to your penis, so taking it at the same time as Viagra may reduce the latter’s effectiveness. What’s more, both alcohol and Viagra reduce your blood pressure which can be a problematic combination.

3. You’ve eaten too much fatty foods

Like any other oral drug, the speed at which the body can absorb the active elements in Viagra is affected by other foods that are in your stomach. Fatty foods in particular take a long time for your body to process, and this can slow down the effects of viagra.

4. Medicines which cause erectile dysfunction

Some medicines are linked to erectile dysfunction, including blood pressure pills, some hormone-related prescriptions, some anti-depressants and a range of other medicines. If you are thinking of taking Viagra but are also using another regular medication it’s certainly worth speaking to your doctor to understand whether they may interact.

5. The dose may not be strong enough

Viagra doses range in strength from 25mg to 100mg, although the usual recommended dosage is 50mg. If you’ve been taking a lower dose and not had the results you hoped for, speak to your doctor. ​Do not​ self-prescribe by doubling up on dosage until you’ve spoken to a trained medical professional, as there can be negative side-effects of overdosing.

How to take Viagra for the best results

If you have already been prescribed Viagra by your GP, you should always take the drug exactly as they prescribed, in the doses they recommended. However, if for any reason you’re unsure, the following tips explore ​how to use viagra for the best results:

1. Get in the mood

As noted above, Viagra only works when you are actually feeling aroused. Communicate with your partner that you are thinking of taking Viagra and you can both get prepared for ‘having some fun’ later on. Spend some time together doing an activity you both enjoy and create a romantic, relaxed mood. Perhaps prepare a(light!) meal together, light some candles, share a bath – whatever works for you both. This will ensure you’re both mentally prepared for sex.

It’s also important to take Viagra when you’re confident you’re not going to be interrupted. The ​best way to take Viagra​ is to choose a day when you aren’t going to be interrupted by the kids coming home, or when you’re incredibly stressed after a long, tiring day at work. Save it for a weekend when you both have time – even consider taking a mini-break somewhere.

2. Plan ahead

Viagra typically takes between 30-60 minutes to kick in and will then work well for up to four hours (and often much longer). While having a timetable for every single moment is certainly a bit of a mood-killer, it’s smart to remember roughly when you should take the medicine. Once you’ve taken Viagra, there’s no need to rush, take it easy and enjoy being with your partner. Read our article on ​how fast it takes for Viagra to work ​for more information.

3. Think about what you’re eating

As noted above, the rate at which Viagra is absorbed into the body will be affected by the food you’ve eaten beforehand. It works most efficiently on an empty stomach, although if you want to eat something first, opt for a light, ‘healthy’ meal. If nothing else, feeling bloated from a large, heavy meal isn’t all that conducive to love-making!

Besides these main tips, some other pointers on ​how to use Viagra for the best results
include:

  • Avoid drinking grapefruit juice or eating the fruit – it can have unwanted side-effects
  • Aim for a more healthy lifestyle – the drug works best with individuals who exercise regularly and eat a balanced diet
  • Seek medical attention if you experience temporary vision loss or an allergic reaction
  • Do not double up on PDE5 inhibitor drugs – don’t take Cialis at the same time as Viagra, for instance

What to do if Viagra is still not working?

If you’ve made the changes above and find that the Viagra still isn’t working, it’s worth
speaking to your doctor again. They may choose to:

  • Increase your prescribed dose
  • Put you on a different erectile dysfunction medication
  • Investigate your medical condition further – there may be something else which is
    preventing the drug from having the desired effect.

Understand the ​best way to take Viagra

While Viagra is normally very effective, there are a range of factors which will prevent the drug from working as intended. By understanding how Viagra works and the best way to take it, you can make more informed decisions about how you take the medication and get the most out of it.