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How long does Viagra Connect (sildenafil) last?

Viagra Connect is a medicine used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) in men. Once you have taken Viagra Connect, it stays active in your body for up to four hours [1]. After that, the medicine gets broken down by the liver and is flushed out of the body. 

It’s important to note that although Viagra Connect can stay active for up to four hours, it will not cause an erection on its own. You need to be sexually stimulated for the medication to be effective [2].

How does Viagra Connect work?

Viagra Connect contains the active ingredient sildenafil. It works by relaxing the blood vessels in the penis, allowing blood to flow when sexually aroused [3].

How should Viagra Connect be taken?

When taking Viagra Connect, it’s important that you read the patient information leaflet and take the medication as instructed. If you’re unsure, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Never take more than one tablet per day. You should swallow Viagra Connect with a glass of water at least one hour before you plan to have sex [2,3].

Viagra Connect only comes in a 50mg dose [3]. If you find this dose to be too weak or too strong, it’s important that you talk to your GP or pharmacist.

How long does Viagra Connect take to work?

Viagra Connect usually starts to work within 30 to 60 minutes of taking a tablet and will remain active in your body for up to four hours [1]. For the medicine to work, you need to be sexually stimulated.

Can anything impact the performance of Viagra Connect?

Viagra Connect can be taken with or without food, however the medicine may take longer to start working after a heavy meal [3]. For Viagra Connect to work effectively, it’s advised to avoid heavy alcohol consumption as this can affect your ability to get an erection [3]. 

Other things that could impact the performance of Viagra Connect: [2

  • Not waiting long enough after taking the medication to allow it to work. You need to wait 30 to 60 minutes for Viagra Connect to become effective. 

  • Waiting too long after taking the medication. Viagra Connect can remain active for up to four hours after taking a tablet. It’s important that you don’t take another tablet until the next day. 

  • The 50mg dosage may not be high enough to be effective for you. If you find that this dose doesn’t seem to be effective, speak to your GP or pharmacist about increasing your dosage and other medication options. 

  • Not being sexually stimulated. Taking Viagra Connect alone won’t give you an erection. You need to be sexually aroused for the medication to work.

How long do other erectile dysfunction medications last?

Sildenafil

Sildenafil is the unbranded version of Viagra and is the active ingredient in Viagra Connect. Once you have taken sildenafil, it starts to work within 30 to 60 minutes and will remain active for up to four hours [2].

Cialis

Cialis contains a different active ingredient to Viagra Connect, tadalafil. Cialis usually takes between 30 to 60 minutes to work and can remain active in your system for up to 36 hours [4]. Like other erectile dysfunction medications, Cialis won’t work on its own. You need to be sexually aroused for the medication to be effective.

Tadalafil

Tadalafil is the unbranded version of Cialis and is the active ingredient in this medication. Tadalafil starts to work within 30 to 60 minutes and can remain active for up to 36 hours [4].

Published

February 2022

Next review

February 2024

Reviewed by

Gill Stone MRPharmS

Further reading on erectile dysfunction

Are sildenafil (Viagra Connect) and tadalafil (Cialis) safe to use?

Prescribed and pharmacy erectile dysfunction treatments are generally safe to use for most people, but there can be some risks and side effects to consider. Well Pharmacy is here to support you.

What erectile dysfunction treatments are there?

Find out about some of the common erectile dysfunction treatment options to see what might work best for you.

What causes erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction can have many causes. Learn more about some of the common causes of erectile dysfunction. Well Pharmacy is here to support you.

References

  1. 1.

    Is Viagra Connect right for you? | FAQs | Viagra Connect. Accessed September 18, 2020.

    https://www.viagraconnect.co.uk/you-viagra-connect#viagra-connect-faqs
  2. 2.

    Sildenafil (including Viagra) | Accessed September 29, 2021.

    https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/sildenafil-viagra/
  3. 3.

    Viagra Connect 50 mg film-coated tablets | Accessed September 29, 2021.

    https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.8725.pdf
  4. 4.

    Tadalafil | Accessed February 17, 2022.

    https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/tadalafil