Sildenafil: How Long Does Viagra Last?

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Viagra, also known by its non-branded name sildenafil, lasts for up to 4 hours after you have taken it. This can vary upon different factors such as your age, diet, existing health conditions and the dosage you have taken. Viagra works by allowing the smooth muscle in the penis to relax, so that blood can enter and cause an erection.


How long does Viagra last for?

The effects of Viagra usually last for around 4-6 hours. Levels peak around the 1 hour mark, but this can vary, depending on whether you have eaten beforehand. It takes around 3-5 hours for blood levels to halve, and the effectiveness of Viagra starts to decline around this time.

How long will an erection last with Viagra?


A table showing how long an erection lasts for after taking Viagra
Time after taking Viagra How long erections last
No Viagra 7 minutes
1 hour 33 minutes
8 hours 23 minutes
12 hours 16 minutes

One hour after taking Viagra, an erection can last for 33 minutes, after 8 hours, an erection can last for 23 minutes, and after 12 hours, an erection can last for up to 16 minutes. This can vary from person to person, in fact, for most people, the effects of Viagra will wear off after 3-4 hours.

Can Viagra make you last longer?

If you are finding it difficult to maintain an erection during sex, then yes, Viagra can help you last longer in bed. However, Viagra will not help you to keep an erection after ejaculation.  Losing an erection after an orgasm is known as the refractory period. This is normal and Viagra will only help to you to get an erection after this period when you are sexually aroused.

Graph to show how long an erection lasts after taking Viagra (Sildenafil)

How long does it take for Viagra to work?

Viagra takes around 30-60 minutes to work, but it has been known to work in under 30 minutes for some men. Others will find that it takes slightly longer to work. Those with a higher body weight will find that it may take slightly longer, as the drug has a larger area to get through. Those with higher metabolisms will find that the drug works in around 30 minutes or less. An empty stomach and a relaxed state of mind can also help sildenafil to work quicker.


Factors that affect how long Viagra lasts for

Tips how to make the effects of Viagra last 

Eat a healthy meal beforehand
If you consume a meal that is rich in fats and carbohydrate, it may take Viagra longer to work, and reduce its effectiveness. An empty stomach can make Viagra work quickly, but it is not likely to last very long. You should try to have a balanced meal before hand to increase the likelihood of Viagra lasting longer. Avoid foods that are low in carbohydrate and fats and try to consume foods rich in fibre and protein. You should avoid drinking grapefruit juice as this can reduce the effectiveness of Viagra.

Reduce alcohol consumption
Alcohol reduces the amount of blood that reaches the penis, which can have a negative effect on Viagra. Reducing alcohol consumption can allow Viagra to have a longer lasting effect.

Get in the right frame of mind
Viagra only works when there is sexual arousal. It is important to get yourself into the right frame of mind. Stress, anxiety and nervousness can all have a negative impact on the action of Viagra. You should try to relax and feel as comfortable as possible, in order to benefit from the full effects of Viagra.

Increase the dose
A higher dose of Viagra is likely to be more effective and have a longer duration of action. However, some men may not necessarily need the highest dose. Higher doses are more likely to cause side-effects such as headache and facial flushing. Your doctor will prescribe you the dose that is most suitable for you. If you find that this is not effective, you should talk to your doctor about trying a higher dose. If you are already on the highest dose, you should speak to your doctor about trying an alternative erectile dysfunction tablet.  

Exercising regularly can reduce levels of stress and anxiety, allowing you to relax during sex. Consequently, this can have an improvement on the duration of an erection. Exercise also helps to increase blood flow around the body, including the penis. This can help to improve ED overall.

Stop smoking
Smoking can have a negative impact on your sex life, including the duration of an erection. Quitting smoking improves the health of you heart and can improve blood flow to the penis.

What other factors can affect how long Viagra lasts?

As you get older, your metabolism slows down. This means that Viagra is likely to last longer in older men, as their bodies are unable to excrete the drug as quickly as younger men.

Certain medication can reduce the effectiveness of Viagra, which means that it will not last for as long as it should. You should check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if any medication that you are taking can have an effect on the action of sildenafil.  


Can you take more Viagra to make it last?

No, you are only able to take one tablet within a 24 hour period. Viagra stays in your system for around 24 hours, so taking more than one tablet within a 24 hour period can increase the chances of experiencing unwanted side effects.  


Do Viagra Connect and sildenafil last longer than Viagra?

There is no difference between Viagra Connect, sildenafil and Viagra. They all contain the same active ingredient, sildenafil citrate. Viagra Connect is only available in the 50mg dose, whereas sildenafil and Viagra are available in a 100mg strength. So, sildenafil and Viagra can last longer if you are using 100mg. You can read more about the difference between sildenafil 100mg and 50mg.


Which tablets last longer than Viagra?

Tadalafil is an alternative medication, that lasts for longer than Viagra. Tadalafil is available in 4 different strengths. The 10mg and 20mg option should be taken around 30 minutes before sexual activity and can last for up to 36 hours. The 2.5mg and 5mg option should be taken every day, and will have a continuous effect. This can allow you to achieve and maintain an erection spontaneously. Tadalafil 2.5mg and 5mg should be taken for those who are sexually active on a regular basis. Your doctor or pharmacist will be able to explain the difference between sildenafil and tadalafil, and which one is more suitable for you. 


How long does Viagra stay in your system?                   Sildenafil (Viagra) absorption rate over time graph

It usually takes around 24 hours for Viagra (sildenafil) to leave your bloodstream. The maximum effect can usually be felt after 1 hour and from this point, the concentration of sildenafil will steadily decline. From around 8-10 hours after taking a tablet, the effects of Viagra are usually not strong enough to have an effect, even though the drug is still present in your blood. However, this is not always the case and some men may notice the effects of Viagra for up to 12 hours after taking a tablet. It takes 24 hours for sildenafil to leave your system. 


So, how long does Viagra last?

Viagra will last for around 4 hours after you take it. This does not mean that you will have a constant erection for 4 hours, but you will be able to achieve an erection when you are sexually stimulated, for up to 4 hours after. However, it is important to remember that this is an average and not the case for everyone. The length of time that Viagra lasts can vary depending on a number of factors, such as age, mental state, weight, pre-existing medical conditions, dosage, food and alcohol intake. If you find that Viagra is not lasting as long as you would like, you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist about trying a higher strength, or another medication that lasts longer than sildenafil, such as tadalafil.

Whilst all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it is not intended to be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please speak to your doctor.