The Independent Pharmacy

Use Viagra Safely - What To Expect When Taking For The First Time

Andy Boysan
Andy BoysanBPharmDirector & Superintendent Pharmacist

Reviewed on 2 Jan 2024

Viagra, known generically as sildenafil citrate, is generally considered safe for most adult men when used as directed. However, it’s important to understand critical safety information before taking it for the first time. This includes properly tailoring the dosage, being aware of potential side effects, and knowing when to seek medical advice.

For first-time users, it’s essential to start with the lowest prescribed dose of Viagra on an empty stomach or with a light meal only. Thoroughly reviewing usage directions and safety precautions from a healthcare provider is highly recommended, as is closely monitoring the body’s response and asking additional questions as needed. Taking these precautions helps ensure a safe experience for the majority of men so they can feel empowered to address erectile dysfunction and regain sexual health.

Let's explore what all first-timers should consider regarding safe Viagra usage.

Is Viagra Safe?

Studies show that Viagra is generally safe when used correctly. Most men who take it do not have serious problems. It’s common to worry about side effects. Most men experience only mild issues like a stuffy nose or headache. However, it’s crucial to be aware of more serious effects, even though they are rare.

However, everyone reacts differently based on factors like age, physical health history, and proper dosage. If you have heart problems, high blood pressure, or certain rare eye diseases, you need to be extra careful with Viagra. Doctors may suggest cardiac testing before Viagra use in at-risk patients with erectile dysfunction.

The usual dose of Viagra for treating erection problems is between 25 and 100 milligrams. Starting doses of 25-50 mg are common, ramping up if needed after monitoring tolerance. Always follow your healthcare provider’s exact recommendations.

Preparing for First-Time Use

Consulting an experienced doctor, urologist or knowledgeable healthcare professional is strongly recommended before taking Viagra, especially for first-timers. Be completely transparent about your full medical history, current prescriptions, and any health-related concerns. Get all your questions answered upfront.

Healthcare experts can best assess if Viagra is appropriate and safe for your unique situation. If deemed suitable, they will suggest a tailored starting dose and usage instructions based on a variety of individual factors. These include age, weight, diet, other medications being taken and underlying medical conditions.

For example, medicines for heart problems or chest pain (called nitrates) can dangerously lower your blood pressure if taken with Viagra, making you feel dizzy. Your provider needs full visibility into your health background to advise properly on administration, timing, potential side effects and safety precautions if Viagra is approved.

First-time users should clarify ahead of time what to expect regarding effectiveness timelines, optimal timing with meals, potential impacts of alcohol or other substances, and perfecting sexual stimulation techniques for optimal response. Leaving your initial medical consultation fully prepared and knowledgeable is key.

How to Use Viagra Safely for the First Time

When starting Viagra, adhere strictly to your medical provider’s instructions for timing, dosage, administration with food and other precautions. Never adjust anything without their guidance. Here are some general first-time best practices:

  • Take the initial prescribed dose on an empty stomach about 30-60 minutes before sexual intercourse. Swallow tablets whole without crushing, breaking, or altering form.
  • Be aware effectiveness varies by individual. Educate yourself on the onset timeline, which can take from 30 minutes up to 2 hours.
  • Note that Viagra is not a magic pill. Sexual stimulation is still required to trigger chemical responses like increased blood flow. Work closely with your partner.
  • Avoid potentially dangerous interactions by not mixing Viagra with nitrates, “poppers,” alpha-blockers (medications for blood pressure and prostate issues), blood thinners and some other substances without medical supervision.

If you find the side effects too uncomfortable, or if Viagra doesn’t seem to work as expected, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider. They’re there to help and make adjustments for your comfort and safety. Adjustments in dose or frequency may be required, along with additional safety precautions tailored to you.

What Happens When You Take Viagra for the First Time?

When taking Viagra for the first time, be aware it takes time to move through your system and begin working. After swallowing the tablet, you can expect:

  • Within 30-60 minutes: Effects start as Viagra enables improved blood flow to the penis. For many first-timers, noticeable penile erection firmness may take closer to 60 minutes.
  • Peak erection potential: Most users reach maximum erection hardness and full effect after 1-2 hours. Benefits may last for up to 4 to 6 hours or longer depending on dose, diet and other personal factors.
  • Maintenance with continued arousal: Remember sexual stimulation is still required to trigger ongoing chemical responses for sustained erections. Continue foreplay, intimacy and stimulation with your partner throughout the activity.
  • Potential side effects: Most common when starting out are facial flushing, headaches, stomach upset or visual changes like temporary blurred vision or blue tinge in your sight.

Stay in touch with your medical provider, notify them of any dangerous effects and follow guidance for any dose adjustments.

Does Viagra Work Every Time?

Viagra is effective for most men, but results can vary even from dose to dose based on individual differences. Studies show that 70% of men taking Viagra saw improved erections versus 18% taking a placebo. Factors impacting effectiveness include:

  • Dosage amount and adherence: Work closely with your provider to tailor the right dose for reliable results. Always adhere strictly to medical guidance.
  • Health changes: Health issues such as diabetes, nerve problems, or heart disease can affect how well Viagra works for you. Track changes through checkups.
  • Substance interactions: Alcohol, recreational drugs, and some medications can interfere with effectiveness.
  • Food and timing factors: Taking on a very full stomach or too soon before intimacy can impede results.

While Viagra may not work identically every single time, sticking closely to medical advice typically ensures a high rate of success. Inform your provider promptly about any consistency issues so adjustments can be made. Consistency generally improves with experience using Viagra properly.

Recognising and Understanding Potential Side Effects

When starting with Viagra, be aware of potential temporary side effects. The most common and mild side effects include:

  • Headache, flushing, stomach upset
  • Runny stuffy nose
  • Muscle pain, blurred vision
  • Temporary blue/green colour blindness
  • Sensitivity to light or blurred vision

Rarer, more serious side effects requiring prompt medical attention include:

  • Vision or hearing loss
  • Painful erection lasting over 4 hours
  • Irregular heartbeat, chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Nausea, numbness or tingling

If you experience any negative effects, document details to review with your provider to determine the next steps and whether dose adjustments may be advised. Most tolerate Viagra well, but being attuned to your body is vital.

Safety Tips for First-Time Users

When trying Viagra for the first time:

  • We know it might be tempting to adjust the dose, but sticking to your prescribed dosage and following medical guidance is the safest way to minimise risks. Never alter medication amounts or frequency without consulting your provider.
  • Take on an empty stomach when possible for faster absorption. Meals can delay effectiveness.
  • Stay well hydrated and avoid consuming alcohol, which can exacerbate side effects.
  • Be patient through the onset period, which may take 1-2 hours to peak erection potential after the dose.
  • Have your partner handy for stimulation. Viagra enables erections but arousal is still needed.
  • Quit use and seek emergency care if you experience sudden vision changes, ringing in ears, chest pain, shortness of breath or other concerning symptoms.

While Viagra is well tolerated by most, adhering closely to usage instructions tailored for first-timers based on medical consultation helps ensure optimal safety.

Addressing Common Concerns and Misconceptions

There are some common questions and misconceptions to be aware of as a Viagra first-timer:

Does Viagra always cause erections?

No, it enhances blood flow when combined with arousal to enable erections when sexually stimulated, but does not spontaneously trigger them.

Can Viagra impact my heart?

For most healthy adults, it is generally safe. However, for those with certain heart conditions, high blood pressure or nitrate medications, it can be risky, so medical advice is essential.

Will effects last for days?

No, while the window of boosted sexual performance can span 4-5 hours after taking a dose, effects taper off rather quickly after that point. Use is targeted to intimacy timeframes.

Does Viagra make you bigger?

No. While Viagra facilitates improved blood flow for firmer erections during sexual arousal, it does not permanently increase either flaccid or erect penis size. Effects wear off hours after dosing.

Can I cut Viagra in half?

No. Breaking, splitting or cutting Viagra tablets alters the intended medicinal dosing and can increase your risks of side effects. Always swallow the full dose tablet whole with water according to medical guidance.

Does Viagra damage sperm?

Based on current research, there is no evidence that Viagra negatively impacts sperm production, quality, fertility or DNA integrity in healthy men. However, more studies are needed.

Can guys finish on Viagra?

Rest assured, Viagra does not impair the ability to orgasm or ejaculate. You can proceed to climax and ejaculate as normal while experiencing the erection benefits of Viagra.

Addressing these common areas of confusion with your doctor can help ensure your first Viagra experience unfolds smoothly and safely so that you know what to expect moving forward as well.

Seeking Professional Medical Advice

Consulting an experienced healthcare provider before starting Viagra is key, especially when using it for the first time. Be completely transparent with your doctor or urologist regarding:

  • Full medical history, including conditions like diabetes, hypertension, vision issues etc.
  • All medications/supplements currently taking (prescriptions, over-the-counter, herbal etc.)
  • Lifestyle factors like smoking, recreational drug use or drinking alcohol.

This comprehensive picture will allow them to best assess if Viagra is indicated and appropriate for your situation. If so, they can guide suitable starting doses, administration tips, what to expect, and monitoring for safety.

First-timers should schedule regular check-ins with their provider after starting Viagra as well. Keep them informed about experienced effectiveness, side effects tolerance and any concerns for subsequent dosage adjustments tailored to you.

Take the Next Step with The Independent Pharmacy

Now that you have helpful information about safely starting Viagra, it’s time to take action if you’ve been experiencing erectile dysfunction symptoms. The Independent Pharmacy provides an easily accessible online platform to get assessed, prescribed and delivered the medications you need.

Our process starts with a short medical questionnaire to evaluate your health, symptoms and needs. Our experts can determine if Viagra is the right fit and provide advice tailored to first-time users. Prescriptions come with dosage guidance to follow based on your situation.

The Independent Pharmacy offers convenient home delivery right to your doorstep. Our discreet packaging and personalised support, from anti-counterfeiting checks to reminders about refills, make it effortless to start addressing erection problems. We take your comfort and satisfaction seriously.

Visit The Independent Pharmacy’s website or contact us today to get started on safe, customised treatment of erectile dysfunction. Feel empowered to take control of your sexual health through our compassionate, discreet service. It’s easier than ever to access information and medication that could significantly improve your most intimate moments.

FAQs

Is Viagra harmful in the long run?

According to current research, Viagra appears safe for ongoing use in healthy men if taken as directed. One 4-year clinical study saw low rates of serious cardiovascular problems in subjects using Viagra. However, risks may be higher for those with certain pre-existing medical conditions.

Does Viagra keep you hard after ejaculation?

No, Viagra facilitates improved blood flow for firmer erections during sexual arousal and activity. But effects wear off shortly after orgasm and ejaculation occur. It does not keep you erect for longer than normal after finishing.

At what age might men consider using Viagra?

While Viagra can be effective from 18 years onwards, most users are older men experiencing erection health changes around 40-65 years old. Consulting a doctor for guidance around this age is advised if experiencing consistency or firmness issues during arousal. However, Viagra can be prescribed to adult men of any age over 18, depending on their health condition and doctor’s assessment.

Can Viagra affect heart health?

In healthy men, Viagra is generally safe for the heart when taken in proper doses. However, for those with pre-existing heart disease, high blood pressure or on nitrate drugs, there could be higher risk factors. Always consult your doctor first about cardiac impacts.

Who should avoid using Viagra?

Those with severe cardiovascular issues, at high cardiac risk, taking nitrates or blood pressure medications may be advised to avoid Viagra due to potentially serious adverse effects. Individuals with liver or kidney disease often require dose adjustments as well.

Sources:

How and when to take sildenafil - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Who can and cannot take sildenafil - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Side effects of sildenafil - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Sildenafil (Viagra): medicine for erection problems - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

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