Viagra Interaction: with Alcohol, Food and Other Medications

Learn more about how Viagra interacts: with alcohol drinks, food, other medications and drugs. What you should avoid while taking Viagra? Safe ways to use sildenafil pills.

Countless numbers of men suffer from erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives. In fact, studies suggest that approximately half of all men experience ED. It’s just as common as heartburn and indigestion.
Despite this, a certain stigma remains attached to the condition, and many men are reluctant to discuss erectile problems with their doctor.

However, modern medicine provides us with a number of different treatments to combat ED. The most popular is a compound called Sildenafil citrate, which is more commonly known as Viagra.

Who Can Use Viagra Pills?

Viagra can be used by men of all ages in order to alleviate the physical symptoms of erectile dysfunction. An oral dose of Viagra functions by relaxing muscle cell walls, thus allowing blood to flow more freely to the penis to achieve an erection.

Viagra can also be used to treat pulmonary hypertension. In fact, the drug was first developed for this purpose. During trials, many men noticed that one of the main side effects was the ability to achieve and maintain an erection. The drug has been marketed as such ever since, although it does have a number of different ‘off-label’ properties, too.
Viagra Interaction: with Alcohol, Food and Other Medications

Interaction of Viagra

With Alcohol Drinks

Health professionals advise that alcohol should, in general, be avoided while using Viagra and similar compounds. Although it is possible to have one or two drinks, it is best to err on the side of caution. The side effects of alcohol are similar to those of Viagra in many respects, and combining the two can increase the risk of experiencing unpleasant headaches, flushes, fainting and more.

May I Drink Wine or Beer While Taking Viagra?

Wine and BeerDoctors recommend that no more than one or two units of alcohol are consumed while taking Viagra, which means no more than a glass or two of wine or beer. It’s understandable that alcoholic drinks can be part and parcel of the dating process, but it’s wise not to go too overboard – particularly if you are taking Viagra for the first time.

The answer to the question “can you take Viagra with alcohol” is quite simply “everything in moderation”. If you can avoid it you should – try not to mix the two.

With Food

You may be wondering should you take Viagra with food – the answer is to avoid taking it on a full stomach if possible. Fatty foods and food rich in protein will mean that Viagra takes longer to work. Viagra us absorbed via the stomach, and with a full stomach, the drug has to “queue” while your body digests the meal, which will delay the time and potentially the effectiveness of a Viagra dose.

A qualified medical professional will be able to provide more concise directions regarding food and Viagra tailored to your requirements.

Should I Take It on Full or Empty Stomach?

You should aim to take Viagra on an empty stomach where feasible. The drug will function more effectively in these circumstances and will last for upwards of 2 hours.

Avoid Greasy Foods

Greasy FoodsIf you’re wondering should you take Viagra with food, the good news is that you don’t have to starve – however, you should aim not to eat with greasy, oily meats and seafood. Although these foods won’t interfere with the way the drug works, they will slow down the process and block the drug from getting to work straight away, so it’s best to avoid them.

Of course, a date night often involves a meal – if this is the case, a plant-based dinner such as a salad is the best food to eat with Viagra. Viagra could be crushed in food if you aren’t fond of taking pills, but for maximum effectiveness, the tablet should be taken a short time after eating, between an hour and 30 minutes prior to engaging in intercourse.

Can I Take Viagra with Grapefruit or Pomegranate?

Although a variety of different fruits can be eaten while taking a dose of Viagra, grapefruit, grapefruit juice and pomegranate should be avoided directly before or after taking the drug, at all costs. Certain enzymes present in grapefruit stop Viagra from breaking down in the body, which results in a much larger uptake of the drug. Medical professionals insist that you don’t eat any products containing grapefruit before taking Viagra, as you may put yourself at risk of experiencing the following symptoms:

  • flushing;
  • headaches;
  • fainting;
  • low blood pressure.

Is it better to leave a day or two between taking Viagra and eating grapefruit? Undoubtedly so. How long after you can take Viagra will depend on individual physiology, and health professionals recommend that you don’t eat grapefruit for at least 24 hours before or after Viagra, although how long to wait is solely at your discretion.

You may be wondering “can you take Viagra with other citrus fruits”, and the answer is yes. The enzyme which causes interactions with the drug is exclusive to grapefruit.

Warning: Nitrates in Food

Nitrates in FoodAlthough Viagra can be taken with or without food, it’s important to consider what you are eating. There are nitrates in food products like cured meats, bacon and sausages which can cause serious side effects. If you’re wondering “are you supposed to avoid salami and pepperoni when taking Viagra?” the answer, unfortunately, is yes.

Viagra and Other Medications Intake

There are restrictions on certain medicines with Viagra. You should avoid medication intake of the following drugs as the side effects can be potentially dangerous:

MedicationInteraction
NitroglycerinCauses blood pressure to fall rapidly
BoceprevirIncreased blood levels of Sildenafil
OmeprazoleIncreased blood levels of Sildenafil
ClarithromycinPotentially increased blood levels of Cialis

These are just a handful of medicines which should be avoided. For a more comprehensive list, you should consult your doctor.

L-Arginine

L-ArginineL-arginine is a vital amino acid which helps to create proteins. In the body, it becomes nitric oxide (NO) when present in the body. NO can help blood vessels relax, therefore allowing blood to circulate more freely through the arteries. This is important in terms of both achieving and maintaining an erection. A healthy diet ensures that the body receives enough L-arginine. Some consider L-arginine supplements as an alternative way to combat ED – although, versus Viagra, the results are negligible.

Antibiotics

You may be wondering “are you supposed to take Viagra if you are on antibiotics”?

Certain antibiotics – such as Amoxycillin – can affect levels of Viagra in the blood. Caution is advised when taking these medicines. You may find is it better to take a lower Viagra dose when on antibiotics, or to abstain from taking it completely.

Warfarin

Blood pressure medications like Warfarin should not be mixed with Viagra, as this can lead to a potentially fatal drop in blood pressure, which it turns can cause arrhythmia or cardiac arrest.

Can I Take Viagra with Drugs?

DrugsRecreational drug use should be avoided when using Viagra. Certain drugs, like poppers (amyl nitrate), can be potentially fatal when combined with erectile dysfunction medicines. Other drugs can cause complications like a fast heart rate. It is, therefore, imperative that recreational drug use is avoided when taking Viagra.

For further information on what to avoid when using erectile dysfunction medication, you should always consult a qualified medical professional.