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How Long Does Viagra Last?

by
author image Adam Cloe
Adam Cloe has been published in various scientific journals, including the "Journal of Biochemistry." He is currently a pathology resident at the University of Chicago. Cloe holds a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry from Boston University, a M.D. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in pathology from the University of Chicago.
How Long Does Viagra Last?
How Long Does Viagra Last? Photo Credit George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Viagra Time Line

As a general rule, Viagra takes effect 30 minutes after it's taken, though this delay can be as short as 17 minutes for some users. Once Viagra has had its effect, it usually works for approximately 4 hours. However, the effects begin to diminish after 2 hours of effectiveness. Its effectiveness can be extended with higher doses (Viagra is available in doses ranging from 25mg to 100mg). Viagra on its own will not cause an erection; the penis will require some sort of sexual stimulation (be it visual or tactile) in order to become erect.

Interactions

A number of things can alter the time line of Viagra's effectiveness. Taking Viagra with a large meal, especially one with a high fat content, can delay its effects. Similarly, its effects can be hastened by taking the meal on an empty stomach. Viagra's effects may also last for longer if you are over 65 years old or have kidney or liver problems, as this will slow the rate at which Viagra is broken down by your body. If you are taking certain medications such as rifampin (an antibiotic used to treat tuberculosis), Viagra won't last as long. For a listing of all medications that Viagra can interact with, see the links in the References section.

Viagra Complications

One of the dangers of taking Viagra is a condition known as priapism. Priapism is a medical condition that consists of an erection that lasts for longer than 4 hours. This is a serious condition that can be very painful and cause lasting damage to the penis and other organs. It requires immediate medical attention. In addition, taking multiple doses of Viagra in one day can lead to a drop in blood pressure, as Viagra works by expanding the blood vessels. This risk is compounded by taking certain other blood pressure medications, such as nitrates, and should be avoided.

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