ED Treatment

How To Use Viagra for the Best Results

June 2, 2021

It’s estimated that over 30 million men experience erectile dysfunction (ED) in the United States alone. When it comes to treating the symptoms of ED, you probably won’t find a more effective option than Viagra®. Just swallowing the tablet should be enough to increase blood flow and provide an erection once you become aroused, but there are few things you can do to make it even more effective and enhance your results.  

What Is Viagra? 

Viagra is an oral medication that is used to treat the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. In the United States, Viagra is only available for purchase with a valid prescription. 

The active ingredient of Viagra is a drug by the name of sildenafil. Originally, sildenafil was intended to be a potential treatment for hypertension (high blood pressure) and angina (severe chest pain). However, the scientists overseeing the experiments discovered that while sildenafil didn’t have much of an impact on these conditions, it did significantly improve the erections of test subjects. 

Once this discovery was made, studies shifted to potentially using sildenafil as a treatment for erectile dysfunction. After years of research and trials, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved sildenafil as the world’s first oral medication for erectile dysfunction and Viagra hit the market in 1998. 

Since then the patent for Viagra has expired, leading to several pharmaceutical manufacturers creating generic versions of it. The ingredients are basically identical to Viagra and the only differences seem to be the color and shape of the tablet. More importantly, the most critical difference is that the generic versions are often much cheaper than brand name Viagra.

How Does Viagra Work? 

Sildenafil, the active ingredient of Viagra, is classified as a specific phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor. This is the same classification for other popular erectile dysfunction medications such as tadalafil or vardenafil, the active ingredients of Cialis and Levitra, respectively. 

These drugs work by helping to dilate and expand blood vessels and arteries in the penis along with relaxing the smooth muscles. As a result, the overall flow of blood that enters the penis will increase and the overall flow of blood exiting the penis will decrease, creating an erection

The drugs will essentially mimic the properties of the molecule nitric oxide, only with significantly more strength. Nitric oxide is released whenever a man is aroused and helps to create erections by opening up arteries and constricting veins, trapping blood in the penis

With erectile dysfunction, nitric oxide alone isn’t enough to maintain the erection. This is where PDE5 inhibitors come in. They essentially “piggyback” on the nitric oxide and greatly improve its effectiveness.

Tips That Can Help You Get The Most Out of Your Viagra 

Using Viagra will most likely be enough for you to achieve an erection and keep it long enough for sex. That being said, there are several different things that you can do in order to increase its effectiveness. Some of these lifestyle changes could even help to reduce the frequency and severity of erectile dysfunction and might eliminate the need for Viagra in the first place. 

Plan Ahead

Once you swallow the Viagra, it will take some time before your body will break it down and the effects will begin. So, if you are planning on taking it right before sex, then you are going to be severely disappointed. The amount of time that it will take before you will feel the effects of Viagra will depend on a few factors such as your metabolism rate, age, and contents of your stomach. 

On average, it should take between 30 minutes to an hour before Viagra will work, so make sure you plan ahead.

Stick To Your Prescribed Dosage 

Viagra is only available via prescription for a good reason — it can be dangerous when used irresponsibly because of drug interactions that can result in something as simple as some slight dizziness and a headache, or as serious side effects as abnormal vision, shortness of breath, or low blood pressure

The standard dose is normally 50mg, but can be as low as 25mg or as high as 100mg. It’s very important that you only take the amount recommended by your doctor or healthcare provider

Taking too much can lead to severe health complications and you should never take more than the maximum dose of 100 milligrams in a 24 hour period. If you are dissatisfied with the results of Viagra, try some of the items on this list and talk with your doctor about increasing the dosage, but do not take an extra dose in an attempt to boost sexual stimulation

Get in the Mood 

A popular misconception about Viagra is that it provides instant erections. As mentioned earlier, it will take some time for your body to break it down and the effects might take some time before they are felt. More than that, Viagra is closer to being a booster for the naturally occurring chemical compound nitric oxide as opposed to a replacement. Without being “in the mood,” Viagra will largely be ineffectual.  

Eat a Light Dinner

For the very best results, Viagra should be taken on an empty stomach. However, that is understandably a lot to ask, so if you don’t think you can skip a meal, then at least make it a light one. Avoid eating a heavy and high fat meal like steak, cheeseburgers, sausage, cheese, omelettes, or lasagna. 

Limit Alcohol Consumption 

Having a drink or two before taking Viagra most likely won’t have much of an impact, but you should stop drinking once you have taken it. Alcohol works in a similar way to Viagra and will lead to a better flow of blood in your body. 

However, while it will increase the amount of blood that enters your penis, it will also increase the amount leaving it. This will make maintaining an erection much more difficult even in men without erectile dysfunction

If you consume a moderate or heavy amount of alcohol, or take Viagra when drunk, it can cause a sudden decrease in blood pressure to dangerous levels.

Relax 

If you take a dose and it’s still not working, don’t panic. It will probably take some time before you find the exact dosage of Viagra required or the amount of time it will take before its effects kick in. It’s also possible that Viagra doesn’t work for you. 

However, be patient and keep calm. If you get stressed out and your mind starts racing then you will definitely hurt your chances of getting an erection. Stress and anxiety are two major risk factors for erectile dysfunction

Remember, sex is supposed to be a fun and pleasurable experience. The more pressure that you put on yourself, the more likely that your performance will suffer and that you will experience erectile dysfunction.  

Get Some Exercise 

Erections are only possible due to a strength and consistent flow of blood. Any issues or conditions that contribute to circulatory problems, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, clogged arteries, or diabetes, will greatly increase the odds of erectile dysfunction

Getting an adequate amount of exercise, at least 160 minutes per week, can strengthen the muscles of your cardiovascular system and provide healthier blood flow in your body. This can not only increase the effectiveness of Viagra, but reduce the severity of erectile dysfunction.  

Eat a Healthy Diet 

Eating a diet with large amounts of fatty, salty, sugary, or processed foods will increase your chances of developing high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and various cardiovascular issues like heart attack or stroke

Try to reduce your intake of these types of foods and increase your fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish. This will lead to a healthier circulatory system and provide a stronger and more consistent blood flow. 

It can also help you to shed some extra weight. Maintaining a body mass index of 25 or lower will reduce your odds of erectile dysfunction by several times compared to overweight or obese men. 

Additionally, on days when you are taking Viagra avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice. This fruit has a negative reaction with the way the body breaks down Viagra, and tends to dampen its effects on the body.   

Quit Smoking 

It should come as no surprise that smoking is bad for your overall health, but it can also cause erectile dysfunction. In fact, smoking is considered to be the leading cause of erectile dysfunction in men under the age of 40. The chemicals and smoke can hurt your lungs and heart, while the nicotine will constrict your blood vessels. The best day to quit smoking is yesterday, but the second best is today.

Check Your Drugs

One of the leading causes of erectile dysfunction are prescription medications. There are so many different medications that might cause erectile dysfunction or worsen its symptoms. If you are taking any medications, prescription or over the counter, do a little bit of research into whether or not it has a tendency to cause sexual dysfunctions or erectile related issues.  

Additionally, remember to be honest with your healthcare provider about what meds you may currently be on, especially nitrates like isosorbide dinitrate or nitroglycerin, as these may not only affect ED, but can interact dangerously with ED medications

On that note, keep in mind that recreational drugs like “poppers” (i.e. amyl nitrate, amyl nitrite, or butyl nitrite) often have a negative effect on erectile function and run the same risk for life-threatening adverse effects as well. 

The Takeaway: Making a few lifestyle changes can not only increase the overall effectiveness of Viagra, but they might help to reduce the severity of erectile dysfunction and eliminate the need for it. 

Viagra is a very effective method of treating erectile dysfunction, but it can be a little expensive. The generic version of sildenafil is much cheaper, but you should still do everything you can to get your money’s worth. Making a few changes and following some of the tips listed above should help you to get the most of whichever medication you choose. 




SOURCES

Onset and duration of action of sildenafil for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

Effect of prescription medications on erectile dysfunction

Development and therapeutic applications of nitric oxide releasing materials to treat erectile dysfunction.

Priapism - StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf

[Obesity--significant risk factor for erectile dysfunction in men]

Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) Inhibitors In the Management of Erectile Dysfunction.

Stress management and erectile dysfunction: a pilot comparative study.

Physical Activity to Improve Erectile Function: A Systematic Review of Intervention Studies.

Sildenafil in the treatment of erectile dysfunction: an overview of the clinical evidence

Alcohol intake and risk of erectile dysfunction: a dose-response meta-analysis of observational studies.

Effects of cigarette smoking on erectile dysfunction

VIAGRA : IS IT A WONDER DRUG ?