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Viagra has always seemed like a pretty cut-and-dried proposition for those suffering from erectile dysfunction. Pop a pill when you’re in the mood and, voila, soon enough you’ll rise to the occasion.

But a new study conducted by Superdrug reveals that it’s not always that simple, and sheds light on what Viagra actually does to one’s penis over time.

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The study found that the drug will hit some men within the first 12 minutes and cause an erection. But for the not-so fortunate, if you haven’t achieved full mast within that 12-minute window, it could take a half an hour or more. While the average response time, according to researchers, is 27 minutes, doctors advise waiting up to an hour.

After 50 minutes have passed, things get tricky. The study says at this point, you’ll have reached “maximum erection potential,” and the drug is at its highest concentration in the blood. An erection lasting up to 33 minutes can be achieved within an hour of first taking it.

At the four-hour mark, it’s possible to still have sex, but Viagra’s effects will begin on the downswing. Researchers call this the halfway point, and every four hours the drug’s magic powers are reduced by 50 percent. Amazingly, the study found that men were still able to get erections after 10 hours with no real drop off from the two-hour mark.

At 12 hours, scientists found that sex was still possible, but the average life of an erection whittled down to about 16 minutes at that point. And finally, at the 24-hour mark, all of the effects of Viagra will have completely dissipated and all traces of the drug will have largely disappeared from the bloodstream.

And that pretty much covers the ins and outs of Viagra. The more you know.

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