Cialis vs Viagra: Action, Effects, Administration and Risks

Both Cialis and Viagra are intended for fighting problems with getting or maintaining an erection. In general, both drugs are safe and are incredibly popular around the world. However, they have certain peculiarities that should be considered during treatment.

Of course, you can get answers to your questions from your doctor during the consultation. However, if you study the properties of erectile dysfunction (ED) medications and their benefits in advance, it will be easier for you to choose the treatment option that is best for you.

Read on to learn about the effects that these drugs provide for the erectile function and the body.

Comparison of Cialis and Viagra by key parameters

Let's learn more about the features of these two drugs, starting with the main differences and similarities.

Criteria for comparison

Viagra

Cialis

Form of release

oral tablets

oral tablets

Active substance

Sildenafil

Tadalafil

Drug class

PDE-5 inhibitor

PDE-5 inhibitor

Available doses

25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg

2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg

Indications for use

Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction and/or benign prostatic hyperplasia 

Market launch

1998

2003

NDA number

020895

021368

Influence of sexual arousal

lack of action without sexual arousal

lack of action without sexual arousal

Efficacy

up to 90%

up to 90%

How to use

take as needed

take as needed or every day (5 or 2.5 mg doses)

Influence of alcohol

avoid or limit alcohol consumption

limit alcohol consumption

Recommended dose timing before sex

1 hour

30 minutes

Effect duration

4-5 hours

up to 36 hours

Half-life 

approx. 4 hours

approx. 17.5 hours

Time to reach peak efficacy

1-2 hours

2 hours

Effect of food on absorption rate

affects

doesn’t affect

 

This table shows average data. Some reliable sources give slightly different information, for example, about the action onset time. Here's what we found:

●       Viagra tablets should be taken approximately 60 minutes before sexual activity. Studies have shown that when taken on an empty stomach, an erection can be achieved within 12 minutes.

●       Cialis tablets are recommended to be taken 30 minutes before sex. But they can help many men achieve penetrative erections in as little as 16 minutes.

Cialis vs Viagra: efficacy

Cialis vs Viagra: efficacy

Which of the ED drugs is better? This is an important question that many men want to get an answer to. However, if you experience erection problems, the most important thing is not to ignore the problem and address it as soon as possible before it becomes chronic.

If we talk about choosing between different types of ED drugs, then attention, spoiler - all ED drugs work the same way and have about the same effectiveness. This rule works for the vast majority of men.

The good news is that despite similar efficacy, you can choose the drug that will best suit your:

●       Lifestyle.

●       Preferences.

●       Individual characteristics of the body.

●       Symptoms of ED.

The effectiveness of all PDE-5 inhibitors is approximately the same. With the use of any oral ED medication, men and their partners report an improvement in their sex life.

Viagra and Cialis, as well as generic medications containing the active ingredients Sildenafil or Tadalafil, are effective in more than 80% of men with ED of varying severity and etiology. Up to 90% of men have benefited from treatment for mild to moderate erection problems.

Yes, some people find Viagra more attractive because of its fast and reliable effect, while others prefer Cialis because of its longer duration of activity. To get a correct answer when choosing pills, it is better to check the effect of both drugs.

Cialis vs Viagra: duration of action

If you want to be less concerned about the duration of action, choose Cialis tablets with a phenomenal 36 hours of effectiveness. Even if you take a pill in the morning, the effect will continue throughout the day, evening, night and the next day until about evening.

Tablets containing Tadalafil can be used before dates, walks, hearty meals and at any time when you cannot accurately predict the time before sexual activity. You can spend all day with your partner and have sex at the preferred time.

You don't have to worry about Cialis (Tadalafil) causing an erection at the wrong time because it works for too long. The action is manifested only when the man is sexually stimulated and becomes sexually aroused. The pills will not affect daily life, except for sexual activity.

Cialis has the longest action duration out of any type of ED medications. Nevertheless, it did not push its competitors out of the market, since a longer duration of action is not always an undeniable and clear advantage.

Viagra works up to 4-5 hours, and Cialis - up to 36 hours. You may be better off choosing Viagra if you need to take other medications (for example, to treat hypertension), if you sometimes have side effects and want to minimize their duration, if you want to drink alcohol knowing that there is no ED medication in your blood anymore.

Cialis vs Viagra: influence of food

Cialis vs Viagra: influence of food

One of the main advantages of all ED drugs is that they begin to work almost immediately after oral administration. This is a very important advantage because many men want to use pills that will give them results as quickly as possible.

Food, especially fatty foods, slows down the absorption of many drugs in the gastrointestinal tract. If the medicine is not absorbed and does not reach a certain concentration in the blood, a man may fail in bed.

The general advice for taking most ED pills is to take some time before sexual activity, if you recently had a fatty meal and then took a pill. Wait a bit for the medicine to start working for sure, and you can get a guaranteed effect.

Pharmacokinetic features:

●       Viagra may take up to 60 minutes to start working if taken with food.

●       There are no food restrictions when it comes to taking Cialis. Tablets work regardless of food intake. You can eat whatever you want, although a large meal before sexual intimacy is not always the best decision.

Cialis vs Viagra: side effects

List of common side effects

Side effects 

Viagra

Cialis

Headache

12.8%

14.5%

Gastrointestinal disorders

4.6%

12.3%

Backache

% не известен

6.55%

Muscle pain

% не известен

5.7%

Hot flushes

10.4%

4.1%

Dizziness

1.2%

2.3%

Abnormal vision

1.9%

-

Nasal congestion

1.1%

4.3%

As you can see from the above, the incidence of side effects varies depending on the type of ED medication.

For example, if Cialis gives you a headache and you are unable to focus on sexual activity, you can switch to Viagra, which is less likely to cause this side effect.

Viagra has more side effects from the part of vision organs than does Cialis. Infrequently, blurred vision and cyanopsia (bluish vision) may occur. Although these adverse reactions are temporary, it is best to refrain from driving if they occur.

One of the side effects that have been reported with Cialis is back and muscle pain. Although the frequency is not as high, you should be aware that you may experience pain that does not go away within 1-2 days.

During the treatment of any disease, you should always be cautious. When ED pills are taken, most men do not have much to worry about adverse reactions. Only 3% of men stopped using medication for ED because of side effects.

Influence of alcohol

You have probably heard that alcohol can affect the pharmaceutical properties of many drugs. In some cases, alcohol has little effect, in other cases, alcohol has a strong toxic effect and is contraindicated for co-administration.

As for ED medications, alcohol can interact with them. Here is the basic information to keep in mind:

●       Drinking too much alcohol can lead to serious side effects.

●       Drinking alcohol in minimal to moderate amounts probably won't cause problems.

In particular, excessive alcohol consumption during medical treatment of ED can lead to orthostatic hypotension. Among other things, this can cause dizziness and fainting, which can lead to fractures or other injuries.

Alcohol wreaks havoc on your sexual function, liver, and cardiovascular system. However, alcohol is not listed as a contraindication to ED medications, but it is recommended to limit its consumption.

Which is safer with alcohol, Cialis or Viagra? We will not give specific advice, but here is what we managed to find:

●       Nearly 70% of men using PDE-5 inhibitors and alcohol experienced facial flushing, compared to about 12% of men who did not drink alcohol. Flushing of the face is the most common effect that occurs when alcohol interacts with ED pills.

●       There are many reports that the use of Cialis with alcohol is much safer than Viagra. There is some evidence behind these claims, but we have not found reliable medical evidence to support the idea that one drug is much safer than another.

When mixing moderate amounts of alcohol and ED tablets, dangerous complications have rarely been observed, but they are possible. Just one glass of wine or beer is unlikely to interfere with the pills or cause health risks. But if you drink too much, you may be in trouble.

We are often asked: "How long after taking the pills can I drink alcohol?". It all depends on the individual characteristics of your body and how long the active ingredients of the drugs stay in the blood.

Facial flushing and hypotension may be even more likely with Cialis than with some other erectile dysfunction drugs. This is because Cialis stays in your body longer than many other ED medications.

To completely avoid any residual toxicity, it is recommended that you wait for your system to completely eliminate medication before you drink alcohol, even in small amounts.

What you need to know before taking Cialis or Viagra

What you need to know before taking Cialis or Viagra

Drugs for treating erectile dysfunction have the same mechanism of action, which means similar precautions. If this is your first time using PDE-5 inhibitors, it is important to visit your doctor and tell him about all your medical problems, especially the following:

●       Deformity of the penis.

●       High or low intra-arterial pressure.

●       Diabetes, especially if it has impaired vision.

●       Blood clotting disorders.

●       Serious liver or kidney disease.

●       Inflammation or infection of the penis.

●       History of long-lasting and/or painful erections.

If you have any medical conditions, and especially if you are treating them with medication, be sure to consult your doctor before taking ED medication.

Without the advice of a doctor, do not use medicines containing Sildenafil or Tadalafil together with the following substances and drug classes:

●       Nitrates.

●       Substances affecting the production of nitric oxide.

●       Antihypertensive drugs.

●       Furanocoumarin (found in grapefruit juice).

●       Medicines for HIV.

●       Antiepileptic drugs.

●       Antibiotics and antifungals.

●       Drugs for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Conclusion

So here's what you now know:

●       Cialis is the No. 1 ED drug in the world in terms of such a parameter as the effects duration. The action does not depend on food intake.

●       Viagra is the world's first approved ED drug with high popularity and outstanding recognition.

There is no consensus as to which of these drugs is better. Each drug has a different active ingredient, and there are individual differences in efficacy under different conditions, side effects, etc.

The effectiveness of PDE-5 inhibitors is approximately equal, that is, it is impossible to say that one drug works and the other does not. Cialis is preferred by those men who are looking for a longer lasting action. Viagra is often chosen by adherents of proven classic solutions that guarantee reliable results.

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