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Last updated: Oct 13, 2022
4 min read

Viagra dosage: what’s the highest available dose

chimene richa

Medically Reviewed by Chimene Richa, MD

Written by Michael Martin

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.

The highest available Viagra dosage is 100 mg, but that doesn’t mean 100 mg is suitable for you. When it comes to medication, more isn’t always better (or more effective). That’s true of Viagra, too. Like any medication, Viagra comes with potential risks, side effects, and contraindications. Depending on your age, health status, lifestyle, and other factors, a healthcare provider will help you find a Viagra dosage that’s safe and effective for you. Continue reading to learn more. 

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What Viagra dosages are available? 

Brand name Viagra (see Important Safety Information) comes in three dosages: 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg. 50 mg is the most commonly prescribed dose (FDA, 2014). 

Sildenafil (see Important Safety Information)  is the active ingredient in Viagra, and the generic version of Viagra is often referred to simply as sildenafil. Sildenafil can be prescribed in 20 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg, 80 mg, and 100 mg doses.

100 mg is the maximum dosage available for Viagra and sildenafil for a reason, and your healthcare provider is unlikely to prescribe more than that for you. 

How does Viagra work?

Viagra, the brand name of sildenafil, is an oral medication used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). It works by opening up the blood vessels that lead to your penis, a process known as vasodilation. That makes blood flow more freely into the penis to make it easier to get and keep an erection firm enough for satisfying sex.

Viagra isn’t a magic pill—it won’t give you an instant erection regardless of how you feel or where you are. The medication requires sexual arousal to work properly. The effects can take up to four hours to kick in, though it usually starts to work within 30 minutes (FDA, 2014).

What determines your prescribed Viagra dosage?

Your healthcare provider will prescribe the dose of Viagra that’s best for you. Their decision depends on many factors, including:

  • Age
  • Heart health
  • Overall health
  • Additional medical conditions—Health conditions such as liver or kidney disease may affect how your body absorbs Viagra, and you may need to take a lower dose. People taking medications such as nitrates for heart conditions shouldn’t take Viagra.
  • Your reaction to the first dose—Some people need a higher or lower dosage of Viagra for the desired effect. Depending on your medical history, symptoms, and preferences, your healthcare provider may start you at the lowest dose (25 mg of Viagra or 20 mg of sildenafil) to reduce the risk of side effects. They may recommend you use it a few times or try it alone before using it with a partner. 
  • How often you plan to use the medication—Do you plan to use Viagra every day? A few times a week? Once in a blue-pilled moon? The frequency of sex may affect what dosage your healthcare provider prescribes. They might also suggest a different medication, such as daily Cialis.

Regardless of the dosage of Viagra you’re prescribed—and this is important—never take more than one dose in a 24-hour period.

How much Viagra should you take the first time?

Your healthcare provider may start you on a lower dose to see how you tolerate the drug before increasing your dose. Remember, more doesn’t necessarily mean better. Even if you don’t get it quite right the first time, your healthcare provider will help you find a dose that’s right for you. 

Adjusting your Viagra dose

If Viagra isn’t working as it should—and you’ve followed all of your provider’s recommendations—they may prescribe a higher dose or switch you to a different medication.

Viagra’s effectiveness can depend on:

  • The dosage you’re originally prescribed—It may or may not have been the right amount for you.
  • Whether you take the drug with a fatty meal—Doing so can slow Viagra’s absorption by the body, resulting in a delayed erection or one that is not as hard as you might like.
  • Whether you’ve given Viagra the appropriate amount of time to work—Take it one to two hours before you plan to have sex.
  • Psychological factors, such as performance anxiety

Viagra side effects

The most common side effects of Viagra include dizziness, headache, flushing, upset stomach or indigestion, increased sensitivity to light, blurred vision, “blue-tinted” vision, a stuffy or runny nose, insomnia, rash, and muscle pain (MedLinePlus, 2018).

Less common side effects of Viagra include priapism (an erection that lasts for more than four hours and won’t go away), heart attack-like symptoms (like pressure in your chest), eye problems such as sudden vision loss, ringing in your ears or hearing loss, seizures, or swelling in the extremities. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

You should never increase your dose, double your dose, or change how you take ED medication without the advice of your healthcare provider. If Viagra isn’t working the way you’d like or you’re experiencing side effects, speak to your healthcare provider. Viagra isn’t right for everyone, and your provider will help you develop a safe and effective erectile dysfunction treatment plan. 

References

  1. MedlinePlus. (2018). Sildenafil. NIH: National Library of Medicine. Retrieved on Oct. 13, 2022 from https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a699015.html 
  2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (2014). Viagra (sildenafil citrate) tablets, for oral use. Retrieved on Oct. 13, 2022 from https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2014/20895s039s042lbl.pdf 

Dr. Chimene Richa is a board-certified Ophthalmologist and Senior Medical Writer/Reviewer at Ro.