Both Cialis and Viagra are popular prescription drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction. While they both do the same job, there are some real differences between the two that will impact your experience.
That’s good news for men who have tried one of these ED drugs and found that it doesn’t match their expectations or lifestyle.
How do you decide whether to try Cialis vs. Viagra? Before talking to your doctor, read this short introduction to the important differences between the two ED pills.
What You Need to Know About Cialis
Cialis is the brand name for a prescription drug called tadalafil. Like other ED drugs, it is a type of phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor. That means it relies on your body’s natural nitric oxide (NO) to help you achieve an erection: your body releases the chemical naturally when you’re sexually aroused.
The big difference between Cialis and Viagra is that Cialis lasts longer, which makes it a once-daily medication. However, you can use it on an as-needed basis if you prefer. You’ll need to tell your doctor if that’s your preference so they can adjust the dosage.
You can take a Cialis pill on a Tuesday morning and still be able to have intercourse on Tuesday evening or even early Wednesday night. Once you take the pill, it stays in your system for around 36 hours.
Although Cialis lasts longer, it doesn’t take much longer to start working. You can still use it solely at the time you want to have sex. It should kick in within 15 to 45 minutes. There are no special instructions about taking it with or without food.
As of 2018, you can get a generic for Cialis for the first time.
What You Need to Know About Viagra
Viagra became the first PDE5 inhibitor and first oral pill to receive FDA approval. It’s been on the market since 1998, but the generic only appeared on the market in 2017.
Although Viagra relies on the same release of NO as other PDE5 inhibitors, it works differently than Cialis.
You take Viagra when you’re ready to have sex: it takes around 30 minutes before the pill starts working. While it’s good for multiple rounds, the pill wears off after four to five hours. Unlike Cialis, you don’t take it every day, and when you do take the pill, you take a much larger dose (50 mg of Viagra vs. 2.5 to 5 mg of Cialis daily)
Additionally, you need to be careful about what you eat when taking Viagra. If you take it after dinner (usually a high fat dinner), you may delay the effects. Essentially, Viagra works best on an empty stomach, so if you order pizza after sex, then you can quite literally kill the mood.
What ED Drug is Most Effective?
Almost all PDE5 inhibitors have a similar effectiveness rate. At present, Viagra has a slightly better reported rate at around 84 percent compared to Cialis’s 81 percent.
It’s important to keep in mind that you have the greatest chance of success when you follow your doctor’s instructions. Remember that issues like food can get in the way of Viagra’s effects.
How to Choose Between Cialis vs. Viagra
So, how do you choose between Cialis and Viagra?
If you are otherwise healthy and don’t have an unstable cardiovascular disease, then the choice is a matter of lifestyle. If you want to achieve an erection on-demand and on a regular basis, than a once-daily Cialis may be a better fit for your lifestyle.
It may also suit men who find the idea of taking an ED pill difficult because you can take it once a day regardless and not stress about the need to take a pill an hour before sex.
However, if you don’t want or need to achieve an erection on a regular basis then Viagra or a low dose of Cialis may be a better fit. It has the same efficacy rate but requires a little more planning.
What if an ED Pill Doesn’t Help?
Some men find that their bodies don’t respond to the pill. It’s not uncommon, and there are things you can do to increase the efficacy of the pill. So, don’t give up!
If you don’t have success or you find you have side effects, you should always talk to your doctor. They may adjust your dose or change the prescription entirely.
Your doctor may also suggest lifestyle therapy if you are overweight or obese. Studies show that men who lose weight through diet and exercise improve the effects of their ED treatment and may even find improved erectile function generally.
Remember to also take the pill only as directed. If one dose doesn’t work, don’t take more within a 24-hour period and don’t take more than your maximum dosage. You increase the likelihood of negative side effects, which can include permanent damage to your penis and even heart attacks.
Are You Looking for the Right ED Treatment?
Most oral pills are PDE5 inhibitors that use the same mechanisms to help men achieve an erection. However, there are a few differences between all the drugs.
The primary difference between Cialis and Viagra is that Cialis can be taken in small doses as a once-daily prescription. Viagra comes in a higher dosage and needs to be taken an hour before sex to work.
As always, you should talk to your doctor if you believe you are struggling with erectile dysfunction. You should also share any side effects of ED medications you experience with them so that you can find the right drug for you.
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