Want to know which erectile dysfunction medication is right for you? See how to choose. (2023)

Oral medications are a simple and effective way to treaterectile dysfunction (ED). The most common erectile dysfunction pill is Viagra, and the second most common is Cialis.Both drugs are phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors that work by increasing blood flow to the penis. The main difference is that Cialis lasts longer and can be taken daily, providing erections on demand. Viagra is always taken a few hours earlier than necessary and offers less spontaneity.

Keep reading to learn more about Cialis vs. Viagra, including the side effects of each and the differences between them.

Want to know which erectile dysfunction medication is right for you? See how to choose. (1)

What is Cialis?

Cialis (tadalafilo)is a type of PDE5 inhibitor approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2003. Like other PDE5 inhibitors, it increases blood flow to the penis.

There are two different ways to take Cialis: as needed or daily. If you take the pill daily, the drug stays in your system constantly. This makes it easy to get an erection whenever you need it.This is a good option for people who have sex frequently and like flexibility and spontaneity in their sex life.

The other option is to take Cialis at least 30 minutes before sexual activity. If you take the pill once, the effects of the pill last for about 36 hours. This means that you will likely find it easier to get an erection during this time.

Cialis is primarily for treating erectile dysfunction, but it can also treat aprostate enlargement. Furthermore, under the brand name Adcirca, tadalafil can also treat pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Secundary effects

Common Cialis side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Stomach acidity and indigestion
  • nausea and diarrhea
  • For% s
  • muscle pain
  • drop in blood pressure
  • redness

Some Cialis side effects are an emergency. If you experience this, you should speak to your doctor immediately:

  • An erection that lasts more than four hours.
  • Sudden changes in vision, including blurred vision
  • Sudden changes in hearing, including ringing in the ears
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Hives, rash, or blisters
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Swelling of the face or mouth

What is Viagra?

Viagra (sildenafilo)it was the first erectile dysfunction pill approved by the FDA in 1998. Like Cialis, it is a PDE5 inhibitor that increases blood flow to the penis. The difference is that Viagra's effects don't last long (only four to six hours).Viagra is always taken before anticipated sexual activity.

Viagra can only be taken once every 24 hours.Therefore, even if you take it daily, there are times when the drug is not in your system, making it difficult to get an erection. This is why Viagra is most often used by people who occasionally have sex.The advantage of Viagra is that you only take it when you need it.

Secundary effects

Common Viagra side effects include:

(Video) Everything you need to know about Sildenafil vs Tadalafil for erectile dysfunction | ED pills

  • Headache
  • Acidity
  • Diarrhea
  • redness
  • Nose bleed
  • trouble sleeping
  • Numbness, burning or tingling in the arm, hands and feet
  • Muscle aches
  • Vision changes, including sensitivity to light, seeing a blue tint, or losing the ability to distinguish between blue and green.

If you experience other, more serious side effects, contact your doctor right away, including:

  • Vision loss or blurred vision
  • Hearing changes or ringing in the ears
  • dizziness and vertigo
  • fainting
  • Chest pain
  • difficulty breathing
  • An erection that lasts longer than four hours or is painful
  • Itching or boredom when urinating
  • skin irritation

How do erectile dysfunction medications work?

PDE5 inhibitors block the breakdown of a substance known ascyclic guanosine monophosphate(cGMP). This, in turn, leads to more nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide is a substance that causes blood vessels to relax.This leads to increased blood flow to the penis, leading to stronger erections. Both Cialis and Viagra work this way.

Cialis x Viagra

Choosing the right erectile dysfunction pill can be intimidating. Talk to your doctor about your sex life and desired use. Also, consider the information below. Both drugs are now generic and can be found at reduced prices, making them more accessible to the public than ever before.

Which works faster?

Both Cialis and Viagra work quickly. If you are taking Cialis as needed, take the pill about 30 minutes before having sex.Viagra can be taken up to four hours or up to 30 minutes before sex. It works best when taken an hour before sex.

Which lasts longer?

Cialis lasts longer. Cialis stays in your system for up to 36 hours and can provide erection support for that long. Viagra usually only stays in your system for four to six hours.

Which is more effective?

Cialis and Viagra are equally effective. All PDE5 inhibitors are about 70% effective in helping people get better erections.This means that seven out of 10 people taking these prescription drugs will have more frequent or longer-lasting erections.

However, eating foods, especially foods that are high in fat, can reduce Viagra's effectiveness.


Hecialis dosagewhat you need will depend on whether you take it daily or as needed. Daily doses generally range from 2.5 to 5 milligrams (mg). The required dose is usually 10 mg, but can range from 5 to 20 mg.

typicalviagra dosageis 50mg, but the dose can vary from 25 to 100mg. Your doctor will discuss which dose is right for you.


Since Cialis and Viagra are PDE5 inhibitors, they have similar side effects and safety concerns.Talk to your doctor about which might be best for you.

Main differences between Cialis and Viagra

The main difference between Cialis and Viagra is the duration of each one. Cialis stays in your system for up to 36 hours and you can take it daily. This means you can have erections whenever you want or need them. It is also possible to take Cialis when needed, about 30 minutes before sex.

Viagra is always taken when needed, usually about an hour before sex. You can take Viagra every day, but because the drug stays in your system for four to six hours, it won't be effective throughout the day.

Talking to Your Doctor about Erectile Dysfunction

Talking to your doctor about erectile dysfunction can be intimidating. However, it is important to remember that sexual health is part of overall health. Furthermore, erectile dysfunction is extremely common. Health professionals are experienced in discussing erectile dysfunction and providing treatment options without judgment or shame.


Cialis and Viagra are pills to treat erectile dysfunction. They are PDE5 inhibitors that allow more blood flow to the penis, leading to more frequent and harder erections. Because they are from the same class of drugs, they have similar side effects and efficacy. Cialis can be taken daily, providing consistent erectile dysfunction treatment for people who have frequent sex. There is also the option of taking Cialis as needed. Viagra is always taken when needed, usually an hour before having sex.

Common questions

  • Does Cialis make you harder than Viagra?

    There is no research available on whether Cialis or Viagra will give you harder erections. As they work with the same mechanisms, it is likely that they are similar. Both are approximately 70% effective in treating erectile dysfunction.

  • How long does it take for Cialis to peak?

    Cialis reaches its maximum effectiveness two hours after taking it. However, it stays in your body for up to 36 hours and can be taken every 24 hours so that it works for you consistently.

  • Is 20 mg of Cialis better than 100 mg of Viagra?

    Both Cialis and Viagra are effective at these doses. Your doctor can help you determine the dosage that's right for you.

(Video) Viagras how to use || Sildenafil for ED || Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

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Verywell Health only uses high quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts in our articles. read ourpublishing processfor more information on how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Urology Care Foundation.erectile dysfunction (ED).

  2. emling s.Viagra vs. Cialis: is it right for you?American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

  3. Medline Plus.tadalafil. National Library of Medicine.

  4. Medline Plus.sildenafilo. National Library of Medicine.

  5. Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. EmLiverTox: clinical and research information on drug-induced liver injury. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. 2017.

Want to know which erectile dysfunction medication is right for you? See how to choose. (2)

ByKelly Burch
Kelly Burch has been writing about health issues for over a decade. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune and more.

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How do I choose the right ED medication? ›

The American College of Physicians recommends looking at how quickly the medication takes effect, how long it lasts, the side effects and the price. Note that the length of time the medication is effective does not refer to the duration of the erection itself.

Which erectile dysfunction drug is best for me? ›

The bottom line

Sildenafil (Viagra) is by far the most affordable medication for ED and the one with the longest safety record. It's good for occasional use, but be sure to take it on an empty stomach. Tadalafil (Cialis) lasts longer, making it useful if you have a more active and regular sex life.

What are the best ED pills with the least side effects? ›

Which ED medication causes the fewest side effects? Stendra has the fewest side effects. Viagra, although the most well-known, has the most side effects.

What is the first drug of choice for erectile dysfunction? ›

Sildenafil (Viagra) is often the first drug your doctor offers. It's been on the market longest and its side effects and the medications and foods it interacts with are well known.

What is the best ED medicine for seniors? ›

The most commonly used ED medications among older adults are from a class of drugs called phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors.
The main PDE5 inhibitors available with a prescription are:
  • sildenafil (Viagra)
  • tadalafil (Cialis)
  • vardenafil (Levitra)
  • avanafil (Stendra)
Jan 13, 2021

Does Cialis get you harder than Viagra? ›

So to answer the above question, no, Viagra would not necessarily give a stronger erection than Cialis, and vice versa. However, Cialis will last longer and can help achieve one or more erections for up to 36 hours. This is considerably longer than Viagra, which is typically effective for 4-6 hours.

Is there anything better than Viagra for erectile dysfunction? ›

Vardenafil (Levitra) is almost 10 times more biochemically potent than sildenafil, therefore a lower dose is needed to facilitate the penile erection, potentially resulting in less side effects. Selectivity is the ability of the drug to attach to the specific enzyme PDE 5 found in penile tissues.

How long will I stay hard with Cialis? ›

How long does Cialis last? On the other hand, the effects of Cialis last noticeably longer than the effects of Viagra, normally up to 36 hours. That's a full 1.5 days! Don't be alarmed, though: That doesn't mean you'll have an erection for 1.5 days straight.

What are the top 3 erectile dysfunction pills? ›

Three of the most popular erectile dysfunction drugs on the market are sildenafil (active ingredient in Viagra®, generic Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra®) and tadalafil (Cialis). These are all first-generation treatments for ED that were introduced in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Why am I not getting hard for my wife? ›

Losing an erection or being unable to become erect often results from nerves, anxiety, or using alcohol or other drugs. Sometimes men worry about performance, and sometimes they're anxious about whether or not having intercourse is the right decision, or whether they're with the right partner.

What medications make ED worse? ›

Drugs that may cause erection problems
  • Amitriptyline (Elavil)
  • Amoxapine (Asendin)
  • Buspirone (Buspar)
  • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
  • Chlorpromazine (Thorazine)
  • Clomipramine (Anafranil)
  • Clorazepate (Tranxene)
  • Desipramine (Norpramin)
Jan 10, 2021

Is there a pill you can take everyday for ED? ›

Tadalafil (Cialis) is one of the most popular erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs. Its major appeal? The drug comes in low-dose versions that can be taken daily. This means you can have sex at any time, rather than needing to take a pill from time to time as needed like other ED brands.

Why do I keep losing my erection? ›

This is usually caused by stress, tiredness or drinking too much alcohol, and it's nothing to worry about. It can also be a side effect of some medicines. If erectile dysfunction happens often, it may be caused by a condition such as: high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

What can I do to make my Pennis stronger? ›

Below are 14 options those looking to get harder erections can try.
  1. See a doctor. If a person is having trouble getting or maintaining an erection, they should speak with a doctor. ...
  2. Eat a nutritious diet. ...
  3. Get regular exercise. ...
  4. Communicate with sexual partners. ...
  5. Explore new things. ...
  6. Limit alcohol intake. ...
  7. Sleep well. ...
  8. Reduce stress.

When do men stop ejaculating? ›

While there is no definite age at which male ejaculation ceases, it has been suggested that it may happen when a man reaches his late 40s or early 50s. It is important to note, however, that this is not a universal rule and some men may continue to ejaculate at a later age.

Which has worse side effects Viagra or Cialis? ›

Safety. Side effects for either drug are rare but not unheard of. As Cialis and Viagra are both PDE-5 inhibitors, they have similar side effects; although you may find that because Cialis is effective for longer, any side effects you experience may also last for longer.

Which do men prefer Viagra or Cialis? ›

Effectiveness of all PDE5 inhibitors is similar; although reported effectiveness of Viagra, at 84% is slightly higher than that of Cialis at 81%. However, more men prefer Cialis because of its longer duration of effect.

Does Cialis make you come harder? ›

They found that treatment with Cialis (10 or 20 milligrams taken as needed) was associated with significant increase in ejaculatory and orgasmic function across all levels of severity of ED, EJD and OD, compared to use of a placebo agent.

Should I use Viagra if I can't get hard? ›

However, if you have erectile dysfunction, Viagra's effects on your sexual performance can provide a confidence boost or make sex more enjoyable. In some cases, using Viagra might not make your erection develop faster or become firmer than usual, but might make it easier for you to maintain an erection during sex.

Does Cialis keep you hard all day? ›

In this case, Cialis may keep working for up to 36 hours in helping you have and maintain erections during that time. However, if you take Cialis each day for either benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or ED, you'll always have medication in your system. Therefore, it will continue to work throughout the day.

Does Cialis make you hard all day? ›

Compared with other ED drugs, Cialis lasts longer, working for up to 36 hours. But that doesn't mean a continuous erection for 36 hours. It means that the medicine enhances your ability to get hard over the course of 36 hours.

What happens if you take 40 mg of tadalafil? ›

Taking 40 mg of Cialis could be dangerous and raise the risk of side effects such as a sudden drop in blood pressure and priapism. The typical dose is 10 mg for occasional use and 2.5 or 5 mg for daily use. The typical maximum dose of Cialis for ED is 20 mg once a day.

What is the best pill to stay hard immediately? ›

  • Sildenafil (Viagra). This medication is most effective when taken on an empty stomach one hour before sex. ...
  • Vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn). This medication also is most effective when taken one hour before sex and can be taken with or without food. ...
  • Tadalafil (Cialis). ...
  • Avanafil (Stendra).

What are the negative side effects of Cialis? ›

The most common side effects with Cialis are: headache, indigestion, back pain, muscle aches, flushing, and stuffy or runny nose. These side effects usually go away after a few hours. Men who get back pain and muscle aches usually get it 12 to 24 hours after taking Cialis.

What over the counter pills are like Viagra? ›

5 over-the-counter alternatives to Viagra, and whether they work
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) According to a landmark Massachusetts Male Aging Study from 1994, low levels of DHEA are associated with a higher risk of ED. ...
  • L-arginine. ...
  • Ginseng. ...
  • Yohimbe. ...
  • Propionyl-L-carnitine.
Jan 19, 2023

What drinks help you get hard? ›

Love coffee or tea? Great! A 2005 review showed that caffeine may improve blood flow and relax the muscles that help you get and keep an erection. Try to keep it to black coffee, unsweetened tea, and caffeinated drinks without sweeteners.

How do I keep my husband hard? ›

14 Natural Ways to Maintain Erections
  1. Maintain a Healthy Body Weight. ...
  2. Pay Attention to Your Blood Pressure. ...
  3. Keep an Eye on Your Cholesterol Levels. ...
  4. Eat a Diet That's Rich in Fruits, Vegetables and Nutritious Foods. ...
  5. Take Your Mental Health Seriously. ...
  6. Make Aerobic Exercise Part of Your Daily Routine.
Sep 30, 2022

How can I get hard on without drugs? ›

Here are three simple things you can do to help get harder erections and keep erections without medication.
  1. Exercise more frequently. You've heard this one before: Exercise is good for you. ...
  2. Change your diet. When it comes to erections, you are what you eat. ...
  3. Limit alcohol consumption and quit smoking.
Dec 16, 2021

Can you have ED and still get morning wood? ›

It depends on the type of erectile dysfunction (ED). You can still get morning erections with 'psychogenic ED' – Some people have erection problems because of factors such as performance anxiety, relationship problems, being over-tired, or they've had too much alcohol. This type of ED is called psychogenic ED.

How do I get a bigger hard on? ›

How to increase blood flow to the penis naturally: 6 strategies
  1. Exercise. Exercise is one of the best ways to strengthen erections. ...
  2. Eat a healthy diet. ...
  3. Get enough sleep. ...
  4. Minimize stress. ...
  5. Consider herbal supplements. ...
  6. Reduce alcohol and nicotine intake.
May 12, 2022

What is the fastest way to cure erectile dysfunction at home? ›

Natural treatment alternatives for erectile dysfunction
  1. Diet. Eating a balanced diet may help maintain sexual function and decrease your risk of ED. ...
  2. Exercise. ...
  3. Sleep. ...
  4. Weight loss. ...
  5. Psychotherapy. ...
  6. Sex therapy or couples counseling. ...
  7. Stress reduction. ...
  8. Alcohol reduction.

What do doctors usually prescribe for ED? ›

Oral medications

Sildenafil (Viagra) Tadalafil (Adcirca, Cialis) Vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn) Avanafil (Stendra)

Which is stronger sildenafil or tadalafil? ›

The 'as required' Tadalafil (generic Cialis) has an advantage over Sildenafil in that it lasts a lot longer – up to 36 hours (compared with 4-5 hours for Sildenafil).

Is 20mg Cialis equal to 100mg Viagra? ›

20mg is the maximum dose of Cialis and 100mg is the maximum dose of Viagra, meaning your healthcare provider may suggest that you use 100mg of Viagra if you're prescribed Cialis and want to change medications. Ultimately, Cialis and Viagra are different medications that treat the same condition.

Is there a better ED medicine than Viagra? ›

Cialis has comfortably the longest effectiveness period of any erectile dysfunction drug on the market.

How can I overcome ED without medication? ›

Natural treatment alternatives for erectile dysfunction
  1. Diet. Eating a balanced diet may help maintain sexual function and decrease your risk of ED. ...
  2. Exercise. ...
  3. Sleep. ...
  4. Weight loss. ...
  5. Psychotherapy. ...
  6. Sex therapy or couples counseling. ...
  7. Stress reduction. ...
  8. Alcohol reduction.

Do you stay hard after coming on Cialis? ›

Being sexually aroused is an important step: sexual stimulation is required, and Cialis won't cause the penis to become erect just by taking the drug. The same is true for Viagra and any other PDE5 inhibitors. It's very rare to experience a persistent erection that won't go away after taking Cialis.

Which is stronger Cialis or tadalafil? ›

Generic Cialis, or Tadalafil, is the same as Cialis in terms of its active ingredient (tadalafil), its effectiveness and side effects. The difference you may see is in the cost, with generic medicines tending to be less expensive.

What works better than tadalafil? ›

Vardenafil (Levitra) is more selective than sildenafil and tadalafil (Cialis) to PDE5, which again means a lower dose is needed with potentially less side effects.

Does tadalafil increase size? ›

found no difference in penile size between pre and postoperative measurements with the use of full dose PDE5-I on demand (8). We found a significant decrease in all penile measurements in control patients (not using Tadalafil) at 3rd postoperative month when compared with preoperative measurements (p = 0.001).

Is 100 mg of Cialis too much? ›

The maximum recommended dosage of Cialis is 20 mg once per day. Taking a dose of Cialis that's higher than recommended could increase your risk for side effects. These can include serious side effects such as drops in blood pressure or priapism (a painful erection that won't go away).

Can I take 2 pills of Cialis 20mg? ›

The typical maximum dose of Cialis for ED is 20 mg once a day. If a doctor has prescribed Cialis for pulmonary arterial hypertension, you may be advised to take two 20-mg doses a day. But taking that much of the medication should be done only under a doctor's guidance.


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3. Sildenafil vs Tadalafil vs Vardenafil, Choosing The Best Pill for Stronger Erections
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4. How to have stronger erections! | Erectile Dysfunction causes & treatments!
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5. Doctor Explains: Do Male enhancement pills WORK?! | Erectile Dysfunction
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