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Last updated December 26, 2019. 3 minute read

What is the right Viagra dose for you?

Viagra (sildenafil citrate) is prescribed in three doses for erectile dysfunction (ED): 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg. A healthcare provider can determine the best dosage for you, depending on your medical history and the medications and supplements you’re currently taking.

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

Viagra is the brand name of sildenafil, an oral medication for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). It’s part of a group of drugs known as PDE-5 inhibitors. It’s the first oral medication that was FDA approved for the treatment of ED, and it was released by Pfizer in 1998.

Vitals

  • Viagra (sildenafil citrate) is prescribed in three doses for erectile dysfunction (ED): 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg.
  • 50 mg is the most common.
  • A healthcare provider can determine the best dosage for you, depending on your medical history and the medications and supplements you’re currently taking.
  • Always talk with a healthcare provider before starting Viagra or changing your recommended dose.

How does Viagra work?

Viagra works by blocking cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE-5), an enzyme that causes an erection to subside by encouraging blood to flow out of the penis. When PDE-5 is inhibited, levels of cGMP remain elevated, which relaxes smooth muscle and encourages blood vessels to widen (a process known as vasodilation). That makes blood flow more freely to the penis, improving erectile function.

Sildenafil is also sold as a drug for high blood pressure called Revatio, although the doses of Revatio are different.

Viagra should be taken one to four hours before sexual activity. You must feel sexually aroused for it to help produce an erection.

Which Viagra dose is right for me?

Brand name Viagra is available in three dosages: 25mg, 50mg, and 100mg.

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

Viagra 50 mg is the most common starting dose. 100 mg is the maximum dose available.

Your healthcare provider will prescribe the dose that’s best for you. The dosage prescribed often depends on:

  • Your age
  • Your overall and cardiovascular health
  • Other medical conditions you have
  • How you react to the first dose
  • How often you use the medication

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Why does Viagra come in different dosages?

The goal of ED medication is to find the least amount of medication that provides a satisfactory erection. The goal is not to find the highest dose of Viagra you can handle, but to find a dose that is safe and effective.

Certain health conditions may impact your ability to absorb Viagra. Those include liver or kidney disease. If you have those conditions, you might need a smaller dose to take Viagra safely.

Some medications can cause dangerous drug interactions with Viagra. People who are taking nitrates for certain heart conditions and riociguat for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension should never take Viagra. For more information about the risks and benefits of taking Viagra, see this important safety information.

ED meds aren’t one-size-fits-all. Different guys have different needs. Talk with your healthcare provider about your expectations for Viagra, and be honest about how you and your partner plan to use it. Bring answers to these questions:

  • How many times a week are you planning to have sex?
  • Are you willing to take Viagra at the appropriate time for the medication to work effectively?
  • Are you concerned about any side effects?

For some guys, 25 mg of Viagra is all they need to have a great experience. Others have to take the maximum dose (100 mg) to achieve the same result. Work with your doctor to find the right dose based on your expectations, medical history, and symptoms, and report any side effects.

And above all—be honest about your medical history and always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. Don’t change your dose without talking to your healthcare provider. More Viagra doesn’t always mean a stronger erection. In fact, higher doses can come with more frequent side effects.

Potential side effects of Viagra

Common side effects of Viagra include dizziness, headache, flushing, upset stomach or indigestion, abnormal vision (such as increased sensitivity to light, blurred vision, or blue-tinted vision), nasal congestion or runny nose, back pain, 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 such as chest pain, eye problems such as sudden vision loss, ringing in ears or hearing loss, seizures, or swelling in the extremities. (If you experience any of these, you should seek medical advice right away.)

Read more about Viagra’s potential side effects, and everything you’ve ever wanted to know about erectile dysfunction.