The Real Deal Behind Alcohol and Viagra

Can you drink alcohol with Viagra? This is a common question often raised by those who take the drug for their erectile dysfunction. Mixed responses from the medical community make these men more confused than enlightened.

This article aims to shed light on the effects and interactions of alcohol and Viagra. This will hopefully give a definite answer to whether or not men can safely take these two substances together.

How Does Viagra Work?

To understand the effects of Viagra and alcohol, let’s take a look at how they individually work in the human body.

Viagra is a brand name for sildenafil citrate. It was initially developed by Pfizer to treat a heart condition called angina pectoris.

But they saw little effectiveness for its intended use, so they decided to market Viagra as a treatment for erectile dysfunction after having observed that men who took it experienced a marked increase in penile erections.

Viagra works by boosting blood flow to all parts of the body, including the penis. It relaxes blood vessel walls so that more blood can pass through them. Increased blood flow to the penis causes an erection when the person is sexually stimulated (1).

How Does Alcohol Work?

Alcohol is properly classified as a central nervous system depressant (2). It primarily slows down brain activity and bodily functions such as speech and motor coordination. High concentrations of alcohol may even lead to unconsciousness, a comatose state, and eventual death.

The effects of alcohol per person greatly vary. It depends on these factors:

  • How much alcohol was consumed
  • The type of alcoholic beverage
  • The person’s fat percentage
  • The person’s height and weight
  • What was eaten while drinking alcohol

Consuming alcohol generally makes a person feel relaxed, happy, and inhibition-free. These feelings can quickly escalate to extremes depending on how much alcohol is taken; a person can also feel extremely depressed or euphoric after consuming liquor.

Can You Drink Alcohol with Viagra?

Setting the mood for romance typically includes a lovely dinner, candles, and a glass or two of wine.

But if you have erectile dysfunction and need to take medications before getting into the mood with your lady, is your glass or two of alcohol safe to take with your Viagra?

Studies have shown that there are no immediate health risks in drinking a moderate amount of alcohol together with Viagra. Drinking moderately means:

  • Less than two drinks per day
  • Not exceeding more than one drink per hour

One study suggested that Viagra, taken together with moderate alcohol consumption, posed no differences in heart health parameters (3).

People who participated in the said study were monitored for 180 minutes after taking 100 mg Viagra and alcohol together. The researchers concluded that there were no dangerous alterations in blood pressure, cardiac index, and heart rate.

This means that it’s totally fine to drink alcohol and take Viagra at the same time. However, moderate alcohol consumption is critical here.

But Before You Chug That Beer Down

While an occasional glass of beer or other alcoholic beverage is fine to take with Viagra, know that there could still be some dangers and downsides to mixing the two substances. Here are some considerations you must keep in mind regarding alcohol and Viagra:

  • Alcohol May Make Viagra’s Effects Weak

We mentioned earlier that alcohol could slow down body functions. Alcohol consumption may result in decreased blood flow to the penis as well. Hence, taking alcohol with Viagra may diminish Viagra’s effects.

  • Chronic Drinking May Actually Cause Erectile Dysfunction

Long-term alcohol drinkers might complain that they have difficulty gaining and maintaining an erection. This is due to alcohol being a depressant.

Bodily functions and blood circulation become poorer as one becomes a chronic alcohol drinker. This makes an alcoholic person’s immune system weaker, thus affecting his general wellness. Naturally, his organs will function poorly, such as in the case of getting an erection.

  • Alcohol Can Worsen Viagra’s Side Effects

Viagra has its own side effects when used in excess (4), including the following:

  1. Irregular heartbeats
  2. Dizziness and headaches
  3. Increased pressure in the eyes (intraocular pressure)
  4. Sudden loss of peripheral vision
  5. Loss of color vision
  6. Hearing problems
  7. Painful erections that last for hours (priapism)
  8. Diarrhea

Some Viagra users will experience these side effects, but only in a mild state (5). However, combining excessive alcohol intake with Viagra may rapidly induce these side effects and make them feel doubly worse.

  • Testosterone Levels Slide Down with Long-Term Alcohol Drinking

Males and females have varying amounts of both testosterone and estrogen in their bodies. Testosterone is predominant in men, while estrogen is found in large quantities within women.

Testosterone is the primary male hormone responsible for sexual characteristics such as sperm development and body hair growth. It’s produced in the male’s testes.

Excessive and chronic alcohol drinking can negatively affect the testes’ function, leading to a decrease in testosterone production (6). When this happens, estrogen levels in a male’s body start shooting up instead.

More estrogen and less testosterone in a male mean a decline in the quality of male sexual characteristics. Sperm production lessens, and penile erections become difficult to achieve, even if a man is sexually aroused.

It’s clear that alcohol still has undesirable effects when combined with Viagra. This is especially true for chronic alcoholics. Alcohol can still interfere with a man’s sexual health regardless of his Viagra intake.

How Much Alcohol Intake Is Deemed Safe with Viagra Use?

Viagra can safely be consumed with mild to moderate amounts of alcoholic beverages.

However, people can take the term “moderate drinking” in various interpretations. But there is an exact amount of alcohol that moderate drinking pertains to.

One alcoholic drink is equivalent to:

  • 1.5 ounces hard liquor
  • 5 ounces wine
  • 12 ounces beer

Two drinks taken in one entire day counts as moderate drinking. Quantified, this means that a person can only consume 3 ounces of hard liquor, 10 ounces of wine, or 24 ounces of beer in a day to be considered a moderate drinker.

Viagra can also be safely taken if a person drinks an even lesser amount of alcoholic beverage than those stated above.

The Verdict: Mixing Alcohol with Viagra Is Quite Safe

The definite answer to the main question is a resounding yes. However, be aware that only low to moderate amounts of alcohol intake are considered safe to mix with Viagra use.

Stop taking Viagra and alcoholic beverages together if you are:

  • A chronic alcohol drinker
  • Binge-drinking even for short periods
  • Taking high dosages of Viagra
  • Using Viagra recreationally

Can you drink alcohol with Viagra?

Yes, but medical professionals still warn of the ill effects of alcohol in the body, regardless of Viagra intake—so be extra-cautious in combining the two. If you have other questions in mind, let us know by leaving a comment below.

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