Viagra

  • The 'Famous' little blue pill
  • Helps men maintain a firmer, harder, longer lasting erection
  • Takes effect in just 30 minutes
  • Works for up to 4 hours

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Viagra (Sildenafil) for the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction can unexpectedly affect many men in their lifetime at any time, for some it will become a persistent problem that will require treatments such as Viagra (Sildenafil).

Erectile dysfunction is a condition that is easy to treat with a range of conditions. Viagra (Sildenafil) is clinically proven to be effective at treating erectile dysfunction, it is the most widely used erectile dysfunction treatment in the world.

You can buy Viagra and the generic version Sildenafil, online at Medicine Direct following a consultation with one of our UK prescribers.

What is Viagra (Sildenafil)?

Viagra is the brand name for sildenafil, which is a medicine used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) in men.

It works by increasing blood flow to the penis, which helps men to gain and sustain an erection. Research has proven that at least two-thirds of men have better erections after taking Viagra (sildenafil).

This medicine comes in the form of tablets, chewable tablets or as a liquid. However, you must have a prescription to buy Viagra.

What is Viagra/Sildenafil used to treat?

Viagra is the most common treatment available for erectile dysfunction, although there are other medicines to treat erectile dysfunction that also contain sildenafil.

Erectile dysfunction is a condition that makes it difficult for men to gain or maintain an erection. Taking a medication like Viagra means that you are able to get an erection that is firm enough to complete sexual intercourse, allowing you to enjoy a normal sex life.

Viagra can also be prescribed to treat pulmonary hypertension, which is high blood pressure that affects the arteries in the lungs.

How does Viagra work?

Viagra tablets contain the active ingredient sildenafil, which belongs to a group of medicines called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE 5) inhibitors. It helps the blood vessels in the penis to relax, which makes it much easier for blood to flow to the penis, helping you to gain and maintain a firm erection.

It normally takes between 30 and 60 minutes for most men to gain an erection after taking Viagra, although this length of time can differ from person to person.

For Viagra to work properly, you will still need to be sexually aroused. Therefore, you and your partner should still engage in foreplay before you have sex.

Viagra dose for erectile dysfunction

Viagra is available in doses of 25mg, 50mg or 100mg. The usual starting dose is 50mg, although your doctor may prescribe you a higher or lower dose depending on how well this initial dose works for you.

Tell your doctor if you think your prescribed dose is too high or low. Do not adjust the dose yourself.

Do not take Viagra more than once in 24 hours.

How to take Viagra

Swallow Viagra tablets whole with a glass of water. Do not crush, suck or chew the tablets.

Take Viagra approximately one hour before you intend to have sex. You will still need to be sexually stimulated in order for Viagra to work properly. For this medication to help you gain an erection, you should still engage in foreplay with your partner before you try to have sexual intercourse.

Viagra can be taken with or without food, although if you take it with or after a large meal, it may take longer to work.

Tell your doctor if you have taken the medicine as instructed, engaged in foreplay and still not gained an erection.

Always read the patient information leaflet before you start taking Viagra. You will find full instructions here.

Who can take Viagra?

Viagra is one of the most effective treatments for erectile dysfunction, but it is not suitable for everyone to take.

As a treatment for sexual issues, Viagra should only be taken by men.

You should not take Viagra or any sildenafil products if you have any of the following conditions:

  • You have recently had a heart attack
  • You have recently had a stroke
  • You have low blood pressure
  • You are taking any nitrate medicines to treat chest pains
  • You have had an allergic reaction to sildenafil or any other ingredients in Viagra
  • You have any inherited eye diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa

Viagra may not be a suitable medicine for you to take if any of the below apply to you. You should make sure you check with your doctor before taking Viagra if:

  • You have a stomach ulcer or any bleeding problems such as haemophilia
  • You have Peyronie's disease (a curved penis), or any other deformities of the penis
  • You have an abnormality of red blood cells known as sickle cell anaemia
  • You have leukaemia
  • You have multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer)
  • You have a heart problem (if so, you should check with your doctor as to whether your heart can take the exertion involved with having sex)

This list is not exhaustive. Always read the patient information leaflet that will accompany your medicine before you take Viagra. If you have any concerns or questions about whether this medicine is suitable for you to take, do not hesitate to speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

Viagra common side effects

As with all medicines, Viagra (sildenafil) comes with the risk of certain side effects, although not everyone will suffer from them.

Most people who take Viagra for erectile dysfunction will experience no side effects at all, while some may experience mild effects that do not last for very long.

Common adverse effects of Viagra (sildenafil) include:

  • Headaches
  • Feeling sick
  • Dizziness
  • A blocked nose
  • Hot flushes and facial flushing
  • Blurred vision or a colour tinge in your vision
  • Indigestion

Please note, this is not a full list of adverse reactions associated with Viagra (sildenafil). For a list of more serious adverse reactions, please refer to the Side Effects tab on this product's page.

Always read the information leaflet that accompanies your medicine for a comprehensive list of side effects and how to cope with them.

Can you buy Viagra over the counter?

No, Viagra must be prescribed for you by a doctor and is not available over the counter. Many counterfeit versions of Viagra are for sale, but you should never purchase medication from anywhere other than regulated pharmacies.

Can you buy Viagra online in the UK?

You can buy Viagra online from regulated pharmacies like Medicine Direct. As this is a prescription medication, you will need to fill out an online consultation questionnaire before your order can be confirmed. This involves answering some questions about your medical history and condition; your answers will be reviewed by one of our registered prescribers to make sure Viagra is suitable for you to take.

Never order any medication online unless it is from a regulated pharmacy, like Medicine Direct. This will ensure you purchase nothing but approved and genuine medicine. Full details on the official authorities that regulate our pharmacy can be found on the About Us page.

Viagra alternatives

Several alternative erectile dysfunction medicines are available to order from Medicine Direct. Most of these medicines work in the same way as Viagra.

Spedra tablets contain a medicine called avanafil. It gets to work in just 20 minutes and can work for around four hours.

Cialis tablets take around 30 minutes to work and can remain effective for up to 36 hours.

We also sell Vitaros, which is a topical treatment for erectile dysfunction. This cream is applied to the opening of the penis and helps to stimulate an erection.

Viagra Indications and Dose

Our pharmacists and prescribers follow NICE guidelines when prescribing Viagra (Sildenafil).

As this is a stronger dosage of Viagra, you must only take this as advised to do so by your doctor. This strength will only be prescribed if the lower dosages have been found to be ineffective.

What if I forget to take it?

If you are using sildenafil for pulmonary hypertension and forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember and then continue to take the medication as usual.

Never double dose medicine to try and make up for a missed dose, and never take 2 doses at the same time.

To get into a routine of taking sildenafil, it helps if you take it at the same time every day. Some people also find it beneficial to set an alarm to remind them to take it.

What if I take more than I am supposed to?

You should only ever take Viagra exactly as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist. Taking too much sildenafil can result in unpleasant side effects, including:

  • Headaches
  • Blocked nose
  • Altered vision
  • Dizziness
  • Indigestion

If you take too much sildenafil, you should contact your doctor, particularly if any of the above reactions bother you or persist. Refer to the Side Effects tab on this page for a list of more serious reactions you could experience if you accidentally take more than you were instructed to

How long does Viagra take to work?


It will normally take between 30 minutes and one hour for Viagra to work. You will need to be sexually aroused for it to work.

How long does Viagra last?


After you have taken Viagra, you should be able to get an erection after between one and four hours. After you have completed sexual intercourse, your erection should go away.

How often can I take Viagra?


You must not take more than one dose in 24 hours.

Can I drink alcohol while taking Viagra?


A small amount of alcohol is not likely to affect Viagra from working properly. It is also unlikely that it will slow down how quickly it works. However, drinking alcohol in large amounts can make it harder for you to gain an erection. For this reason, you should not consume a lot of alcohol while taking Viagra.

Can women take Viagra?


Sildenafil is sometimes prescribed for women as a treatment for pulmonary hypertension. However, it should not be taken unless a doctor has prescribed it for you. Women should not take this medicine for any sexual issues.

Is Viagra safe to take in the long term?


Yes, it is safe to take Viagra over a long period of time, although you should only take one dose in 24 hours.

Can taking recreational drugs make it more effective?


It is dangerous to take poppers (amyl nitrate) at the same time as Viagra. This could cause damage to your heart. Taking it alongside hallucinogens (like LSD), novel psychoactive substances and stimulants (such as cocaine) can also be very dangerous.

Are there any herbal alternatives?


No herbal versions of Viagra have ever been approved for erectile dysfunction. If you are suffering from this problem, you should speak to your doctor, who will prescribe an appropriate and approved medication.

Will Viagra increase my penis size?


Because Viagra increases blood flow to the penis, it may make your erection look bigger. However, it will not have any long-term effect on the size of your penis.

Will Viagra keep me hard after I climax?


Viagra will only keep you hard for as long as you feel aroused, it can help you to keep an erection after climaxing and can help to reduce the refractory time after sex.

Viagra Adverse Side Effects

The most common adverse reactions of using this medicine can be found on the main product page.

In rare cases, you may experience more serious side effects after taking Viagra. These are very uncommon and occur in less than 1 in every 1,000 people.

However, you should stop taking sildenafil and contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the below symptoms:

  • You have seizures
  • You suddenly lose your vision or have vision impairment
  • You have chest pains (if they come on either during or after you have sex, get into a semi-sitting position and relax; do not try to alleviate the pains with any nitrate medicines)
  • You have a serious skin reaction
  • You have a prolonged and/or painful erection (contact a doctor straight away if the erection lasts for longer than 4 hours)

In rare, extreme instances, it is possible to suffer a severe allergic reaction to taking sildenafil; in this case, you could require urgent treatment in hospital.

You should either go to A&E or call 999 immediately if any of the following symptoms affect you:

  • You have tightness in the throat or chest
  • You are wheezing
  • You have a skin rash that is red, itching, peeling, blistering or swollen
  • You have swelling in your mouth, tongue, lips, face or throat
  • You are finding it difficult to breathe or speak

Always read the patient information leaflet that will come with your medication for all the side effects associated with Viagra. If you have any questions or concerns, you should discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist before you start to take the medicine

Viagra Warnings and drug interactions

Sildenafil may interact with other medications and interfere with how well they work.

You should always make sure that both your doctor and pharmacist are aware of any medicines you are already taking. This includes any medicine you are using with or without a prescription, herbal remedies, vitamins or supplements.

In particular, you should tell your doctor if you are currently using any of the following before you take Viagra:

  • Any nitrate medicine to treat chest pains
  • Riociguat to treat pulmonary hypertension
  • Any recreational drugs known as 'poppers', such as amyl nitrite

Some herbal remedies and complementary therapies may contain ingredients that can interfere with the effectiveness of sildenafil.

While a glass of wine or a beer should not make a difference, please note that drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can make it more difficult for you to achieve or keep an erection, even when you have taken Viagra.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Sildenafil is not indicated for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Speak to your doctor if you are preganant, suspecting pregnacy or breastfeeding. Do not take this medication unless you doctor has prescribed it to you during your preganacy or during breastfeeding. 

Learn more about taking Viagra (Sildenafil) during pregnancy an breastfeeding

As with all medicines, you should always make sure you read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before starting a course of treatment.

Viagra Ingredients

The main active ingredient within this medicine is: Sildenafil Citrate

For a full list of the inactive ingredients, please read the Summary of Product Characteristics

Delivery Company Delivery Service Price Details
Royal Mail UK Delivery Standard UK Tracked £2.99 3 - 4 Working Day Delivery
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Next Day Delivery - Tracked £5.95 Order by 2pm (subject to Dr approval) Next Working Day Delivery
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Next Day Tracked Morning Delivery by 12:00pm £12.95 Next Working Day Morning Delivery by 12:00pm
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Tracked Saturday Delivery £9.95

Delivery specified for Saturday

Order Friday by 2pm (subject to Dr approval)

Please note that next day delivery to Northern Ireland, Scottish Highlands & Islands and British Isles cannot be guaranteed. Please contact our team for more information.

Reviewed byHussain Abdeh MPharm: 2211840

Published on: 12/10/2020

Updated on: 08/09/2021

This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan

Hussain Abdeh Superintendent Pharmacist at Medicine Direct

Hussain Abdeh
MPharm: 2211840

Pharmacist Independent Prescriber

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