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Last updated January 3, 2020. 3 minute read

Maximum strength Viagra: What's the highest dose of Viagra?

Viagra (sildenafil) comes in three dosages: 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg. Your healthcare provider will prescribe the dose of Viagra that’s best for you, depending on your medical history and other drugs and supplements you’re currently taking.

Self Written by Michael Martin
Reviewed by Dr. Mike Bohl, MD, MPH

When it comes to medication, more isn’t always better (or more effective). That’s true with Viagra too. It’s totally understandable to be curious about the highest dose of Viagra; we tend to want the most bang for our literal or figurative buck. But cranking your Viagra dose up to 11 isn’t the right choice for every guy. A healthcare provider can help. Read on to see what questions they’ll likely ask.

Vitals

  • Viagra (sildenafil) comes in three dosages: 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg.
  • The most common starting dose of Viagra is 50 mg.
  • Your healthcare provider will prescribe the dose of Viagra that’s best for you, depending on your medical history and other drugs and supplements you’re currently taking.
  • Never take more than one dose of Viagra per day.

What is Viagra?

Viagra is the brand name of sildenafil, an oral medication that is taken to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). It’s one of several drugs known as PDE-5 inhibitors.

How does Viagra work?

Viagra works by blocking cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE-5), an enzyme that ends an erection by making blood flow out of the penis. When PDE-5 is inhibited, levels of a substance called cGMP remain elevated. It relaxes smooth muscle and encourages blood vessels to widen (a process known as vasodilation). That makes blood flow more freely, including to the penis.

Viagra isn’t automatically effective—it won’t give you an automatic erection, regardless of how you feel or where you are. You must be sexually aroused for it to work.

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What’s the highest dosage available?

Brand name Viagra comes in three dosages: 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg. 50 mg is the most commonly prescribed dose (but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for you).

Sildenafil can also be prescribed off-label (as the generic form of a drug called Revatio) in 20 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg, 80 mg, and 100 mg doses.

What determines your prescribed dosage?

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

  • Your age.
  • Your overall and cardiovascular health.
  • Other medical conditions you have. Health conditions such as liver or kidney disease may affect how your body absorbs Viagra, and you may need to take a lower dose. (And people who take medications such as nitrates for heart conditions shouldn’t take Viagra at all.)
  • How you react to the first dose. Some people need a higher or lower dosage of Viagra to see the desired effect. Depending on your medical history, symptoms, and preferences, your doctor may prescribe the lowest dose (25 mg of Viagra or 20 mg of sildenafil) to reduce the risk of side effects. 
  • How often you use the medication. Do you plan to use Viagra every day? A few times a week? Once in a blue-pilled moon? Sexual frequency 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 per day.

Adjusting dosage

If Viagra isn’t working—and you’ve followed all of your doctor’s recommendations —they may prescribe a higher dose or switch you to another 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 on a full stomach. Doing so can slow Viagra’s absorption by the body, resulting in a delayed erection or one that is softer than you’d like.
  • Whether you’ve given Viagra the appropriate amount of time to work. Take it one to three hours before sexual activity.
  • Psychological factors, such as performance anxiety. Read more about that here.

Potential side effects of Viagra

More 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.

Less common side effects of Viagra include priapism (a prolonged erection that won’t go away), heart attack-like symptoms, eye problems such as sudden vision loss, ringing in ears or hearing loss, seizures, or swelling in the extremities.

Viagra isn’t right for everyone. Work with your doctor to ensure Viagra is a safe choice for you. If you’re taking any other medications—like nitrates or alpha-blockers—your doctor may not recommend Viagra. For more information about the risks and benefits of Viagra, see this important safety information.

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, talk to your healthcare provider immediately.