Everything you need to know about Cialis: use, effectiveness and safety

Cialis is the brand name for tadalafil, a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED).

Tadalafil is in a class of drugs called phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors. Cialis is taken as an oral tablet, either as a low-dose daily medication or as a higher-dose “on-demand” medication.

Generic Cialis, tadalafil, has been on the market since 2018. The active ingredient, tadalafil, is the same in the brand and generic forms of the drug. The only real difference between them is the cost.

Cialis works by increasing blood flow to the penis to help a person get and maintain an erection. It also blocks the PDE5 enzyme, which enhances the effects of nitric oxide (NO). NO activates a series of chemical reactions that increase blood flow to the penis by relaxing the blood vessels.

Cialis also relaxes smooth muscles in the prostate and bladder. It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

ED

Cialis is primarily used to treat ED. Guidelines unanimously agree when considering PDE5Is as first-line treatments for ED when they are well tolerated and not contraindicated.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Cialis and generic tadalafil are also prescribed to treat the symptoms of BPH, also known as an enlarged prostate.

Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Tadalafil is also FDA-approved for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a high blood pressure that affects the arteries in the lungs. The dose for PAH is 20 mg.

Adcirca is the brand name for tadalafil and is used to treat PAH.

Get Cialis

Cialis and generic tadalafil are available by prescription only. There is no over-the-counter version, although efforts have been made in recent years to develop a non-prescription version of tadalafil.

Inhibitors of phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) work by binding to an enzyme called PDE5, which normally breaks down cyclic guanosine monophosphate (GMP) molecules.

Cyclic GMP helps relax the smooth muscles in the blood vessels of your penis. This process significantly increases blood flow to these blood vessels, leading to an erection.

Cialis and other PDE5 inhibitors do not cure ED or increase libido. Physical and psychological arousal is still needed to help the drugs achieve and maintain an erection.

When sexually aroused, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, triggering the release of a molecule called nitric oxide (NO). The increased presence of NO is what increases the production of cyclic GMP.

Cialis is available as an oral tablet in a variety of dosages, allowing individuals to take a low-dose tablet or a stronger dose on demand daily before sexual activity.

The daily doses are available in 2.5 mg and 5 mg tablets. Physicians usually start their patients on the 2.5 mg dose, although 5 mg may be appropriate if needed for greater efficacy.

A daily dose of 5 mg may be too much for some people and lead to unwanted side effects.

Demand doses are available in 10 mg and 20 mg doses. Doctors usually recommend starting with a 10 mg dose and moving up to 20 mg if a stronger dose is needed to achieve the desired results.

A study 2017 found that while low-dose daily use had a slightly weaker effect than higher-dose on-demand use in some study participants, there did not appear to be a major advantage with one approach over the other.

To get the most out of Cialis:

  • With an on-demand dose, take it at least 30 minutes prior to sexual activity, but keep in mind that it can take up to 2 hours to take effect.
  • Take daily doses at about the same time each day.
  • Focus on managing stress.
  • Have healthy communication with your partner.

Some of the most common side effects of Cialis include:

  • headache
  • to blush
  • indigestion
  • accumulation
  • back pain and muscle pain

Cialis is more likely to cause myalgia (muscle pain) compared to other PDE5 inhibitors, according to a 2017 study on ED treatment published in the journal Nature Reviews Disease Primers.

Many users of Cialis or generic tadalafil experience no side effects, and those who do often have minor symptoms that tend to go away once the drug is out of their system.

Muscle pain can last for up to 2 days after taking your last dose.

More potential and serious symptoms include priapism, an abnormal, sometimes painful, erection that lasts for more than 4 hours.

Other symptoms that may prompt a visit include sudden changes in vision and hearing, which occasionally occur with tinnitus and dizziness.

Unlike some other PED5 inhibitors, Cialis can be taken with or without food. It is unlikely to have any impact on effectiveness or side effects.

Avoid intake with high-fat foods and meals

When taking Cialis, you should avoid high-fat meals. Too much fat can affect how well the drug works and how quickly it takes effect.

Avoid grapefruit juice

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can increase the amount of Cialis in the bloodstream, potentially increasing the negative side effects.

Avoid heavy alcohol consumption

Moderate alcohol consumption should have little effect on the effect of Cialis. But heavy alcohol use can make it difficult to get an erection even with an ED medication.

Know your other medicines

Cialis may interact with certain medications. In particular, you should not take Cialis if you are also taking nitrates, which are drugs that widen blood vessels to allow greater blood flow.

Nitrates are usually prescribed to treat angina (chest pain caused by narrowed coronary arteries) or heart failure.

When combined with nitrates or antihypertensive drugs called alpha blockers, Cialis can cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure.

Cialis can lead to similar problems when used in combination with other antihypertensive drugs.

Other classes of drugs that may interfere with Cialis include:

  • anti epileptics
  • certain antibiotics
  • HIV medication
  • oral antifungal medications

Also avoid taking two PDE5 inhibitors in 1 day, as this can lead to a dangerous drop in blood pressure and other serious side effects.

Cialis and generic tadalafil are equally effective. The FDA ensures that the generic versions of all brand-name drugs provide the same clinical benefits.

The main difference between Cialis and generic tadalafil is the cost.

While prices vary considerably depending on the manufacturer and pharmacy you purchase the medication from, Cialis typically costs about $365 for 30 tablets. The generic versions cost about $100 for 30 tablets.

Although Cialis is widely prescribed around the world, Viagra (sildenafil) is the most well-known PDE5 inhibitor, the first drug in this class of drugs to hit the market.

In addition to Cialis and Viagra, the other PDE5 inhibitors include:

  • vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn)
  • avanafil (Stendra)

These drugs work best when used in conjunction with other things to support your overall health, especially those that have a direct impact on your cardiovascular health.

In addition to PDE5 inhibitors, there are drug alternatives that some people consider along with healthy habits. Among them are supplements and pill-free options, such as:

  • L-arginine, an amino acid that aids in the production of nitric oxide
  • Red ginseng, also known as Panax ginsengan herb sometimes used to reduce inflammation
  • Rhodiola rosea, an herbal supplement with flavonoid properties associated with increased energy levels
  • Acupuncture, although research has shown conflicting results

Cialis and Viagra each have their pros and cons, although the drugs work in the same way in the body.

Cialis has the advantage of being longer lasting, with the effects often lasting up to 36 hours after taking the tablet.

Viagra usually takes about 4 hours. Viagra is also an on-demand medication only, so the spontaneity that allows the daily use of Cialis is not an option with Viagra.

But Cialis has been associated with muscle pain in the extremities in some users, a side effect not associated with Viagra. But some research suggests that Viagra use may be associated with vision problems.

You can also find generic versions of both Cialis and Viagra.

Your lifestyle and personal experience with a particular drug can help you determine whether Cialis, Viagra, or another PDE5 inhibitor is the right choice.

Cialis is not available without a prescription. Your doctor should prescribe Cialis for ED or other conditions the medication treats.

You may also be able to obtain this drug using telemedicine services.

Companies like Hims and Roman offer online consultations with doctors who can prescribe ED drugs that are then shipped to your home.

The cost of these online services can sometimes exceed conventional healthcare, although the convenience and discretion of these types of telemedicine services appeal to many people.

Cialis, the branded version of the PDE5 inhibitor tadalafil, is one of the world’s most widely prescribed ED medications.

Generic tadalafil has been available since 2018 and has proven to be just as effective and safe as the brand name.

The drug is available in low daily doses that keep the medication in your system and allow for more spontaneity. It is also available in stronger, on-demand doses.

While Cialis and other ED drugs don’t “cure” the condition, they can treat the primary symptom by helping to achieve and maintain erections.

If ED is affecting your life and relationship, you may want to consider trying tadalafil in one form or another.

It is available by prescription only, so consult a doctor about these and other possible ED treatments.

Everything you need to know about Cialis: use, effectiveness and safety

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