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Information about the blue pill, Viagra

Information about the blue pill, Viagra

‘The blue pill’ – or ‘the little blue pill’ – is the nickname given to the erectile dysfunction treatment Viagra, due to its appearance. Viagra is the most widely used of all erectile dysfunction treatments. Since its introduction in 1998, Viagra has helped millions of men with their erectile dysfunction and has been endorsed by numerous celebrities.

The iconic blue pill is recognised worldwide, making Viagra arguably the most famous medication in the world. Being a prescription-only medicine, you will need to consult a doctor in order to get Viagra. Through our discreet online consultation process, you can order Viagra through our service without having to speak to a doctor face-to-face.

How to take it

One of the main reasons behind Viagra’s popularity is how easy it is to use:

  • Viagra is a blue pill that is swallowed orally.
  • Take Viagra on an empty stomach at least one hour before sex.
  • The effects of Viagra last between four-six hours – don’t take it too many hours before sex because the effects can wear off.  
  • If you plan to use Viagra, do not drink more than a couple of units of alcohol since this can reduce its effectiveness.
  • Never take more than one Viagra tablet at a time or in combination with any other erectile dysfunction medication.
  • Don’t take Viagra more than once in a 24-hour period.

How does the little blue pill work?

The Viagra pill contains an ingredient called sildenafil (Viagra is just the brand name). By relaxing the muscle cells in the penis, Viagra increases blood flow to the penis which helps achieve an erection.

Taking the little blue pill has been shown to be effective in achieving an erection for between 62% and 82% of men with erectile dysfunction. It should be noted that Viagra isn’t an aphrodisiac: it won’t help achieve an erection without sexual arousal. 

Alternatives to Viagra

The blue pill isn’t the only erectile dysfunction treatment on the market. There are a number of different options to choose from: if one treatment doesn’t work for you, another might. An overview of popular treatments can be found in the table below. 

  • Levitra - Levitra comes as a round orange pill. It is similar to Viagra in length of effect but can be taken with meals, unlike Viagra.   
  • Cialis - An almond-shaped yellow pill, Cialis is the most expensive ED medication but also the longest lasting. Cialis remains active for up to 36 hours.
  • Sildenafil - Comes as a little blue pill, sometimes white. Sildenafil is the active ingredient of Viagra. Essentially, it is Viagra without the Viagra brand name and is thus significantly cheaper.  

Table of comparison

Viagra Sildenafil Cialis Levitra
Active Ingredient Sildenafil Sildenafil Tadalafil Vardenafil
Time to take effect 30-60 mins 30-60 mins 15-60 mins 30-60 mins
Duration of effect 4-6 hours 4-6 hours Up to 36 hours 4-6 hours
Distinguishing features Most well-known Same active ingredient as Viagra Longest lasting effect Recommended for diabetics

Other treatments

Physical treatments for ED such as vacuum pumps or constriction rings can also be highly effective. Alternatively, counselling can be very beneficial for men whose ED is psychological. Counselling can be combined with ED medication to provide both a short and long-term solution to the problem.

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Authors and editors

Reviewed and updated by: Our clinical team Date reviewed: 27-09-2023