What Factors Affect the Speed of Sildenafil and Is it Safe to Take Viagra with Alcohol?

The drug duration and the onset of action can be affected y several factors, including:

  • Alcohol. Alcohol-containing beverages decrease the blood flow to the penis. As a result, it becomes harder to achieve and maintain an erection necessary for sexual intercourse. One glass of good wine or one beer will not decrease the speed of sildenafil, but larger amounts of alcohol will surely slow down the effects of the drug and may even cause adverse reactions making it harder to get an erection;
  • Old Age. Men over 60 report that the drug starts working later because with age the body’s metabolism slows down. However, this means that sildenafil tablets will last longer in older men;
  • Dosage. The dosages may range from 25 mg to 100 mg. The higher dose you take, the more potent and long-lasting effects you will notice. Remember that only a doctor can determine the correct dosage of this generic medication for your case. Do not engage in self-treatment!
  • Heavy foods. If you eat too many fatty foods just before you take a pill, you may need to wait more time until the drug starts working since your body will be busy digesting the food. But if you take the pill on an empty stomach, the onset of action will occur quickly;
  • Drug interactions. Some medications can slow down the speed of the drug. For, example, antibiotic rifampicin can change the speed of the action. Always consult your doctor about any medications you are taking or going to take. This way you can ensure that generic Viagra (Sildenafil) is safe for your body;
  • Health condition. If you any pathological problems with kidney or liver, the medication can last longer. The thing is that the pill will be absorbed by your organism much longer. You should always inform a medical specialist about all medical conditions you have.


Is it Safe to Take Viagra with Alcohol?

Viagra was one of the first FDA-approved oral medications to be offered to men who have erectile dysfunction (ED) and is the most well-known ED drug—think “the little blue pill.” ED is a medical condition in which a man cannot get or maintain an erection long enough to have satisfactory sex. Viagra is still a commonly prescribed treatment for ED, which affects 30 million men, according to the American Urological Association (AUA, 2018).

The active ingredient in Viagra is sildenafil citrate, a type of drug called a phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitor. PDE5 inhibitors help treat ED by relaxing the muscles in the penis to allow for more blood to flow to the area. This increased blood flow enables you to have and maintain a satisfactory erection. Other PDE5 inhibitors used to treat ED include vardenafil (brand name Levitra) and tadalafil (brand name Cialis). Viagra is taken anywhere from 30 minutes to four hours before engaging in sexual activity. The drug alone will not give you an erection—you need to be aroused for the medication to work.

Is it safe to take Viagra with alcohol?

Many men drink alcohol on the days they plan to use Viagra. Alcohol can help you relax, and it decreases inhibitions, etc. As long as you are not drinking excessively (and have cleared it with your healthcare provider), it is likely safe for you to have a glass or two of wine (or the equivalent serving of beer or spirits) while taking Viagra.

However, people who abuse alcohol (more than 15 drinks a week) and take Viagra for recreational (non-medical) purposes may have a higher risk of side effects (Kim, 2019). One study showed that over 45% of men who took Viagra with alcohol for recreational purposes had a higher risk of side effects, including facial flushing, headaches, chest pain, changes in vision, and light headedness (Kim, 2019).

The type of alcohol you drink may matter. A study looking at men who drank red wine and took Viagra showed no clinically significant interaction with the combination (Leslie, 2004). However, if you prefer grapefruit juice with your cocktails, there may be an interaction with the Viagra.

Viagra is broken down by the liver, and grapefruit juice may affect how well the liver can accomplish this. Researchers looked at men who took Viagra with grapefruit juice and found that the combination can increase the amount of the drug circulating in your body (Jetter, 2002). While this is not usually a dangerous outcome, higher levels of Viagra may increase the risk of side effects like headaches, flushing, or low blood pressure. To be safe, you should avoid taking Viagra with grapefruit juice.

Alcohol and ED

ED tends to affect men in older age groups, especially those aged 70 years and over. However, ED does not only happen in old age—it can also occur in younger men. Lifestyle factors can also increase the risk of developing this condition. These include obesity, smoking, lack of physical activity, and excessive alcohol consumption.

viagra with beer

Impotence: how is it different from erectile dysfunction?


A common term for ED after drinking alcohol is “whiskey dick.” The effects of alcohol on a man’s erectile function will vary. In general, alcohol acts as a depressant, meaning that it has a sedating or relaxing effect on the brain and body. While this sounds good, it can also negatively affect some of the pathways involved in sexual arousal, blood circulation, and nerve sensitivity—all of these need to be functioning properly to have a satisfying sexual encounter.

For example, alcohol intoxication can slow the signals between the brain and the penis responsible for getting an erection. Drinking alcohol can also lead to dehydration, which reduces blood flow and impacts your ability to get an erection.

The amount of alcohol you drink matters. Excessive (more than 15 drinks per week) or binge drinking (5 or more drinks on a single occasion) can contribute to ED by affecting the pathways by which nerves and blood vessels allow you to get and maintain an erection. Heavy alcohol use can also decrease your testosterone levels, thereby reducing your sexual desire and ability to have satisfactory sex (Wang, 2018). One study looked at 100 men with diagnosed alcohol abuse disorders and found that over 72% of them had some form of sexual dysfunction, with ED being one of the most common (Benegal, 2007).

Alcohol is not all bad when it comes to ED. One study showed that moderate alcohol use (which they defined as 14.5 drinks per week) was associated with a 34% decreased risk of ED (Wang, 2018). Studies have also found that moderate alcohol consumption of up to two drinks per day could have other health benefits, like raising “good” HDL cholesterol and lowering the risk of diabetes (AHA, 2019). As with many other things in life, moderation is key.

In summary, if you are going to consume alcohol while taking Viagra, be sure to do so responsibly. Limit your alcohol intake to 1–2 drinks per day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a standard drink is one of the following:

  • 12 ounces of beer (5% alcohol content)
  • 8 ounces of malt liquor (7% alcohol content)
  • 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol content)
  • 1.5 ounces or a “shot” of 80-proof (40% alcohol content) distilled spirits or liquor (e.g., gin, rum, vodka, whiskey)

Drink water or nonalcoholic beverages in between the alcoholic drinks to prevent dehydration. Know your limits, and be sure to stop drinking alcohol when you start to feel intoxicated.