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Article by MedExpress

Side effects of Viagra


If you’re taking Viagra, you’ll be aware that the medication can cause unwanted symptoms. The good news is that the majority of the side effects from Viagra patients experience, are harmless and short-lived.

Common side effects of Viagra

These symptoms are the typical side effects of Viagra and will affect between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 people:

  • headaches
  • feeling faint
  • nausea, upset stomach
  • nasal congestion
  • visual disturbances
  • hot flushes

Uncommon side effects of Viagra

These side effects are experienced less frequently, and will only affect between 1 in 100 and 1 in 10,000 people using Viagra:

  • vomiting
  • indigestion, abdominal pain
  • rashes
  • eye irritation (pain, blurring, double vision, bloodshot eyes)
  • tinnitus, vertigo
  • nose bleeds
  • increased heart rate
  • fainting
  • muscle ache, fatigue, chest pain
  • numbness, or hypersensitivity to pain
  • blood in the urine

Rare side effects of Viagra

Although extremely rare, there have been cases where patients have experienced severe reactions to Viagra, including:

  • painful, prolonged erections (priapism)
  • irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia)
  • heart attacks
  • seizures
  • strokes
  • blistering skin (Stevens-Johnson syndrome)
  • severe allergic reactions (difficulty breathing, rash, swelling of the face, throat and tongue)

How to minimise side effects of Viagra

The majority of common side effects will be temporary and should not last for long after you originally take the pill. The side effects should also stop entirely if you discontinue taking the medication at any time. If side effects are prolonged, cease using the medication and seek instant medical attention.

  • Light-headedness is a common side effect; you can help lower the possibility of dizziness by standing up more gradually from a seated/laying position to avoid getting a head rush.
  • Do not drink. The intake of more than two units of alcohol will influence the time Viagra takes to have an effect, and can also make it more problematic obtaining an erection.
  • Lower your dose. Discuss taking a lower dosage of Viagra with your doctor if symptoms are disruptive to your life. The outcome of the treatment will still help with gaining an erection, but you should have less side effects on a lower dose.
  • Have it with food. Typically, Viagra is taken on an empty stomach, but taking it with a meal can aid in reducing any unwanted side effects. This may marginally diminish the efficiency of the drug or will just mean that it takes longer for the medication to kick in, but most patients find a balance that works for them.

For further information read the Viagra patient information leaflet