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What is the link between Sildenafil and Alcohol?

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Generic Viagra, or Sildenafil, treats impotence or Erectile Dysfunction (ED).

During sexual intercourse, a man with Erectile Dysfunction will have difficulty achieving and sustaining an erection.

Some medicines, diseases, and foods can interact negatively with this medicine.

Sildenafil and alcohol might induce severe side effects when consumed together.

Therefore, physicians advise against combining Viagra and alcohol.

In addition, excessive alcohol use is one of the primary causes of impotence in males, alongside smoking, inactivity, and poor eating habits.

This article will outline why Sildenafil and alcohol should not be consumed together. But before that, let us get a deeper grasp of what Sildenafil is.


Sildenafil was the first medicine for Erectile Dysfunction (ED) approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Pfizer originally manufactured it in 1998 under the brand name Viagra, and a generic version was introduced in 2017.

Both the generic and brand-name versions of this medicine include the active ingredient, Sildenafil.

Fildena, Cenforce, and Kamagra are generic Viagra medicines.

Take this prescription-based pill 30 to 60 minutes before sexual intercourse. Nonetheless, its effects may continue for up to four hours.

How does Sildenafil works?

Man consuming Sildenafil
Kaspars Grinvalds

As with other medications for Erectile Dysfunction, Sildenafil inhibits Phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5).

Sildenafil prevents the breakdown of cyclic Guanosine Monophosphate (cGMP) by inhibiting the PDE5 enzyme.

When cGMP levels rise, smooth muscle relaxation and vasodilation occur in the penile area. Because of this relaxation and dilatation, blood flow inside the penis is enhanced.

As a result, it is possible for a man to get and keep an erection. However, to get a firm erection sexual stimulation is a must.

The hormones, the brain, nerves, and blood vessels must be engaged to get an erection. However, excessive alcohol consumption can significantly affect all of these.

Alcohol impacts these functions by reducing the response of the brain’s Central Nervous System (CNS).

The CNS transmits information from the brain to the rest of the body.

Due to a lack of information flow between the brain and the penis, the sensitivity of the penis diminishes.

Additionally, alcohol reduces Testosterone levels in men. The generation of Nitric Oxide will be further restricted by low Testosterone levels.

The function of Nitric Oxide (NO) in an erection is to relax the smooth muscle, therefore facilitating blood flow. 

However, if Nitric Oxide production is inhibited, the penile smooth muscle cannot be relaxed.

Therefore, the blood supply to the penis is diminished, resulting in Erectile Dysfunction.

Interaction between Sildenafil and alcohol?

Man drinking alcohol
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Viagra and alcohol interactions are common.

Alcohol intake exacerbates Sildenafil (Viagra) side effects such as nausea, headaches, chest pain, and nasal congestion.

Serious side effects of using Viagra or Sildenafil and alcohol include sudden hearing loss, intraocular pressure (fluid pressure in the eye), heartbeat fluctuations, and Priapism.

Additionally, alcohol is one of the reasons for Erectile Dysfunction. Therefore, using Viagra with alcohol may hinder the effectiveness of the medication.

In addition to high-fat meals and grapefruit juice, other foods and beverages that may interact with Sildenafil include those rich in fat.

High-fat meals might lengthen the time it takes for Sildenafil to take effect.

Generic Viagra and alcohol interactions

Sildenafil is the same active component in this medicine’s brand-name and generic versions.

Alcohol has the same effect on Viagra and generic Sildenafil such as Kamagra, Cenforce, and Fildena.

Consuming excessive alcohol after or before taking the generic medicine may exacerbate its adverse effects.

However, consuming moderate alcohol may not negatively interact with Sildenafil.


Sildenafil is effective and safe to consume with moderate alcohol intake.

Alcohol exacerbates the undesirable effects of Sildenafil, such as headaches, face flushing, dizziness, and vision issues. Consumption of alcohol in excess increases the probability of having these symptoms.

Alcohol may have no noticeable impact on Sildenafil or its effectiveness. However, it may slow down various body functions, including attaining and sustaining an erection.

Therefore, it is advisable to avoid the combination of Sildenafil and alcohol.

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Photo of author Janet Fudge
Janet Fudge is a highly skilled and experienced pharmacologist who serves as a contributing writer for With a strong academic background from a premier US University and a passion for helping others, Janet has become a trusted voice in the pharmaceutical world. After completing her Doctor of Pharmacy degree, Janet embarked on a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, working with various clients, including hospitals, retail pharmacies, and drug manufacturers. Her in-depth knowledge of pharmacology and dedication to patient-centered care has led her to excel in her field. As a writer for, Janet uses her wealth of expertise to provide readers with accurate, reliable, and up-to-date information on various topics related to medicine and healthcare. Her engaging writing style and ability to break down complex topics into easily digestible content make her a valuable resource for healthcare professionals and the general public.
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