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Viagra® Dosage Guide: What is the Right Viagra Dose for You?

Kristin Hall, FNP

Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP

Written by Our Editorial Team

Last updated 3/12/2021

Struggling to get an erection after taking Viagra? Viagra (sildenafil citrate) is available in three different doses. If you aren’t getting results from your current dose, talk to your healthcare provider to see if switching to a higher dose could help you get and maintain a firmer, better erection. 

And if you’re experiencing side effects from Viagra, your healthcare provider might recommend switching you to a lower dose.  

Available Viagra Dosages

Below, we’ve listed the three available Viagra dosages. We’ve also listed what you can expect with each dosage, from erectile dysfunction treatment benefits to potential side effects.

Viagra 50mg: A “Normal” Viagra Dose

The typical starting dose of Viagra for most patients is fifty milligrams. If you have erectile dysfunction and want to start using Viagra, this is probably the dose that your healthcare provider will recommend and prescribe. 

In clinical trials, 74 percent of men who took a 50mg dose of Viagra experienced improved erections. If you have mild to moderate erectile dysfunction, this dose of Viagra may provide firmer, more reliable, and longer-lasting erections when you’re sexually aroused.

It’s important to remember that Viagra only helps to treat erectile dysfunction when you experience sexual stimulation. Viagra works to improve blood flow to your penis when you are already in the mood. It is not intended to improve your sex drive at any dosage.

Regardless of dosage, Viagra, on average, takes 30 to 60 minutes to start working. If you’ve been prescribed Viagra at a 50mg dose, it’s usually recommended that you take it about one hour before sexual activity. 

It’s possible to experience some side effects from Viagra — the most common ones include facial flushing, an upset stomach, nasal congestion, abnormal vision and headaches. 

For many men, the 50mg dose of Viagra will help provide relief from ED and improvement in sexual performance.

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Viagra 100mg: The Maximum Dose of Viagra

The maximum dose of Viagra approved by the FDA is 100mg, and your healthcare provider may prescribe the 100mg dose if you have problems getting and maintaining an erection with the typical 50mg dose of the medication.

In clinical trials, 82 percent of men who took Viagra at a 100mg dose experienced improved erections. This dosage of Viagra is normally used if you have moderate to severe ED, or if you don’t respond to lower doses of the medication. 

Just like with the 50mg dose, it’s possible to experience side effects from 100mg Viagra, including facial flushing, an upset stomach, nasal congestion, abnormal vision, vasodilation and headaches. 

Even if you’re prescribed the 100mg version of Viagra, you should never take more than 100mg of Viagra in a single day. Exceeding the maximum recommended dosage of Viagra can increase your risk of experiencing cardiovascular side effects from the medication.

Viagra 25mg: The Lowest Dose of Viagra®

At 25mg, this is the lowest FDA-approved dose of Viagra. If you are unable to tolerate a higher dose, your healthcare provider may prescribe you this lower dose. 

For instance, if you’re currently on medications that may reduce PDE5 metabolism, your healthcare provider may determine that it is better for you to be on a lower dose of Viagra.

More specifically, Viagra 25mg may be prescribed for men that use antiretroviral drugs for HIV, alpha-blockers for hypertension or other prescription drugs that can interact with Viagra and cause severe side effects at higher dosages.  

If you are over 65 years old or have liver cirrhosis or severe kidney impairment, your healthcare provider may also start you on the 25mg dose.

How to Find Which Viagra Dose is Right For You

Ultimately, there is no one “right” dose of Viagra. You can work with your healthcare provider to identify the right dose for you, which will be based on factors like your overall health and medical history. 

If you don’t have any health conditions, it is likely that your healthcare provider will start with the 50 mg dose of Viagra and see how it works.

After your first dose, or few doses, your healthcare provider may adjust your Viagra dosage if your starting dose isn’t effective in treating your erectile dysfunction. 

Similarly, if you experience bothersome side effects of Viagra with your starting dose, your medical provider may suggest lowering the dosage. 

Following the medical advice of your healthcare provider is the best way to find an effective dose with minimal side effects.

Frequently Asked Questions About Viagra® Dosages

Is Viagra® Safe to Use More Than Once a Day?

The maximum dosing frequency for Viagra (and generic medication containing sildenafil, like generic Viagra) is one time per day. Viagra is not designed for use more than once per day and can cause a range of health issues if overused. 

How Long Does Viagra® Last?

Viagra lasts for about four hours, although it’s usually recommended to take it about an hour before anticipated sexual activity. We’ve covered this topic in more detail in our guide to how long Viagra and other ED medications last.

Do Lower Doses of Viagra® Stop Working Faster?

Sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra, has a terminal half-life of four hours, meaning it takes four hours for your body to metabolize half of the medication. This half-life does not change at a lower dose, meaning even the 25mg dose of Viagra should last for about four hours.

However, due to the age-related changes in your body, you might notice the effects of the 25mg and 50mg doses of Viagra fading away earlier than the higher 100mg dose. 

If the effects of Viagra don’t last long enough, talk to your healthcare provider about switching to a longer-lasting ED drug such as Cialis® (tadalafil).

Does Age Affect Viagra®?

Age does not generally affect Viagra’s effectiveness. However, if you are older than 65 years old, your healthcare provider may prescribe you a lower dose of Viagra, since there is evidence that after taking Viagra, older men will have higher amounts of it in their blood.

Is Viagra® Affected by Weight?

While obesity and erectile dysfunction do appear to have a positive correlation, Viagra efficacy does not appear to be affected by weight, meaning you shouldn’t need to take a higher dose if you’re tall or have a heady build. 

Most of the time, your healthcare provider will prescribe the 50mg dose of Viagra to start with even if you have an above-average BMI.

Is it Possible to Overdose on Viagra®?

Taking too much Viagra can cause your blood pressure to decrease significantly, which may result in fainting. If you’ve accidentally taken more than the recommended dose of Viagra, seek emergency medical care immediately.

Viagra® Doesn’t Work For Me. Should I Increase the Dosage?

A variety of factors can cause Viagra to not work, from the severity of your erectile dysfunction to other health issues. If the 25 or 50mg dose of Viagra doesn’t work for you, talk to your healthcare provider to see if changing to a higher dose is an option. 

Do not increase your Viagra dosage on your own. Instead, follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider.

Why Won’t My Healthcare Provider Prescribe Viagra?

If your healthcare provider won’t prescribe Viagra for your erectile dysfunction, there is probably a good reason. Viagra may cause a problematic drug interaction if you take certain medications, such as riociguat or nitrates for chest pain. 

Viagra can also cause health problems for people with certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, heart failure, previous heart attack, leukemia, multiple myeloma or sickle cell anemia.

If you also have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), your healthcare provider may prescribe another PDE5 inhibitor, Cialis (tadalafil) instead of Viagra. This is because Cialis is approved for treatment of erectile dysfunction, benign prostatic hyperplasia and pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Learn More About Treating Erectile Dysfunction

Tired of dealing with erectile dysfunction? Viagra is one of four brand-name drugs approved by the FDA to treat ED. The others are Cialis® (tadalafil), Levitra® (vardenafil) and Stendra® (avanafil).

Learn more about different erectile dysfunction medication options. Through Hims, you can meet with a healthcare provider online and, if prescribed, get your prescription Viagra or ED medication delivered to your door.

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This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

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