Does Viagra Connect Work?

Written by
The Manual Team
Medically approved by
Dr Earim Chaudry
Last updated
4th May 2021

In 30 Seconds… 

Viagra Connect is the over-the-counter version of the erectile dysfunction medication Viagra. It can be purchased directly from a licensed pharmacist without a prescription. 

It works in the same way as prescription Viagra by relaxing the blood vessels in the penis, improving blood flow and making it easier for those with erectile dysfunction to achieve and maintain an erection. 

Studies into the effectiveness of Sildenafil Citrate (the key ingredient of Viagra) found that around 80% of men suffering from ED could achieve an erection within 30 minutes.

Deciding to seek treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED) can take a bit of courage. It’s a difficult conversation to have with yourself and your partner, let alone a healthcare professional, and so many opt to suffer in silence

However, a recent development has allowed men with ED to sidestep the stigma and go directly to the pharmacist for an over-the-counter solution. It’s called Viagra Connect and it’s the little blue pill you can buy without a prescription.

But does Viagra Connect work? How does it work? And who is it for? Let’s find out.

What is Viagra Connect?

Viagra Connect is a version of Pfizer’s ED treatment Viagra that’s available from a licensed online pharmacy or its brick-and-mortar counterpart. 

Just like regular Viagra, it contains Sildenafil Citrate, the active ingredient that helps men achieve and maintain an erection. However, unlike Viagra — and certain other ED treatments — you don’t need a prescription from your GP to purchase it.

What’s the Difference Between Viagra and Viagra Connect?

Beyond how and where you can buy it, there are a couple of key distinctions between prescription Viagra and Viagra Connect. These are:

  • Dosage: Viagra Connect is only available in 50mg doses, while the prescription version is available in 25mg, 50mg and 100mg doses. 
  • Branding: Viagra tablets are branded as “VGR” with the number 25,50, or 100 to denote the dosage. Viagra Connect, on the other hand, is branded V50.

Why Does Viagra Connect Exist?

Unsurprisingly, the little blue pill is one of the most counterfeited medicines on the planet with, at one point, around 77% of Viagra purchased online believed to be fake.

This burgeoning black market meant that people were being sold weak, ineffective, or downright dangerous pills. If you were lucky, you’d be swallowing a harmless placebo, but some of these tablets could contain hazardous material such as chalk, talcum powder, brick dust, and even blue printer ink

And yet, the high price of Viagra — coupled with the stigma surrounding ED — meant that people were willing to roll the dice and purchase knock-off versions of Pfizer’s revolutionary medicine from the darkest corners of the web. 

In response, Viagra Connect was launched in the UK in 2018. This regulated, discreet and easier-to-obtain alternative, which removed the need for an embarrassing conversation with a doctor, was an instant hit. 

Now, all you have to do is chat with a pharmacist (online or in real-life), who’ll take you through a general health questionnaire to ensure Viagra Connect is safe and right for your situation. 

Does Viagra Connect Work?

According to Pfizer’s own marketing, over one million men have taken Viagra Connect, with 74% of men with erection problems claiming that it improved their erection.

This chimes with studies into the efficacy of Sildenafil Citrate (the key ingredient of Viagra) which found that 80% of those surveyed displayed “activity” (i.e., achieved an erection) inside 30 minutes. 

So, while it doesn’t work for absolutely everyone — and no single ED treatment does — Viagra Connect can produce results for the vast majority of those who take it. 

How Does Viagra Connect Work?

Viagra Connect is one of a number of effective ED treatments. And like fellow PDE5-inhibitors Tadalafil (Cialis), Vardenafil (Levitra), and Avanafil, they all work in a similar way.

By targeting the enzyme phosphodiesterase type 5 (the aforementioned PDE5), Viagra Connect relaxes the blood vessels supplying your penis, improving blood flow in the process. With more blood flowing down there, the better your chances of achieving and maintaining an erection when aroused. 

And that last part is crucial. Viagra Connect will only do its thing if you’re in the mood to do yours. Erections happen in the brain, first and foremost, and so you need some sexual stimulation to send the right signals to your penis, increasing blood flow and kickstarting the process. 

How To Use Viagra Connect:

Using Viagra Connect is simple. 

  • Around an hour before you want to have sex, swallow one pill with water. 
  • If taken with food (especially a fatty meal) the effects can be delayed.
  • For best results, don’t skip the foreplay. Sexual stimulation is vital. 

You can safely take Viagra Connect daily.

How Long Does It Take for Viagra Connect to Work? How Long Does It Last?

Like most medicines, the effects of Viagra Connect will vary from one person to the next. Generally speaking, you will experience an erection within 30 to 60 minutes, with that erection potentially lasting for up to four hours. 

For men aged 65 and over, Sildenafil Citrate can stay in the body for longer, which means you may experience the effects for longer, too. After ejaculation, your penis should return to its flaccid state.

If you experience any side effects, such as priapism (a prolonged erection), dizziness, headaches, indigestion, or chest pain, you should stop taking Viagra Connect and consult your healthcare provider.

What If Viagra Connect Doesn’t Work?

As we’ve mentioned, Viagra Connect isn’t a guaranteed slam dunk. It simply may not work for you, and that’s okay. There are a number of reasons why:

  • If you’ve eaten a heavy meal or consumed too much alcohol before taking Viagra Connect, it can lower the effectiveness. 
  • You could have an undiagnosed underlying health condition of which ED is a symptom, such as depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes. In this case, Viagra Connect alone may not do the trick. 
  • The dosage could be too low. Viagra Connect comes in 50mg doses, but you might benefit from the 100mg dose of prescription Viagra.
  • You weren’t turned on. As we’ve mentioned, you need to be in the mood for Viagra Connect to work. If you’re not, it won’t do anything. 
  • You took it too early. Viagra Connect should be taken 1-4 hours before having sex. If you take it any earlier, the effects could wear off before you have a chance to enjoy them.

Key Takeaways… 

To recap, does Viagra Connect work? Well, it depends. The little blue pill can work wonders, but it’s not a magic cure-all for ED. 

If you take it on an empty stomach, at the right time, and you’re aroused, there’s a better than good chance it’ll do the business. And if it doesn’t? You can always try a higher dosage or a different erectile dysfunction treatment, such as Tadalafil. 

While we've ensured that everything you read on the Health Centre is medically reviewed and approved, information presented here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

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