Sildenafil, popularly known as Viagra, is a clinically proven prescription medicine that can help with erectile dysfunction (1). That is why it is quite a popular option among men.
One of the frequently asked questions about this medication is how long does it take for sildenafil to take effect? We will cover this question and other critical related details in the discussion below.
How Long Does It Take For Sildenafil To Take Effect
There have been many clinical studies on Viagra, which is why determining its effects, side effects, precautions, interactions, and benefits should be rather easy. Studies show that it takes 30 to 60 minutes for sildenafil to take effect after intake (2).
Note that it only takes 14 minutes to take effect (3). However, that is not the rule for most men. There are actually several factors that come into play when it comes to the onset of the effects of this drug.
Factors That Come Into Play
Many factors will come into play before Viagra or sildenafil to start working. For instance, your diet can affect how quickly this drug can be assimilated into your bodily system.
#1. The Type of Food You Take
Fatty foods such as French fries and cheeseburgers or anything that has a high-fat content can prolong the time for this drug to take effect . Do take note that you can take Viagra with or without a meal.
#2. Your Age
Your age will also come into play. That means it may take a bit longer for this drug to work if you are older or have any other health conditions.
The initial frequency of intake that will be prescribed by doctors will usually be high, especially for younger patients. The frequency and the dosage will then be adjusted the patient’s age and sexual activity (5).
Studies, however, have shown that sildenafil or Viagra is highly effective across all ages. It is also quite potent, no matter how severe a patient’s case of erectile dysfunction.
#3. Lack of Stimulation
Some men think that sildenafil will give them an instant erection. But that is not the case. Viagra or sildenafil is not an aphrodisiac, which means it will not produce erections for you.
In short, you need to get into the mood before you actually get an erection. This is not the drug for you if you’re looking for something that will cause sexual stimulation.
Can I Do Dose Timing?
Now, here is an interesting question: can a guy time the dosage intake of sildenafil to achieve the maximum effect? Some guys want to get the most of this drug simply because you cannot take more than one per day.
Taking more than the recommended dose will be dangerous to your health. So, can you time your intake?
According to one study (6), there is no need to time your intake of sildenafil. As stated earlier, this drug can take effect as quickly as 14 minutes for some men.
However, if you want to be sure, then you can take it up to four hours before intercourse, and it will still be effective. Just remember that 30 minutes to 1 hour is all it takes for this drug on average to produce the desired effects.
How Long Will Sildenafil’s Effects Last?
Now, here is another valid and related question. For one thing, it is possible that delays may come to one’s schedule. Well, we can never really say what will happen during the course of the day.
So, let’s say one patient may have expected to come home early and have intercourse with his wife. So, he may have taken sildenafil before clocking out of work.
Well, what if he got stuck in traffic for an hour or two? Will that mean the effects of this drug will have worn out by the time he gets home to his wife?
Again, this is a question of timing your intake of sildenafil. According to one study (7), this drug can take effect as quickly as 12 minutes.
In the other cited source earlier, it reports the onset of effects at 14 minutes. So that means it is possible that you can get results as early as 12 to 14 minutes after taking your recommended dose.
According to the same study, the effects of Viagra can last up to 4 hours. That means that even if the guy got stuck in traffic for 2 hours, sildenafil would still provide him with better erections.
However, it should be noted that the quality of erections will not be the same 4 or 5 hours earlier. Nevertheless, a separate study suggests that the effects of this erectile dysfunction prescription can last for more than 10 hours (8).
Long Term Effects of Sildenafil
Another critical question is whether it is supposed to take this drug continuously in the long term. In other words, can we consider Viagra as a form of maintenance drug that one has to take for the rest of one’s life just to ensure the quality of erections?
One clinical review assessed the long term effects of sildenafil. Of course, no one wants to keep on taking medication just to maintain the quality of one’s erections.
The goal is to reduce the severity of erectile dysfunction and permanently if possible. Although we can’t honestly say that sildenafil is that kind of a solution, it does help in the long term.
In the aforementioned review, up to 99% of men who participated in tests said they were satisfied with their improved ability to engage in sexual activity.
They were again surveyed 12 months after, and in another study, the participants were surveyed three years after. The same men reported that they were still satisfied with their improved ability to engage in sexual intercourse (9).
These are, of course, promising results. However, you should continue to consult with your doctor if you plan to take sildenafil in the long run.
Remember that the condition of your health will change as you age. Your doctor may have to adjust your dosage accordingly, especially if you are already taking other medications that may interact with this drug.