How Much Sildenafil Is Too Much?
Reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Kleenex, Band-Aid, Viagra®. What do these three have in common? They’re arguably the most commonly known brand names of facial tissues, adhesive bandages and erectile dysfunction (ED) medications, respectively.
We’d bet money you’ve heard of Viagra. Okay, maybe not that much money — but as one of the safest and most effective ED medications approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), Viagra is a relatively popular treatment choice.
But some men are disappointed because the well-known “little blue pill” gives you only one reliable session a day. After that, you have to wait ’til the clock runs out before popping another one — and that’s a bummer with a capital B.
So, what about taking more than the recommended dose of Viagra to increase sexual activity? How much Viagra is too much (asking for a friend, of course)? Let’s find out.
How Much Viagra Is Too Much?
How much is too much, and what happens if you take too much Viagra? But first, what exactly is this ED drug, and how much is a typical dose of Viagra?
While it may be embarrassing to talk about, erectile dysfunction actually affects 30 million men of all ages and backgrounds in the U.S. There can be several causes of ED, from medical conditions like heart disease or diabetes to mental health and lifestyle factors.
The most common ED treatments — and the class of drugs Viagra belongs to — are PDE5 inhibitors (short for phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors). These medications increase blood flow to the tissue inside your penis, which makes it easier to get an erection from sexual stimulation.
Beyond erectile dysfunction treatment, there are several other Viagra uses. Sildenafil is a prescription drug also used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension, a type of high blood pressure that affects blood vessels in your lungs.
Sildenafil is the active ingredient in the medication and the name for generic Viagra. Viagra and Revatio are the drug’s brand names.
Whether you use sildenafil or Viagra, take a 100-milligram sildenafil dose or a 20-milligram sildenafil dose, the effects of sildenafil won’t just give you an erection when you don’t want one. The drug kicks in and works specifically with the help of sexual stimulation.
But what if you’re prescribed a lower dose and it’s not working? How much Viagra is too much? Can you take two Viagra pills at once?
How Often Can You Take Sildenafil (Viagra)?
If you take sildenafil in the morning, can you take another Viagra pill in the evening? Maybe, but taking it more than once a day (within a 24-hour period) is not recommended. On average, Viagra lasts between three and five hours.
So, a morning session and evening session may not be in the cards for you on sildenafil. We have a more detailed guide on how to take sildenafil if you were about to look up “How often can you take sildenafil?”
Another thing to know about Viagra? Popping one pill doesn’t instantly make you ready for any sexual activity (a bit disappointing, we know).
For best results, take Viagra or sildenafil 30 to 60 minutes before sex on an empty stomach — but not more than three or four hours before sexual activity. Our guide on how to take Viagra goes more in-depth on how to make sure this medication is working efficiently.
It’s also worth noting that taking a higher dose of sildenafil won’t help with arousal issues during sexual intercourse. If you ever find yourself in that situation, here’s what to do if Viagra doesn’t work.
ED treatments, delivered
No matter the treatment plan, the best place to start is somewhere.
What Happens If You Take Too Much Viagra?
While you may think that taking more than your prescribed dose of sildenafil could increase the firmness of your erection or make you last longer, that’s not true.
So before you go off and ask Google, “Can I take 150 mg of sildenafil?” you should know that taking more than the recommended dose could lead to serious side effects.
Common side effects of Viagra include various things with a range of severity:
These side effects are typically mild. But although “double the pills, double the pleasure” might seem like a good idea, exceeding the maximum dose of sildenafil within 24 hours comes with risks.
Taking too much Viagra can also lead to a more serious condition called priapism. This is essentially an erection that lasts longer than usual and can cause permanent damage to your penis. Seek medical advice from a healthcare professional if this happens.
Some medications for heart conditions or chest pain, such as nitroglycerin and other nitrates, can also have dangerous interactions with Viagra and cause your blood pressure to drop too low.
Beyond the usual risk of side effects that can happen with any medication, there are other Viagra warnings you should be aware of, such as drug interactions with alpha-blockers and cardiovascular risks.
The Bottom Line: How Much Viagra Is Too Much
Erectile dysfunction can undoubtedly be a hindrance to a satisfying sex life.
Viagra is an efficient treatment for ED, but how much Viagra is too much? What happens if you take too much Viagra?
Here’s what to keep in mind:
Viagra or sildenafil, the active ingredient and generic version, is a PDE-5 inhibitor that widens blood vessels inside the penis to allow better blood flow for stronger or longer-lasting erections.
Most often, Viagra is prescribed in one of three doses: 25, 50 or 100 milligrams. A healthcare provider will prescribe a dose based on the severity of your ED, your medical history and other factors. Take your prescribed dosage of Viagra only once a day and no more than once in 24 hours.
Exceeding the recommended dosage can increase the risk of side effects like dizziness, headaches, blurred vision, low blood pressure and a condition called priapism (an erection lasting more than four hours).
Sildenafil or Viagra are probably the most well-known erectile dysfunction treatments available. ED can be embarrassing, but the temptation to take more than the maximum dose of sildenafil in 24 hours shouldn’t outweigh the risks of adverse effects.
Talk to a healthcare professional for more information about Viagra.
There are also other effective ED treatments, such as Cialis®, tadalafil (generic for Cialis) and Stendra® (brand-name avanafil). These are available from Hims as oral tablets or chewable ED meds in the form of hard mints.