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    Viagra (branded Sildenafil)

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    Viagra for men, often referred to as the 'blue pill', is an ED pill which can help to improve sexual wellbeing by enhancing erectile performance. It works by increasing blood flow to the penis, with effects lasting up to four hours. 

    How do you take Viagra?

    Take one tablet one hour before sex. Taking Viagra after eating or on an empty stomach works best. However, if you take Viagra after a high-fat meal (e.g. fried food) you might find it takes longer to feel an effect. Alcohol will also limit Viagra's effectiveness.

    The standard dose is 50mg. Depending on your age, height and weight, the cause and the severity of your ED, you may be prescribed a lower dose of 25mg, or a higher one of 100mg. Dosage does not affect how quickly or for how long the treatment works.

    Higher doses come with an increased chance of developing side effects. Our clinicians will let you know which dosage and how many tablets are safe for you to take. Do not combine Viagra with other ED medicines.

    Viagra can be taken after eating or on an empty stomach. However, if you take Viagra after a high-fat meal (e.g. fried food) you might find it takes longer to feel an effect.   

    How does Viagra work?

    Viagra's active ingredient (sildenafil citrate) increases blood flow to the penis. It enables a firmer, longer-lasting erection if you are sexually aroused.

    The treatment will not resolve the underlying physical cause of your ED or increase your sexual desire.

    How long does Viagra last for men?

    The best time to take Viagra is one hour before sex. Viagra's active ingredient (sildenafil citrate) increases blood flow to the penis. It enables a firmer, longer-lasting erection if you are sexually aroused. 

    Take one tablet on an empty stomach, as this helps it work best. Alcohol will limit Viagra's effectiveness. Do not combine Viagra with other ED medicines. 

    The treatment will not resolve the underlying physical cause of your ED or increase your sexual desire.   

    How effective is Viagra for men?

    Viagra treats ED in 60-70% of cases. If you have eaten a large meal or drunk more than one or two units of alcohol, you may find Viagra is less effective.

    Some men who use Viagra might find that over time Viagra becomes less effective. However, there are lots of options for treating ED and Viagra does work for two thirds of the men who take it

    We advise trying an ED treatment eight times before giving up, considering a higher dose, or seeking an alternative.

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      Viagra FAQs

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      Is there an over-the-counter Viagra?

      You need a prescription to take Viagra, however there is an over-the-counter Viagra – Viagra Connect. Viagra Connect is available without a prescription, as it’s classed as a Pharmacy Medicine (P-Medicine). You still need to answer a few simple questions, as this allows our clinicians to make sure the treatment is safe for you to take. 

      What to expect when first taking Viagra

      When taking Viagra for the first time, there’s a few ways you can prepare:

      • Eat a light meal - Although Viagra can be taken with and without food, a large or full fat meal can delay absorption
      • Give yourself time - You won’t instantly get an erection when taking Viagra, it can take 30-60 minutes to begin to feel the effect. You can take the tablet up to 4 hours before use.
      • Get in the mood – You need to be sexually aroused for Viagra to work.
      • Limit your alcohol - A glass of wine or another alcoholic drink can help you relax, but any more than this after taking Viagra may make it harder for you to get an erection.  

      What are the potential side effects when men take Viagra?

      Side effects are uncommon, but Viagra side effects can include:

      • Nausea
      • Vomiting
      • Back pain
      • Diarrhoea
      • An allergic rash

      Some men also experience facial flushing, headaches, light headedness, nasal congestion, indigestion, palpitations (racing heartbeat), and blurred vision. For full information on side effects and correct use, see the patient information leaflet.

      ED medication such as Viagra is safe for people with healthy hearts. ED medications such as (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil) and Levitra (vardenafil) can be taken alongside most heart medications but cannot be used alongside nitrates which are commonly used to treat angina. ED treatments can be used from six months after a heart attack but aren't recommended for people with low blood pressure.

      ED can be a symptom of underlying conditions such as diabetes, narrowing of the arteries or high blood pressure. ED can also be a side effect of some medications, including diuretics which are often used to treat heart-related conditions. Find out more about the signs of heart problems

      Can Viagra go out of date?

      Like all medications Viagra will have a use by date. It’s not advised to take out of date Viagra or any medication past its use by date. 

      Can I take Viagra whilst on other medication?

      If you are taking alpha-blockers (such as doxazosin or tamsulosin), you should wait at least 6 hours between taking those and taking Viagra.

      You will be unsuitable for Viagra if you are taking nicorandil or nitrates, such as GTN spray or isosorbide mononitrate tablets to treat angina.

      It is important that you let us know which prescription, over-the-counter medicines and recreational drugs you are taking so that we can prescribe Viagra safely.

      Why shouldn't I drink alcohol when taking Viagra?

      Viagra and alcohol don’t always go hand in hand. While a beer or a couple of glasses of wine won’t affect how Viagra works, any more than this can make it harder to get an erection. It’s advised to not drink heavily before taking Viagra if you would like the best results.  

      Can I buy Viagra online?

      You can request and pay for a Viagra prescription online. As this is a prescription-only medication, even if you are using an online service, you will need a prescription from a clinician before you can buy the treatment. 

      You can get Viagra Connect from select pharmacies without a prescription. It contains the same active ingredient as Viagra - sildenafil citrate. 

      What happens if a woman takes Viagra?

      Viagra is not typically prescribed to women. There has been research done into women taking Viagra

      Alternatives to Viagra for men

      Some men find counselling helpful as a means of exploring and treating psychological causes for ED.

      If Viagra does not work for you, contact us via your Patient Record so that we can discuss your treatment options. View all our ED treatments.

      Reordering

      If you’d like to reorder Viagra, you can go to your Patient Record and select ‘reorder’.

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