How Long Does Viagra Last?

Viagra usually lasts around 4 to 6 hours, but it might last for a longer or shorter time depending on the person taking it. The only way to know exactly how long it will last for you is to try it and see for yourself.

There are a few things you can do to make sure Viagra lasts as long as possible for you, or there are alternatives that last longer too.

Find out how long Viagra can be made to last, which treatments stretch further, and how make the most of Viagra.

Silver stopwatch with Viagra pills around it on a pink background
Dr Simran Deo Medical Editor

Medically reviewed by

Dr Simran Deo

Last reviewed: 26 Jan 2021

How long does Viagra last for?

Viagra can improve erections for up to 4 to 6 hours after it’s taken

  • Levels of Viagra are highest in your body 30 to 120 minutes after you take a dose
  • Viagra lasts a maximum of 12 hours, but it won’t last this long for everyone
  • After 3 to 5 hours there is only half of maximum amount of Viagra left in your body

There’s no way to know for sure how long Viagra will last for you since it varies from person to person. The best thing to do is try Viagra for yourself and time it to see how long it lasts for you. Just remember you can only take it once every 24 hours.

How long do erections last on Viagra?

Time after Viagra dose

How long erections last

No Viagra

3 minutes

1 Hour

26 minutes

8 Hours

11 minutes

12 Hours

8 minutes

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Viagra makes it easier for you to get and keep erections. It doesn’t give you an erection that lasts 4 to 6 hours. If you have a painful erection that lasts more than 2 hours you need emergency medical help.

The duration varies from person to person

Viagra won’t stop you losing your erection if you orgasm. Most people lose erections after they orgasm and then there will be a period of time where they won’t be able to get hard again (the refractory period). This is absolutely normal. After this rest period - which varies from person to person, you should find that you can get an erection again if aroused and if within the time the Viagra is still working.

Some studies show the effects of viagra can last for up to 12 hours or more. But, this won’t be the case for most people. Normally, the effects of the medication start wearing off 2 to 3 hours after first taking it. If you want to find out how long it lasts before you plan to use it for sex, you could try it by yourself first.

Does Viagra help you last longer in bed?

Viagra can only help you last longer in bed if you are losing erections before you orgasm. If you’re orgasming quicker than you want to during sex, you may be able to get premature ejaculation treatment.

See our page on Does Viagra Make You Last Longer for more information.

What helps Viagra last longer?

What you can do to make sure Viagra lasts as long as possible:

Eat a healthy, balanced diet:

  • Include more whole grains, fruit and vegetables in your diet
  • Reduce the amount of saturated fat you are eating
  • Reduce the number of takeaways you eat
  • Reduce your salt intake – 6g per day is the maximum
  • Avoid grapefruit juice when you take Viagra as it can stop it from working

Cut down on your alcohol intake:

  • You should avoid alcohol when you take Viagra as it can reduce how effective it is
  • If you do drink, keep it below 2 units of alcohol

Quit smoking:

  • Improves heart health, which means better blood flow to the penis

Exercise:

  • Reduces stress levels, which can make you more relaxed during sex
  • Improves heart health, which means better blood flow to the penis

What factors effect how long Viagra lasts?

Your age:

  • If you’re over 65, your body gets less effective at removing Viagra from your body, meaning the effects can last longer

Alcohol:

  • Alcohol decreases the blood flow to your penis making it harder to get an erection, which makes it harder for Viagra to work
  • Alcohol also causes the nerves that control an erection to have a slower response, which can become permanent with chronic alcohol abuse.
  • Drinking more than 2 units of alcohol while taking Viagra can increase the chance of negative side effects and make you unable to get and keep an erection

Diet:

  • A large meal that is high in fat can affect the way Viagra works, making it less effective and take longer to work
  • Taking the medication on an empty stomach means it will get to work much quicker

Other drugs:

  • Some antibiotics can increase the amount of Viagra in your system which can make it last longer and increase the chance of side effects
  • You should speak to your GP to check if you are at risk of any drug interactions

Dosage:

  • Usually higher doses are more effective and tend to last longer
  • Your GP will prescribe the right Viagra dosage to you

Health:

  • Your overall health and fitness will affect Viagra’s working time
  • Liver and kidney problems can cause Viagra to stay in your system for longer.
  • Since Viagra can be unsafe for some people, make sure you tell your doctor about all health conditions you have when you order Viagra.

Can you take more Viagra to make it last longer?

No, you can only safely take Viagra once every 24 hours. Even though the effects of Viagra won’t last longer than 12 hours, it takes 24 hours to make sure it’s safely out of your system.

Taking more than one Viagra in the same 24 hour period could mean the amount of Viagra in your body builds up to unsafe levels. Having unsafe levels of Viagra in your body increases your risk of side effects, including those that are more serious.

You also can’t take Viagra with other erectile dysfunction tablets for the same reasons.

Which strength lasts the longest?

Higher doses of Viagra last slightly longer. There are 3 doses: 25mg, 50mg, and 100mg.

The highest dose available is 100mg, which lasts the longest. We recommend most people try 50mg of Viagra if they haven’t used it before. 50mg works for most men and has a lower risk of side effects than 100mg.

The risk of side effects goes up with dosage, and side effects may last longer and be more intense with higher, longer-lasting doses.

Higher doses also take slightly longer to reach their maximum level inside the body, so they take slightly longer to work than lower doses.

For more information see our page on Viagra dosages.

How long does Viagra take to work?

For most people, Viagra takes 30 to 60 mins to start working although it can start working as fast as 12 minutes after it’s taken. Still, to give it enough time to start working, it’s recommended you take Viagra a full hour before you want to try and have sex.

Viagra can take longer to work if you eat a heavy meal before you take it. Food can push back the time Viagra starts working to 2 hours after you take it, instead of 30 to 60 mins.

If you want a medication that works faster than Viagra, or you don’t want to wait or plan before sex, you could try Spedra or Cialis Daily;

  • Spedra gets to work in 15 mins on average, making it the fastest working erectile dysfunction tablet
  • Cialis Daily is taken every day so it is always in effect, meaning it’s always easier for you to get and keep erections.

Does sildenafil or Viagra Connect last longer than Viagra?

Viagra, generic Sildenafil, and Viagra Connect all have the same active ingredient, sildenafil citrate. This means they all work the same way and last the same amount of time.

Since Viagra Connect is only available in the 50mg dose and higher doses last longer, Viagra and Sildenafil can last longer if you use the 100mg dose.

You can find more information on our page on the differences between Viagra, Sildenafil, and Viagra Connect.

Do other tablets last longer than Viagra?

Yes, Cialis and Cialis Daily can both last longer than Viagra.

  • Cialis has been shown to last up to 36 hours, compared to Viagra which lasts 4 to 6 hours. That’s why Cialis is sometimes called the weekend pill. Cialis can be a better choice if you want to have a bigger window of opportunity for having sex after taking your medication.
  • Cialis Daily is taken once a day and once it starts working, it’s always in effect. This means you could always have an easier time getting and keeping erections, and you don’t need to plan sex in advance.

Sources

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