Logo

Blog

All

Skin

Hair

Sex

  • sex

All you need to know about Viagra and alcohol

Aysha

Medically reviewed on April 19, 2020

by Dr. Aysha Butt, Medical director

Dr. Aysha Butt is the Medical Director of FROM MARS, and is a GP Partner at Woodcote NHS Medical Practice.... read more

For many people, alcohol and sex go together.

And you know what, we get it. Alcohol can lower your inhibitions and make you feel less anxious and more confident. It can put you in the mood for sex. Perfect. But can you still drink alcohol if you take Viagra, and if you do, is it dangerous? Here’s all you need to know about Viagra and alcohol.

Does alcohol cause erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is when a man can’t get or keep an erection that’s firm enough for sex. Alcohol is often said to cause erectile dysfunction as too much of it can decrease blood flow to your penis.

There is also the possibility that alcohol could counter the effects of Viagra. Viagra makes it easier to get an erection, alcohol makes it harder, so it makes sense that the two cancel each other out. But is this true?

Well, there’s been no specific research that definitively says alcohol can stop Viagra from working, but there is plenty of research on the effects of alcohol on men’s erections.

First off, research shows that regularly drinking large amounts of alcohol can make ED more likely. Over time, alcohol can even damage the nerves and blood vessels in your penis, meaning that heavy drinkers can even find it hard to get an erection when they’re sober. But this is alcohol abuse. What if you’re not a heavy drinker? What if you want to drink a few beers over the course of the evening, and then pop a Viagra when you get home?

Well, here the research gets a little more interesting. When men drink less alcohol, the effects aren’t so clear cut. Some studies show that drinking low to moderate amounts of alcohol does make it more difficult to get an erection, but others found a small amount of alcohol can actually help men get erections.

Confused? We don’t blame you. But this is a reminder that life is complicated, and things are rarely simple, especially where our bodies are concerned.

Can Viagra and alcohol interact?

Sometimes alcohol can interact with other drugs, changing the way they work, and making side effects more likely. So is this the case with Viagra?

Both alcohol and Viagra can lower your blood pressure, so drinking with Viagra may make certain side effects more likely, like dizziness, fainting, headaches, and heart palpitations. You should be aware of these side effects and be careful when getting up from sitting or lying down. 

So can I drink alcohol with Viagra?

Although there isn’t conclusive research on this, drinking heavily with Viagra sounds like a bad idea. Drinking large amounts of alcohol will likely make it harder for you to get an erection, potentially wiping out the benefit of Viagra. It may also make the side of effects of Viagra worse.

Drinking small to moderate amounts of alcohol is less clear cut. You’ll likely get the most out of Viagra if you stay sober, but if you really want to drink some alcohol with Viagra, then it’s probably best to be cautious. If you’re new to Viagra, try taking it a few times without alcohol to see how you react to the meds. Then if you want to take it with alcohol, you could introduce it slowly, as little as possible at first, so you can see if the Viagra and alcohol interact for you.

Don't forget you can always talk to our doctors and get their advice on taking Viagra with alcohol.

Can I drink alcohol and take Cialis or Levitra?

There’s no conclusive research that shows alcohol has a different effect with Cialis and Levitra than it does with Viagra, so the same advice also applies to these ED meds. Don’t drink to excess, but if you drink a small amount you’ll probably be fine. Introduce the alcohol slowly until you’re confident the two work together for you.

Will food stop Viagra from working?

Food, especially high-fat food, can slow down how quickly Viagra is absorbed into your system. If you take Viagra with a meal, take it two hours before you want to have sex, rather than one hour.

When should I take Viagra for the best results?

Most importantly, always take your Viagra as prescribed. In most cases you will swallow a Viagra pill with water one hour before you want to have sex. After you’ve taken it, you need to be aroused for Viagra to take effect, so do whatever turns you on. You’ll probably see the best results if you take Viagra without food and alcohol too.

Chances are you’ll get the most out of Viagra if you take it without any alcohol. You may find a small amount of alcohol has no effect though, but everyone responds to alcohol and Viagra differently, so caution is the best approach. Try to drink as little as possible, especially until you know how you react to Viagra and alcohol when you take them together.