Sildenafil And Alcohol

Sildenafil is a powerful component that is classified as a phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor, pharmacologically. PDE5 inhibitor compounds have vasodilating properties, which aid in vascular expansion and for enhancing blood flow through the blood vessels. Being a potent vasodilator, Sildenafil finds its extensive use in the treatment of erectile dysfunction problems in men.  

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence condition, is a cause of lack of adequate blood flow to the penile, which affects sexual function. Sometimes, men may experience difficulties with their erection function owing to their drinking (alcohol) habits. But is it safe to use sildenafil if you are drunk? Will their combination give rise to negative consequences? Continue reading to find out, but first, we will understand the individual action of sildenafil and alcohol in your body.    

Sildenafil action

Sildenafil is responsible for increasing the flow of blood to the penile blood vessels, so individuals facing troubles in their intimate life due to their inability to perform well sexually will get relief. This component forms an active ingredient of popular FDA-approved ED drugs, known as Viagra. Viagra is just a brand-name version of sildenafil, it is sildenafil only.  

The component sildenafil works by inhibiting the action of PDE5 enzymes in the walls of penile blood vessels. PDE5 inhibition leads to an increase in the levels of nitric oxide in the walls of the blood vessels. Nitric oxide is a chemical that ensures a healthy erectile response. It maintains the health of your vascular system and keeps them relaxed and dilated.

PDE5 Enzymes

PDE5 enzymes are vasoconstrictors, that narrow and block the vascular passages by causing a buildup of plaque. This plaque buildup hinders the blood flow to the penile, as a result, men experience impotence issues. But when you take sildenafil, the PDE5 enzymatic action gets suppressed, which increases the levels of nitric oxide, which in turn conducts vasodilation in the penile shaft.

Vasodilation relaxes the narrowed blood vessels, by releasing the strains in them. Sildenafil’s action further increases the flow of blood to the penile, thereby reviving the erection function. Thus, it improves the erectile response in men. 

Generic Versions

Moreover, there are many generic versions of sildenafil introduced in the market. They do lack FDA approval, but their action mechanism in treating erectile dysfunction problems is no different from the original Viagra drugs. Generics like Malegra can serve as an excellent remedy against erectile difficulties.

Effects of alcohol

Alcohol, being a central nervous system depressant, has vasodilator properties too, which help in expanding the vascular passages. It causes relaxation of the muscles that surround your blood vessels. This relaxation boosts the flow of blood through the blood vessels. Alcohol aids in vasodilation when consumed in mild to moderate quantities.

However, its intoxication or excessive amounts of it can make it function as a vasoconstrictor, which constricts and narrows the vascular passages. This can hamper the blood supply to the organs. The vasoconstrictor properties of alcohol can give rise to symptoms like dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting. Alcohol abuse can lead to adverse effects of vasodilation. Hence, mild to moderate amounts of alcohol might help in improving your sexual response, whereas its intoxication can lead to the impairment of vascular mechanisms.

Alcohol Intoxication

Also, alcohol intoxication can affect men’s ability to perform sexually well. Alcohol is a psychoactive substance and a central nervous system depressant, which affects your brain function. It can interfere with your arousal by impacting the part of the brain that controls arousal and sexual response, and because of this, men may experience erection troubles. It slows down your brain signals which are responsible for stimulating a healthy sexual response. 

Dangers of combining Sildenafil and alcohol

Since both these substances have vasodilating effects, their combination can result in a sudden and significant drop in blood pressure, which can have detrimental effects on your health. Blood pressure drop can be indicated by symptoms such as lightheadedness, dizziness, headache, fainting, flushing, and heart palpitations.


Alcohol can even counteract the effects of sildenafil drugs, and their interaction can exacerbate the side effects of sildenafil even more. You may not get the desired benefits of sildenafil on your erection function, instead, you experience side effects more intensely. Therefore, it is necessary to avoid combining these two substances, otherwise, you might be subjected to the ill effects of their interaction.   

Potential side effects of sildenafil

Alcohol in combination with Viagra can worsen the side effects of sildenafil. So, it is necessary to know the side effects associated with sildenafil. Sildenafil medications are likely to cause some common side effects in the mild category including headaches, nausea, rashes, lightheadedness, muscle pain, nasal congestion, flushing, back pain, blurred vision, stomachache, and dizziness. These mild effects are nothing to worry about as they stay for a short duration and disappear as the body adjusts and becomes used to the component. These effects might get intensified, after alcohol-sildenafil interaction.  

When is the right time to drink alcohol after taking sildenafil?

If you wish to have alcohol, then let the effectiveness of the medication go away from your entire system. Sildenafil’s effects usually last for up to 4 to 5 hours in the bloodstream. But the medicinal ingredients remain in the body for up to 24 hours, so wait for a day to pass, and then you can safely have your drink.    

When to seek expert advice?

The combination of alcohol with sildenafil must be completely avoided, but what if you cannot control your drinking urges? In this scenario, you can seek guidance from an expert. Your healthcare provider can help you in identifying the right dose of sildenafil and they may even help you in finding the standard alcohol dose that can be suitable with sildenafil. Their advice can minimize your risk of developing detrimental side effects post-sildenafil-alcohol interaction.   

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