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Viagra vs. Viagra Connect: What’s the Difference?

Reviewed by
Date published
17/05/2022
Date last updated
27/04/2022
Length of read
5 Minutes

Viagra is a medication used to treat erectile dysfunction – a common condition primarily affecting men aged 40 and over. Before you buy Viagra, like any drug, it’s important to understand the ways in which the medication works and the ingredients that it contains.

Here are some details about both Viagra and Viagra Connect, so that you can be better informed and know the differences between the two.

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction, also referred to as ED, is when a man is regularly unable to get or maintain an erection. Though erectile problems can happen to many men, you should speak to a GP or healthcare professional if the problem keeps happening regularly.

There are a number of known problems that can be the cause of erectile dysfunction, including:

  • drinking too much alcohol
  • psychological or emotional problems such as stress or anxiety
  • low testosterone levels
  • a result of a health condition or diseases such as high cholesterol, heart disease or high blood pressure.

Other factors linked to causing ED are smoking and weight issues – both of which, if dealt with, can help reduce the chances of erectile dysfunction occurring.

What Are The Differences Between Viagra and Viagra Connect?

Both the medications Viagra and Viagra Connect are used to treat erectile dysfunction, and both contain the active ingredient Sildenafil, though their packaging and overall design may look different from one another.

Produced by the manufacturer Pfizer, both Viagra and Viagra Connect are different brands of the same contents of tablets, however, Viagra Connect can be purchased over the counter at a pharmacy; whereas Viagra must be prescribed by a doctor and acquired on prescription.

Often referred to as over the counter Viagra, Viagra Connect is only available as the 50mg strength. Viagra, however, is available in three different types of strengths – 25mg, 50mg and 100mg.

How Does Viagra & Viagra Connect Work?

On sale since 1998, Viagra contains an active ingredient called Sildenafil – a type of drug named a PDE5 inhibitor. The way in which Sildenafil works is by relaxing, and therefore opening, the blood vessels in the penis, which in turn causes an improved blood flow to the penis when a man is sexually aroused. This blood flow helps men both achieve and maintain an erection.

It’s a common misconception that Viagra medication helps aid premature ejaculation – it does not. Viagra deals only with erectile dysfunction, with premature ejaculation being a different problem that requires different treatment.

How To Take Viagra & Viagra Connect

Ideally taken on an empty stomach (to avoid slower absorption caused by a high-fat meal), Viagra should be taken 30-60 minutes before sex, with the drug working to improve erections for up to 4 hours after taking the dose.

It is not recommended that you drink alcohol while taking Viagra, as this could cause the effectiveness of the medicine to reduce and slow down.

Known around the world as the ‘little blue pill’, the benefits of Viagra include an improved ability to achieve and maintain an erection, a readiness for sexual activity in as few as 60 minutes, increased confidence in a man’s ability to both achieve and maintain an erection, and improved hardness of erection.

Does Viagra & Viagra Connect Cause Any Side Effects?

Like any other medication, there are certain side effects that can be experienced when taking Viagra or Viagra Connect. These may not be experienced by every patient, and both symptoms and the severity of symptoms will vary from person to person.

While the patient information leaflet that comes with both types of Viagra will detail these further, here are some of the common side effects you may experience:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Chest pains
  • Facial flushing
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nasal congestion.

Can Anything Else Help Stop Erectile Dysfunction?

Aside from speaking to your GP about taking treatment such as Viagra or Viagra Connect, there are some simple, healthy lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent erectile dysfunction. These include:

  • Exercising daily
  • Lose weight if you are overweight
  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • Stop smoking
  • Try to reduce stress and anxiety/

There are also a couple of things that you shouldn’t be doing when trying to stop erectile dysfunction from occurring. It’s recommended by the NHS that you don’t drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week, and it’s recommended that you don’t cycle for a while if you cycle for more than 3 hours a week usually.

If you are suffering from a sudden inability to get or maintain an erection, and are continuously suffering from impotence, you should make an appointment to speak to your GP. While ED can be caused by a host of problems that may need to be looked into further, it could also be a sign of an underlying medical condition, so it’s important to get things checked out with a healthcare professional.