Cialis vs Viagra

Cialis vs Viagra

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One of the most common questions we are asked by men who are looking for erectile dysfunction treatment is; “Which is better, Viagra or Cialis?”

The answer, isn’t as easy as one or the other however. In this article we will try to explain some of the points of difference between the two drugs, and help you decide whether Viagra or Cialis is the right medication for you.

What are Viagra and Cialis?

For those who don’t know, Cialis and Viagra are the two most recognised treatments for Erectile Dysfunction in men. They are the brand names for the drugs Sildenafil (in Viagra), and Tadalafil (in Cialis).

They are part of a group of drugs called PDE5 inhibitors, which help increase blood flow to the penis, and thus help men who have difficulty in getting and maintaining an erection.

What are the main differences between Viagra and Cialis?

Since we are attempting to answer which is the better of the two drugs, we will first look at the differences between them. As already mentioned, they are part of the same class of drug, and work in the same way. This means they should never be taken together.

The key points of difference between them are;

Cialis and Viagra Strengths

Both medications come in different strengths. Just because Viagra has the highest strength (Viagra 100mg vs Cialis 20mg), this does not mean it’s more powerful or effective. Viagra is available in 25mg, 50mg and 100mg strengths, while Cialis is available as 2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg and 20mg Strengths. Between the different strengths, the main point of difference is that Cialis 2.5 and 5mg are intended as daily medications. All the others should be taken before sexual activity.

Cialis and Viagra Dosages

The maximum dose of Viagra is 100mg in a 24 hour period, and no more than one dose in a 24 hour period. This means, if you start with a 50mg tablet, and find it doesn’t work, you should not take another for at least 24 hours. All Viagra tablets are intended as “When Required” medications, meaning that you only take them in advance of sexual activity.

The maximum dosage of Cialis is 20mg, and should not be repeated for 72 hours. Both the 10mg and 20mg dosages of Cialis are “When Required” dosages. Meanwhile, 2.5mg and 5mg dosages of Cialis are taken daily. This is to keep levels of Tadalafil in the blood at a level so that you can have sex whenever you want, without needing to remember to take a “When Required” dose. The daily dosage of Cialis is intended for men who are having sex more than two times in a week.

Cialis Daily

Cialis and Viagra Generics

While both Viagra and Cialis were the original branded medications for the drugs Sildenafil and Tadalafil respectively, in recent years each of them has become available as a generic. This means that the drug can be produced by manufacturers other than the original company, which makes the medicines more affordable. Sildenafil and Tadalafil share the same properties of Cialis and Viagra.

Cialis and Viagra Duration of Action

For many, this is the key difference between Viagra and Cialis, and the one that makes some people prefer to use Cialis.

The duration of action of Viagra is generally between 4-6 hours, while Cialis can be effective for up to 72 hours! This has lead to it becoming known as “The Weekend Pill”, as you can take a dose on Friday night, and it should allow you to get and maintain an erection even on Sunday evening. It should be noted, that the erection is of course only achieved as a result of sexual stimulation. If you get an erection which lasts for more than 4 hours, you should seek medical help.

  • Cialis and Viagra also have some things in common, like cheaper generics, being the same class of medication, requiring arousal to work, etc.
  • Viagra was invented first and is the more popular medication
  • They are a few things to consider if you to make a choice between them

Buying Viagra and Cialis

Cialis is a prescription only medication and so you must either see a doctor in person, or complete an online doctor consultation. While 25mg and 100mg Viagra are prescription only, there is now a Pharmacy medicine called Viagra Connect, which can be bought after a pharmacist consultation.

Other Differences

  • Effectiveness of both is similar, although the reported effectiveness of Viagra can be slightly higher at 84% in comparison to 81% for Cialis
  • Food shouldn’t affect the effectiveness of Cialis, however it may reduce the effectiveness of Viagra. It is therefore advised Viagra should be taken on an empty stomach.
  • Mainly due to being in the bloodstream longer, Cialis can cause more side effects or interactions.

What are the similarities between Cialis and Viagra? 

  • When required dosages are taken between 30 minutes to 1 hour before sex
  • They require sexual stimulation to work and have no effect on sexual desire
  • They are available to purchase online, but the doctor still needs to confirm your suitability before issuing a prescription online
  • They can cause similar side effects
  • They are usually prescribed at a lower dosage, which can be increased if lower dosages are not effective
  • Either one may need to be taken a few times on separate occasions before it is effective

FAQ Section

Can I use both?

You should not use these medications at the same time, however you can find out which is better suited for you. You should leave at least 24 hours between taking a dose of Cialis after Viagra, and 72 hours between taking a dose of Viagra after Cialis.  

Serious side effects may occur if taken simultaneously, including the risk of a prolonged erection which would require medical attention. A visit to the A+E department most people would prefer to avoid!

 Taking together will also increase the risks of other serious side effects such as:

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Loss of hearing
  • Loss of vision
  • Severe skin reactions
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Seizures

Which should I try first?

This really depends on your circumstances. If you have sex very regularly, you likely would prefer to try Cialis due to the longer duration of action. Those who have sex less frequently may decide Viagra is more suited to their needs.

When should I switch ED medication?

If an ED medication doesn’t work for you after around 4 attempts, you should consider trying another.

If you experience side effects after using an ED medication, you may also wish to attempt using another. Although the side effects profile of each is very similar, you may find you respond better to one over another.

How can I tell which one is right for me?

If you have sex multiple times over the course of a weekend, Cialis is likely the right choice for you.

You may even wish to switch to the daily tablet so that you don’t need to worry about timing your when required dose.

If you only have sex once or twice a week, you may find Viagra is the most cost effective option.

What if neither Cialis or Viagra work for me?

With all ED medications, you should try them on 3-4 occasions before giving up. If both don’t work, you can try the other. Apart from Viagra and Cialis however, there are also other ED treatments which can be tried. Spedra and Levitra are also PDE5 inhibitors used in men with ED.

How would I decide on the right drug?

The questions you should ask yourself when picking between Viagra and Cialis are

  • How often do you have sex?
  • Do you often have sex more than once over a period of 24-48 hours
  • Do you prefer to have daily medication so you don’t need to remember to take tablets just before sex?

In Summary;

  • Cialis is often more suited for men who have sex more than twice a week
  • Viagra Connect is available over the counter from pharmacies, unlike Cialis
  • Cialis Daily, is the only daily medication available to treat ED
  • Both drugs have cheaper generic alternatives
 

Cialis (Tadalafil)

Viagra (Sildenafil)

Active ingredientTadalafil Sildenafil
Prescription required?YesYes
Prices

Prices start from £37.95

Prices for Tadalafil - start from £13.99 

Prices for Viagra – start from £20

Prices for Sildenafil – start from £7.95

Dosage2.5 and 5mg – Generally one once daily10 and 20mg – Generally one, half an hour before sex25, 50, 100mg – Generally one, one hour before sex. A maximum of 100mg in a 24hour period.
Effectiveness Effective in 81% of cases Effective in 82% of cases
How fast does it work?Can work within 15-20 minutes. Daily dose Cialis lasts throughout the day.Works within 30-45 minutes
How long does it last?Up to 36 hours4-6 hours
How to takeWith or without food. Avoid fatty foods, or eating / drinking grapefruit. These can alter effectiveness of the drug.Works best when taken on an empty stomach. Avoid eating / drinking grapefruit. This ccan alter effectiveness of the drug.
Selling pointLong lasting, so less need to time sexual activityProven track record for safety and success. Generic Sildenafil provides the best value treatment option.
Side effectsHeadache, light headedness, Facial flushing, indigestion, stuffy or runny nose.Headache, light headedness, Facial flushing, indigestion, stuffy or runny nose.