All about Cialis: use, efficacy and safety

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

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

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 the smooth muscles of the prostate and bladder. It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

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

Benign prostatic hyperplasia

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

Pulmonary arterial hypertension

Tadalafil is also approved by the FDA to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), which is high blood pressure affecting 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.

Getting 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.

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

Cyclic GMPs help relax the smooth muscles in the blood vessels in your penis. This process greatly increases blood flow to these blood vessels, leading to an erection.

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

When sexually aroused, the parasympathetic nervous system activates, 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 multiple doses, allowing individuals to take a low dose tablet daily or a higher dose on demand before sexual activity.

Daily doses are available as 2.5 mg and 5 mg tablets. Doctors typically start their patients at a dose of 2.5 mg, although 5 mg may be appropriate if needed for greater effectiveness.

A daily dose of 5 mg may be excessive for some people and cause unwanted side effects.

Doses on demand are available in 10 mg and 20 mg doses. Doctors generally recommend starting with a 10 mg dose and increasing to 20 mg if a larger dose is needed to get the desired results.

A 2017 study found that although low dose daily use may have produced a slightly weaker effect than higher dose on demand use in some study participants, there did not appear to be a major benefit with one approach over the other.

To get the most out of Cialis:

  • With an on-demand dose, take it at least 30 minutes before sexual activity, but be aware that it may take up to 2 hours to work.
  • Take daily doses at about the same time each day.
  • Focus on managing stress.
  • Maintain healthy communication with your partner.

Some of the more common side effects associated with Cialis are:

  • headache
  • rinsing
  • indigestion
  • congestion
  • back pain and muscle pain

Cialis is more likely to cause myalgia (muscle pain) than other PDE5 inhibitors, according to a 2017 study on the treatment of erectile dysfunction published in the journal Nature examines the beginnings of diseases.

Many users of Cialis or generic tadalafil do not experience side effects, and those who do often have minor complaints that tend to go away once the drug is out of their system.

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

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

Other disturbing symptoms that should prompt a visit include sudden changes in vision and hearing, which sometimes occur along with tinnitus and dizziness.

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

Avoid taking with foods and meals high in fat

You should avoid high fat meals while using Cialis. Too much fat can affect how well the medicine works and how quickly it works.

Avoid grapefruit juice

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can increase Cialis levels in the blood, potentially increasing negative side effects.

Avoid excessive alcohol consumption

Moderate alcohol consumption should have little effect on how Cialis works. But heavy drinking can make it difficult to get an erection, even with erectile dysfunction medication.

Know your other medications

Cialis can interact with certain drugs. In particular, you should not take Cialis if you are also taking nitrates, which are drugs that widen the arteries to allow more blood flow.

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

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

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

Other classes of drugs that may interfere with Cialis include:

  • antiepileptic drugs
  • some antibiotics
  • HIV drugs
  • oral antifungal drugs

You should 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 also effective. The FDA ensures that generic versions of all brand name drugs provide the same clinical benefits.

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

Although prices vary widely depending on the manufacturer and the pharmacy where you purchase the drug, Cialis typically costs around $ 365 for 30 pills. Generic versions cost around $ 100 for 30 pills.

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

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

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

These drugs work best when used in combination 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 alternatives to the drugs that some people consider, as well as healthy habits. Among them are supplements and pill-free options, like:

  • L-arginine, an amino acid that helps make nitric oxide
  • Red ginseng, also known as Panax ginseng, an herb sometimes used to reduce inflammation
  • Rhodiola rosea, an herbal supplement with flavonoid properties that has been linked to increased energy levels
  • But acupuncture research showed conflicting results

Cialis and Viagra each have their advantages and disadvantages, although the drugs work the same in the body.

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

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

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

You can also find generic versions of Cialis and Viagra.

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

Cialis is not available over the counter. Your doctor should prescribe Cialis for you for erectile dysfunction or other conditions treated with the medicine.

You may also be able to get this medicine with the help of telemedicine services.

Companies like Hims and Roman offer online consultations with doctors who can prescribe erectile dysfunction drugs which are then sent to your home.

The cost of these online services can sometimes exceed conventional healthcare, although the convenience and discretion of this type of telemedicine service appeals to many.

Cialis, the branded version of the PDE5 inhibitor tadalafil, is one of the most prescribed erectile dysfunction drugs in the world.

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

The medication is available in low daily doses which keep the medication in your system and allow for greater spontaneity. It is also available in higher doses and on demand.

Although Cialis and other erectile dysfunction drugs do not “cure” the condition, they can treat the main symptom by helping to get and maintain erections.

If erectile dysfunction is affecting your life and relationships, you may want to consider trying tadalafil in some form.

It’s only available by prescription, so see a doctor about it and other possible treatments for erectile dysfunction.

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