Can Viagra and Alcohol be Combined? – What You Need to Know

Posted May 6, 2020 by Clint Kelly - See Editorial Guidelines

It is estimated that nearly 18 million men over the age of 20 in the United States suffer from some form of erectile dysfunction. Many medications are available in the United States to treat this condition, though.

Viagra may be the most popular and widely used drugs to treat erectile dysfunction. However, combining Viagra and alcohol may have some negative effects.

Viagra and Alcohol: Alcohol is often associated with intimate settings, whether that is a glass of wine or mixed drink. However, combining alcohol and Viagra together may prove to do more harm than good. Alcohol may prevent Viagra from doing its job, as it is a depressant. Both Viagra and alcohol lower blood pressure, so combining them puts you at an increased risk of your blood pressure dropping too low.

Now that you have a brief understanding of if Viagra and alcohol can be combined, here is everything you should know.

What is Viagra?

Viagra (sildenafil citrate) is one of the most widely used erectile dysfunction prescription drugs. Viagra works by

Can Viagra and Alcohol be Combined

blocking phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5). PDE5 is an enzyme that can block or diminish blood flow to the penis during an erection.

Therefore, Viagra helps increase the blood flow to the penial region to allow a male to get and keep an erection.

This medication is known for its blue pill, and it starts working within 30-60 minutes after taking it.

Alcohol and Erectile Dysfunction

Many people may enjoy an alcoholic beverage before intimate encounters, as it can help lower one’s nervousness. However, alcohol may be one reason that an individual experiences erectile dysfunction.

Since alcohol is a depressant, if you consume too much alcohol, it can decrease one’s desire and excitement. Not only this, but alcohol can also decrease the blood flow to the penis. One of the reasons why blood flow is reduced to this region has to do with dehydration. Alcohol can cause dehydration, which then leads to decreased blood volume.

Studies suggest that chronic consumption of alcohol can increase the risk of a person having long-term sexual problems, including erectile dysfunction. Long-term alcohol consumption can cause damage to the nervous system, which can then lead to ED. In some cases, there can be permanent damage to the nerves of the penis.

Alcohol can also affect hormones. This means that a man may experience a decreased production of testosterone and increased production of estrogen in some cases. Unbalanced hormones may be one contributing factor of ED. However, just having lower levels of testosterone from alcohol use can lead to an overall decrease in sex drive.

Is it Safe to Mix Viagra and Alcohol?

The safety of mixing Viagra and alcohol depends on how much alcohol you consume.

Can Viagra and Alcohol be Combined

Light to moderate consumption of alcohol should not have a negative effect when consumed with Viagra. So, if you just have one glass of wine before taking Viagra, then you should not notice any impact on how the medication works. However, drinking more than two alcoholic beverages just before taking Viagra may be counterproductive.

Since alcohol can reduce blood flow, it is doing the exact opposite of what Viagra is meant to do. Thus, being counterproductive and making it more difficult to get and keep an erection.

Combining Viagra and alcohol may also lead to decreased blood pressure. Both of these substances lower blood pressure on their own. So, combining them has the potential to cause your blood pressure to drop too low. Symptoms of low blood pressure include dizziness, light-headedness, fainting, headache, and heart palpitations.

Your sensitivity to alcohol may also play a role in how alcohol affects Viagra. If you have a low tolerance, then you may have an increased likelihood that you will not experience the full effect of Viagra when mixed with alcohol.

Alcohol may also make it more difficult for your body to breakdown the main active ingredient in Viagra (sildenafil). This means the active ingredient is not being fully absorbed into your bloodstream, making it less effective.

There is a chance that drinking a moderate amount of alcohol can worsen the side effects of Viagra. Side effects of Viagra include:

  • Headache
  • Flushing
  • Upset stomach
  • Changes in vision
  • Muscle and back pain
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Rash
  • Runny or stuffy nose

Does the Type of Alcohol Matter?

The type of alcohol should not matter in this case. When combining Viagra and alcohol, the most significant key point is to avoid heavy drinking. Again, one to two glasses of wine is generally considered a safe boundary.

When comparing types of alcohol and their servings sizes, here’s a good rule of thumb to follow: 5 ounces of wine is equivalent to 12 ounces of beer, which is also equivalent to 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.

So, in order to ensure that Viagra works effectively, avoid consuming more than 2 servings of any type of alcohol.

Long-Term Effects of Mixing Viagra and Alcohol

Long-term use and abuse of alcohol has been linked to inflammation of the prostate gland (prostatitis). And prostatitis has been linked to erectile dysfunction. So, mixing Viagra and alcohol together for a long period can lead to an increased chance of not just prostatitis, but also ED.

Use of alcohol over the long-term can also have an impact on a man’s testosterone levels. It can lower the production of testosterone and increase estrogen production in males. This, again, becomes counterproductive to what Viagra is working to accomplish.

Conclusion

Ultimately, combining Viagra and alcohol is safe for the most part. However, taking Viagra apart from alcohol will be the safest method. Your tolerance and sensitivity to substances will need to be taken into consideration if you are taking Viagra with alcohol. Always consult your doctor for farther advice and any questions you may have.

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