Will Viagra (Sildenafil) Make You Hard For Hours?


Here are a few real side effects: some people get stomach pain if they eat gluten; others break out in hives if they take ibuprofen. Peanuts – moreish, savoury, a good source of fat – cause a fraction of the global population to go into anaphylactic shock.

Here is one made up side effect: Viagra will give you an immovable erection for hours on end. Despite what pop culture and seasoned trollers in comment sections claim, Sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra) does not cause your penis to pop up then stick around well past its welcome.

 

So why has this nonexistent side effect of Sildenafil become such an established part of the Erectile Dysfunction discourse? Because erections are seen as a source of amusement; permanent ones even more so— Remember that scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin where his won’t go away? Amusing? Yes. Achievable through Sildenafil when taken in the right doses? No.

And as people like talking about funny things, this misconception is bandied about with greater frequency than the very real and very unfunny side effects of more widely used drugs.

In reality, an erection that doesn’t go away is about as funny as a knee to the groin (while erect). The official term is priapism (named after a Greek god of fertility). It happens when the blood that fills the penis gets trapped and can’t get out, resulting in a lot of pain and, in serious cases, permanent damage.

Luckily, priapism is not caused by Sildenafil. The drug simply allows men to achieve and maintain an erection for about four hours if they’re aroused.

This means you don’t get hard, then stay hard, for a solid four hours after popping the pill. You still need to do all the fun stuff you’d usually do to get an erection prior to sex, Sildenafil just helps you in the mood.


Saying that, if you ignore the recommended dose (50-100mg in a 24 hour period) and eat an entire handful, it’s not only dangerous, but could end up in priapism and an unpleasant trip to the hospital. Like all prescription drugs, never exceed the recommended dose. It’s just common sense really. 

So ignore the schoolboy gags and crude comedy. Like Priapus himself, permanent erections caused by Viagra (Sildenafil), when treated with respect, are a myth.

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