Daily Viagra (sildenafil): how often can you take it?

Yael Cooperman, MD - Contributor Avatar

Reviewed by Yael Cooperman, MD, Ro, 

Written by Michael Martin 

Yael Cooperman, MD - Contributor Avatar

Reviewed by Yael Cooperman, MD, Ro, 

Written by Michael Martin 

last updated: Jan 25, 2024

6 min read

When it comes to getting maximum satisfaction from your sex life, timing can be everything. That's particularly true when you're taking Viagra to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). 

Viagra (sildenafil), the first and most popular prescription medication for ED, has a specific window of about six to eight hours during which it works. If you find that you need to take Viagra daily, it might be time to evaluate if the little blue pill is the right option for you.

Viagra Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.

Ro Sparks: Extra-strength 2-in-1 ED treatment that goes the extra mile. Get started with online visit.

When it comes to getting maximum satisfaction from your sex life, timing can be everything. That's particularly true when you're taking Viagra to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). 

Viagra (sildenafil), the first and most popular prescription medication for ED, has a specific window of about six to eight hours during which it works. If you find that you need to take Viagra daily, it might be time to evaluate if the little blue pill is the right option for you.  

Can I take Viagra every day?

Technically, Viagra, or its generic form, sildenafil, can be taken daily, but it’s not always the best choice. 

Viagra works by opening up your blood vessels and increasing the amount of blood in your penis, making it easier to get an erection. Viagra doesn't work automatically, though: you need to be sexually aroused for it to work. Sexual stimulation tells blood to go to your penis, and Viagra keeps the blood from leaving once it gets there. 

Once you take Viagra, it starts to work within one hour and has a working window of about four hours. This narrow "effectiveness window" requires you to do some planning to sync your medication to your sex life—which isn't always possible or convenient, and if you miss that window, you can't take more Viagra for another 24 hours.

So, if you’ve taken your regular dose of Viagra and you didn’t get the response you wanted or you missed your window, you should wait 24 hours before you take another dose. 

Now that you know a little more about how often you can take Viagra, let’s look at what researchers have found while studying the effects of a daily dose of sildenafil.

Can you take 2 Viagra pills at once? 

You should never take more than the amount of Viagra prescribed to you by your doctor. That said, if your Viagra isn’t working for you, there are a few things to consider. 

  1. Talk to your doctor: The typical starting dose for Viagra is 50 mg, but some people start on even lower doses, and many people find that their starting dose is not enough for them to reliably get an erection. Let your prescribing doctor know your concerns, and if it’s safe for you, they can increase your dose to 100 mg. If you’ve already been prescribed 100 mg, doubling your dose is not an option. Don’t fret, though. There are more things to consider. 

  2. Make sure you’re using it right. Viagra won’t give you an automatic erection––you need to be aroused for it to work. If you’re new to the medication, consider trying it out on your own the first time to understand how it affects you. 

  3. Timing is everything. Viagra has a pretty specific window of effectiveness. It starts to work about an hour after you take it and works for about four hours total. Certain things can affect that timing, though, like the food you eat. Try to avoid heavy meals around the time you take Viagra, as that can delay the onset of the medication. If timing your meds is ruining the fun, consider a faster-acting option like Ro Sparks. These sublingual drops are placed under your tongue and work in about 15 minutes but last for up to 36 hours, which eliminates the need for clock-watching and gives you more opportunities for spontaneous sex. They last so long, you can even go again in the morning.  

Again, it’s important to remember that no matter what treatment you’ve been prescribed, you should never use Viagra more than once in any 24-hour period and can lead to serious side effects, including dangerously low blood pressure and even priapism, which is an erection lasting four hours or longer that requires immediate medical attention. 

Daily sildenafil: what does the research say?

Most men have between three to five erections per night. These nighttime erections aren't just a fact of life—they're an important indicator of blood vessel health and erectile function and also play a crucial role in supplying blood to the penis. However, the ability to get and maintain an erection can decrease with age or with certain medical conditions, like heart disease, diabetes, or nerve problems.  

One group of researchers decided to see how daily treatment with sildenafil might affect a small group of people who had no nighttime erections due to pelvic injuries. They found that once-daily treatment with 50 mg of sildenafil increased the frequency of erections in more than half of the study participants. 

Another clinical trial examined how people with type 2 diabetes responded to treatment with daily sildenafil. Their research showed improved blood flow and stronger erections in the group that received the drug every day for ten weeks. So while daily Viagra isn't currently the traditionally recommended route of treatment, it may be a route worth exploring in future research.

What are the side effects of Viagra?

Viagra is typically safe and effective when taken as directed and with guidance from a healthcare professional. Common side effects include headache, nasal congestion, and flushing. Some people who take this drug report reflux or indigestion. But in general, Viagra is usually well-tolerated. 

The manufacturer of Viagra, Pfizer, warns that it's important to tell your provider about any underlying conditions you have, including heart problems, such as heart failure or a history of heart attack, stomach ulcers, prostate issues, or any history of stroke, as well as any prescription drugs or other treatments you might be taking

When combined with certain drugs, Viagra (sildenafil) can be dangerous or even deadly. A few of these include

  • Antifungal medications like ketoconazole or itraconazole

  • Nitroglycerine

  • The HIV medication ritonavir 

What happens if you take too much Viagra?

Rarely, if you take more than the recommended dose of Viagra, and sometimes even if you take your prescribed dose, you can develop a condition known as priapism, which is an erection that lasts for longer than four hours. Priapism is a medical emergency and can result in serious damage to the delicate structures in your penis, so seek medical attention immediately. 

Rarely, sildenafil can cause eye problems, including blurred vision, changes in color perception, and in extreme cases, even vision loss. Also, too much sildenafil can cause low blood pressure, resulting in dizziness, sudden hearing loss, or even loss of consciousness. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these side effects.

Sildenafil (Generic Viagra)

The “Little Blue Pill” but for up to 95% less

How to determine if daily ED meds are right for you

When determining whether you should take daily ED medication, speak with your healthcare provider about which ED medication is the safest and most effective choice for you. It's helpful to ask yourself the following questions:

How often do you have sex?

If you typically have sex between one and ten times per month, taking Viagra as needed can be a good choice. But if you're having sex more often—say, multiple times a week or even every day—Viagra might be a less favorable option.

Instead, you can ask your healthcare provider about using Cialis (generic name tadalafil). This drug is available in doses that are approved for daily use. Also, while the active window of sildenafil is relatively short, tadalafil works for up to 36 hours after you take it, which can help increase sexual spontaneity. 

If your healthcare provider determines it's appropriate for you, Cialis can be a win-win. But the choice between Cialis and Viagra depends on how you and your partner or partners plan to use the medication.

Cialis Important Safety Information: Read more about serious warnings and safety info.

How much does spontaneity matter?

Because of Viagra's relatively short window of activity, it tends to be an "on-demand" medication—you need to know when sex might be happening and be sure to keep the meds on you so you can take them within a few hours before you plan to have sex. Because it works for a full day to a day-and-a-half, Cialis can accommodate more spontaneity.

Have you experienced side effects from other ED meds?

If you've experienced unpleasant side effects from Viagra, such as headache, nasal congestion, or flushing, taking a lower dose of daily medication might help ameliorate that. Also, you can speak with a healthcare provider about trying other ED drugs.

Do you have any pre-existing conditions, or are you taking any other medications?

Cialis and Viagra aren't safe for everyone. For example, people taking nitrates for a history of heart attack or other heart conditions, or riociguat or Revatio for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension, should never take Viagra. If you're taking alpha-blockers like tamsulosin or prazosin, tell your healthcare provider before starting one of these medications because you may need a lower dose. 

Cialis may not be safe for people who take medications for high blood pressure, an enlarged prostate or for those who consume substantial amounts of alcohol. Also, you should not mix different PDE-5 inhibitors. Don't take Viagra if you're taking Levitra (vardenafil) or Cialis (tadalafil) unless otherwise instructed by your healthcare provider.

If you have more questions about the medications used to treat erectile dysfunction or you need medical advice, speak with your healthcare provider. 

DISCLAIMER

If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.


How we reviewed this article

Every article on Health Guide goes through rigorous fact-checking by our team of medical reviewers. Our reviewers are trained medical professionals who ensure each article contains the most up-to-date information, and that medical details have been correctly interpreted by the writer.

Current version

January 25, 2024

Written by

Michael Martin

Fact checked by

Yael Cooperman, MD


About the medical reviewer

Yael Cooperman is a physician and works as a Senior Manager, Medical Content & Education at Ro.

Save up to 90% with generics

Start now
0