How to Take Viagra ?

Viagra is an oral medication that comes in pill form. In the U.S., it’s prescribed as needed to men with ED.

As-needed Viagra is taken before sex, so you’ll need to do some planning. Be sure to take Viagra one hour (but no more than four hours) before you plan to engage in sexual activity.

Also, you can take it on an empty stomach or with food, though if you’re hitting up a burger joint, know it may take Viagra longer to kick in when taken with fatty foods. For more tips, check out our blog on how to take sildenafil citrate (Viagra).

When you filled your prescription, the pharmacist probably gave you a quick rundown of the basics, which probably included a fair amount of confusing medical jargon. We’re here to break it down for you, so you know exactly how to take sildenafil for erectile dysfunction.

To start, there are typically three dose strengths of sildenafil that healthcare providers will prescribe, based on your needs — 25mg, 50mg and 100mg. For most patients, the recommended dose of sildenafil is 50mg taken as needed, approximately one hour before sexual stimulation. Hims now offers a sildenafil chew at different dosages allowing you to take sildenafil as-needed to suit your sex life.

Based on the effectiveness and ability to tolerate the drug, your healthcare professional may adjust the dosage up to 100mg or down to 25mg.

It is important to note here that the maximum dose per day is 100mg of sildenafil, so don’t take another 100mg if the first isn’t working the way it should.

How to Take Sildenafil With Food

Before popping that little blue pill, there are a few things you should know.

Sildenafil does not protect you from STIs. Therefore, you should always practice safe sex and wear a condom.

You can take sildenafil with food or on an empty stomach. However, avoid high-fat foods, high-fat meal can block the absorption of sildenafil citrate and can make the drug less effective for your erection.

If you do plan to eat a meal before taking sildenafil, make sure to have it as your breakfast or lunch. That way, it gives your body time to digest the food, making it quick and easier for sildenafil to absorb into the bloodstream.

Grapefruit juice may also impede or delay the absorption of sildenafil in the body. Make sure to seek medical advice from a healthcare provider about eating grapefruit and drinking grapefruit juice while taking sildenafil.

Professional information for Viagra

The following information is provided for clinicians and other healthcare professionals.


Viagra is approved to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) in males ages 18 years and older.


Viagra is taken orally. It should be taken between 30 minutes and 4 hours before planned sexual activity.

Viagra Mechanism of action

Viagra contains sildenafil citrate, an inhibitor of phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5). Viagra enhances the action of cyclic GMP, which is released in the penis in response to sexual stimulation. Cyclic GMP dilates smooth muscle in the penile tissue. It also increases blood to flow into the corpus cavernosum, causing an erection.

Viagra blocks PDE5 from breaking down cyclic GMP, thereby improving the ability to achieve and maintain an erection in response to sexual stimulation.

Pharmacokinetics and metabolism

Sildenafil has an average bioavailability of 41% (ranges from 25% to 63%) after oral administration of Viagra tablets.

When taken on an empty stomach, the time to reach peak plasma concentration (Tmax) is approximately 30 to 120 minutes. The median Tmax is 60 minutes. Taking Viagra with a high-fat meal delays Tmax by about 60 minutes. It also reduces the maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) by an average of 29%.

Sildenafil is primarily metabolized by hepatic CYP3A4, to a metabolite with similar activity to sildenafil. Sildenafil and its active metabolite have a terminal half-life of approximately 4 hours.

Approximately 80% of the dose is excreted in feces, and approximately 13% is excreted in urine.

Reduced clearance of sildenafil is seen in people ages 65 years and over, and in those with hepatic impairment or severe renal impairment.


Viagra is contraindicated in people with a known allergy to sildenafil, or any of the inactive ingredients in Viagra.

Viagra is also contraindicated for use in combination with:

  • nitrate drugs in any form, such as:
    • nitroglycerin (Nitromist, Nitro-Dur, Nitrolingual Pumpspray, Gonitro, others)
    • isosorbide mononitrate (Monoket)
  • guanylate cyclase stimulators, such as riociguat (Adempas)


Store Viagra at room temperature between 68oF and 77°F (20oC and 25°C).