Should You Be Mixing Viagra And Alcohol?

What is Viagra?

Viagra was the first oral medication that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1988, to treat ED. Viagra or sildenafil citrate, is a prescription generic for male sexual problems, like erectile dysfunction (ED). By stimulating the increase in the flow of blood to the penis, viagra helps a man get and keep an erection for a long time. It works by relaxing the muscles in the walls of the blood vessels in certain areas.

The drug viagra also commonly goes by the name Revatio. The chemical messenger in our body, known as cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) dilates our arteries and helps in continuing erections. viagra works by stopping the breakdown of this messenger in the body.

Viagra and alcohol

It’s usually safe to mix viagra and alcohol, in moderation. However, in excess, it might lead to problems. 

Let us first have a look at some important points that you need to remember and take care of when you are drinking alcohol while using viagra:

  • Do not be in a haste, i.e., do not drink too quickly.
  • Drink water, fruit juice, or any other non-alcoholic beverages in between treating yourself with alcohol. This will ensure that you remain hydrated throughout.
  • When you understand that you have reached your limit and you start feeling intoxicated, refrain from drinking any more alcoholic drinks and stick to non-alcohol beverages.
Alcoholic asian man with a lot of beer bottles

Viagra And Alcohol

Mixing viagra and alcohol is not prima facie dangerous, especially when we’re talking about immediate health risks. However, the effects that both alcohol and viagra have on or body separately get combined and is something we need to pay heed to.

Side effects of mixing viagra and alcohol

When alcohol and viagra both are consumed together, it can lead to some unique side effects, which might not be experienced when consuming the two of them individually. These side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Flushing
  • Reduced ability to get aroused
  • Reduction in the ability to achieve and maintain an erection
  • Loss of vision
  • Increased pressure on the eye’s fluids
  • A painful long term erection
  • Loss of hearing

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Does Alcohol reduce the effectiveness of viagra?

The purpose of viagra, i.e. treating erectile dysfunction can be harmed to great extents with the use of alcohol. Let us have a look at how.

  • Since alcohol is a depressant, a high amount of it in the body means a reduction in the flow of blood to the erectile tissue of the penis. Now, you must have understood that the way viagra and alcohol work is, in itself, contradictory to each other. hence, drinking excess alcohol can actually jeopardize the effects of viagra on your body, and you might not be able to get or keep an erection for long when you’re aroused.
  • It affects the testosterone levels on the body. Excess drinking is known to bring down the levels of testosterone in the body. Now, since testosterone is the one hormone that is behind all the sexual activity and erections, the use of alcohol has the potential to reduce the effectiveness of the drug viagra.
  • When you consume viagra, the active ingredient in it, sildenafil, breaks down in the body to reach different parts through the bloodstream. Consuming alcohol can actually reduce the ability of your body to break down this ingredient named sildenafil, which means a lesser amount of it reaching your bloodstream, and hence, reducing the effectiveness of the drug.
  • It poses a threat to the prostate gland, too. Long term use of alcohol has been observed to cause inflammation of the prostate gland in some people, a condition which is closely linked to erectile dysfunction. Mixing viagra with alcohol can lead to increased chances of developing this condition.
  • It worsens the condition and stability of the body. viagra accompanies with it some mild side effects like dizziness, headache, stomach problems, sensitivity to light, etc. 

Now, the excess use of alcohol has the ability to worsen these side effects. For example, if you drink excessive alcohol while you’re already on viagra, you might experience extreme dizziness, rapidly blurred vision, or maybe a fluctuation in your blood pressure as well.

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Alcohol’s effect on Erectile Dysfunction

In a study, it was found that 72 per cent of alcohol-dependent men suffered one or more sexual dysfunctions, like ED, low libido (reduced sexual desire) or premature ejaculation, etc.

However, the comforting news is that this is generally not the trend among men who consume mild to moderate amounts of alcohol. Therefore, when drinking in the right amount, alcohol isn’t supposed to harm any of your sexual experiences, or erections. However, excessive drinking can certainly be harmful and is not advisable if you do not want any side effects on your sexual performance.

In essence, you must understand that one glass of alcohol, while you’re on viagra, is likely to do you no harm. viagra was originally made to treat blood pressure and chest pain. however, it was found to be not very effective in these terms, but a different effect was found among the participants of the clinical trials, which is a significant increase in erections. 

Alcohol is a known cause of erectile dysfunction. Hence, the full benefits of viagra may not be achieved if you’re also consuming excessive alcohol at the same time. If consumed in the rights amounts in moderation, there is no major interaction between viagra and alcohol. 

Whereas excessive alcohol consumption might affect the ability of the drug to work, to great extents. A study revealed no increased risk of blood pressure or dizziness when drinking approx 750 mL of alcohol with viagra. Also, another study showed that there were no increased risks with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 per cent. 

Also, there is no definite answer to the question of how much alcohol is harmful when you are on viagra. It all leads down to your drinking capacity. However, if viagra and alcohol are mixed, even one glass of alcohol can affect your body, some way or the other. hence, it is better to refrain from excessive drinking while you’re on viagra, or not to take viagra after drinking alcohol.