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What Is Viagra Connect?

A man and woman look at one another intimately on a bed

In November 2017, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced that, as of spring 2018, Viagra would become available to buy over the counter in high street pharmacies. As detailed here, the decision was made following the development of Viagra Connect, which was found to be safe as a non-prescription treatment.

From spring onwards, men with erectile dysfunction will be able to buy Viagra Connect over the counter in pharmacies.  

This is good news for men with ED who up until this point, have only been able to obtain Viagra with a prescription from their GP or through a prescription service such as Online Doctor. However, it’s likely that some men affected by the condition may be curious or even concerned about the differences between prescription Viagra and over-the-counter Viagra Connect.

If you’re considering purchasing Viagra Connect when it becomes available in pharmacies, and you’d like to know how it compares to prescription Viagra, read on.

The active ingredient

The first thing to know about Viagra Connect is that it contains the same active ingredient as Viagra, sildenafil citrate. Sildenafil is a PDE-5 inhibitor and works by temporarily increasing blood flow to the penis, which allows you to achieve an erection and maintain it during sex.

Because Viagra and Viagra Connect both contain sildenafil, they work in the same way.

The dosage

The only key difference between Viagra and Viagra Connect is the dosage. As you’ll see from visiting the Online Doctor Viagra Clinic, you can currently obtain prescription Viagra in dosages of 25mg, 50mg and 100mg (in pack sizes of 4 to 16 tablets). By contrast, Viagra Connect will only be available in a dosage of 50mg (in pack sizes of 4 to 16 tablets).

For most men, this will not be an issue, as 50mg is the most popular Viagra dosage and is usually very effective. If you are already taking the higher or lower dose, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor before purchasing Viagra Connect, as it is not normally advised that you alter the dosage size by breaking tablets or taking more than one in 24 hours.

The instructions

Viagra and Viagra Connect tablets should be taken in the same way. You should take one tablet around one hour before sex, preferably on an empty stomach. It’s best not to drink more than a couple of units of alcohol or grapefruit juice before taking Viagra/Viagra Connect, as both can interact negatively with the active ingredient. One hour after taking Viagra/Viagra Connect you should be able to achieve an erection, provided you are sexually aroused.

The effects of Viagra 50mg/Viagra Connect should last for up to four hours (i.e. during this period you should be able to achieve an erection when aroused). If you are seeking a longer period of efficacy you might consider a higher dosage of prescription Viagra, or an alternative ED tablet such as Cialis.

The side effects

As with any medicine, Viagra and Viagra Connect are associated with some side effects, the most common of which are very mild. Taking prescription Viagra in a dosage of 50mg or Viagra Connect (which also has a dosage of 50mg) will be associated with the same side effects, so you shouldn’t experience any changes if you switch from one to the other.

If you have been taking a lower or higher dose of prescription Viagra (e.g. 25mg or 100mg), you may experience a change if you then begin taking Viagra Connect. This is because higher dosages can cause stronger side effects. For this reason, you should speak to your doctor before switching to Viagra Connect to ensure your safety.

Side effects which can result from taking Viagra/Viagra Connect include headache, blocked nose, indigestion, facial flushing, dizziness and nausea. For a more comprehensive list, click here.

Taking Viagra Connect safely

If you have been taking prescription Viagra you should be able to safely transition to Viagra Connect, provided you have been taking a dosage of 50mg. If you are new to Viagra, you may want to speak to your GP about your options first.
Viagra cannot be taken by certain men, including those with:

  • A history/family history of eye problems/sight issues
  • Sickle-cell anaemia, multiple myeloma or leukaemia
  • A history of kidney or liver problems
  • Certain heart/cardiovascular conditions
  • Conditions that require medications such as alpha blockers and nitrates

Before getting Viagra Connect, the pharmacist will make sure it is safe for you to take. However, it is still important to read the product information leaflet accompanying the medicine and to take it as instructed.

To learn more about Viagra, visit our clinic.