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Cialis vs Viagra: A Comprehensive Review of Effectiveness, Dosage, and Side Effects


cialis vs viagra

Cialis and Viagra are the most popular medications for erectile dysfunction (ED). Both drugs have been widely prescribed and have helped millions of men improve their sexual performance. 

However, despite their similarities, there are some critical differences between these two medications that patients should consider when deciding which one to use. This article aims to comprehensively compare the effectiveness, dosage, and side effects and respond to your question, “Cialis vs Viagra – Which is better?”

History of Viagra and Cialis

Viagra, known by its generic name Sildenafil, was the first PDE5 inhibitor approved by the FDA for treating ED. The medication was launched in 1998 by Pfizer, and approved by the European Medicines Agency and US Food and Drug Administration, as the first oral drug to treat erectile dysfunction. The success of Viagra led to the development of other PDE5 inhibitors, including Cialis. [1]

Cialis, also known as Tadalafil, was approved by the FDA in 2003. Developed by LillyMedical, Cialis has become a popular alternative to Viagra due to its longer-lasting effects. [5] Since their introduction to the market, both medications have helped millions of men worldwide manage their ED and regain their confidence.

Thus, in the presence of sexual stimulation, ED drugs can produce a strong erection, allowing a person to initiate and complete sexual intercourse.

Cialis vs Viagra: Understanding the Key Differences

Cialis and Viagra belong to a class of drugs called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors, which relax the blood vessels in the penis to allow for increased blood flow during sexual arousal. [2] Despite their similar mechanism of action, some critical differences between the two medications can influence a patient’s decision on which one to choose. 

One of the main differences between Cialis and Viagra is the duration of their effect. Cialis, also known as tadalafil, is known for its longer-lasting effects, with its impact lasting up to 36 hours. This has earned it the nickname “the weekend pill.” Viagra, or sildenafil, on the other hand, has a shorter duration of action, usually lasting around 4-6 hours. [3]

Sildenafil citrate, the active ingredient in Viagra, is also present in a medication called Revatio, which is used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension or PAH. Cialis is used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) , a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland in men.

Another notable difference between the two medications is the time it takes for them to become effective. Cialis typically works within 30 minutes to 2 hours, while Viagra usually takes effect within 30-60 minutes. These differences can play a significant role in helping individuals decide which medication is best suited to their needs and lifestyle. [4]

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Where to Buy Cialis And Viagra Online?

For those who prefer to purchase their ED medications online, several reputable telemedicine services offer both Cialis and Viagra. These platforms typically require a consultation with a licensed physician to ensure the medication is appropriate and safe for the patient. 

Related: Cialis online

BlueChew, Hims, Rex MD, Roman, and Elan MD are the most popular telemedicine platforms.

1. BlueChew – Chewable Alternatives

bluechew sildenafil and tadalafil

BlueChew is an innovative telemedicine platform that provides ED medication across the United States. The company’s vision is to cater to individuals who:

  • Struggle with commercially available pills;
  • Prefer not to visit a doctor physically;
  • Seek enhanced confidence in bed;
  • Find swallowing pills challenging;

RELATED: BlueChew Review

The subscription begins with a virtual consultation with a licensed medical provider who delves into your symptoms and medical background. BlueChew provides chewable versions of sildenafil, tadalafil, and vardenafil. 

  • 24/7 US Licensed Medical Providers;
  • Rx Consultation;
  • Professional Medical Support;
  • No Waiting Rooms, No Appointments;
  • 30/45 mg Sildenafil, 6/9 mg Tadalafil, or 8 mg Vardenafil Chewable Tablets;

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2. Hims – Cialis vs Viagra Reviews

hims viagra and cialis

Hims is a telemedicine platform that offers a wide range of men’s health services, including erectile dysfunction treatment. They provide both Cialis and Viagra and other ED medications like Levitra and Stendra. 

RELATED: Hims ED Review

Hims offers a discreet and convenient online consultation process, allowing patients to obtain a prescription without needing an in-person doctor’s visit.

  • Completely free online consultation with a licensed healthcare expert;
  • Personal details stay secret and secure;
  • No-cost prescription;
  • Available branded and generic Viagra and Cialis;

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3. Rex MD – Cialis vs Viagra Reviews

rexmd viagra and cialis

Rex MD is another popular telemedicine service that specializes in men’s health. They offer both Cialis and Viagra, as well as other ED medications. Rex MD prides itself on its commitment to patient privacy and the quality of its products sourced from licensed pharmacies.

  • A quick consultation with a qualified healthcare professional;
  • 2 night-free generic Viagra samples;
  • Cost-free standard USPS shipping; 
  • Available branded and generic Viagra and Cialis;

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4. Roman – Cialis vs Viagra Reviews

roman viagra and cialis

Roman is a well-known telemedicine platform that offers a range of men’s health services, including ED treatments. They provide both Cialis and Viagra, as well as other ED medications. Roman offers a convenient and discreet online consultation process, allowing patients to obtain a prescription without needing an in-person doctor’s visit.

  • After prescription, you get limitless follow-ups with US-licensed medical professionals;
  • Cheap generic Viagra online treatments start at just $4 per dose;
  • $15 off prescribed ED treatments; 
  • Available branded and generic Viagra and Cialis;

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5. Elan MD – Cialis vs Viagra Reviews

elan md viagra and cialis

Elan MD is a telemedicine service that specializes in sexual health and wellness. They offer both Cialis and Viagra, as well as other ED medications. Elan MD provides a patient-centric approach to healthcare, offering personalized treatment plans and ongoing support from their team of licensed medical professionals. 

  • Free discreet shipping in 2-3 days;
  • Free complementary Ulta Test bottle (Testosterone booster);
  • Free trial (cancellable within 14 before being charged for a 30-day prescription);
  • Available branded and generic Viagra and Cialis;

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Cialis vs Viagra Review: Let’s Get to Know These ED Pills

cialis vs viagra pros and cons infographic

Viagra Pros

  1. Fast-acting: Viagra typically takes effect within 30-60 minutes of ingestion, making it a popular choice for men looking for a quick solution to their ED. [6]
  2. Well-established: Since Viagra was the first PDE5 inhibitor on the market, it has a long history of use and is widely considered a safe and effective treatment for ED.
  3. Shorter duration of action: Viagra’s effects usually last 4-6 hours, which may be preferable for those who do not want a medication with a longer-lasting impact on their system. [7]
    Related: How long does Viagra take to work

Viagra Cons

  1. Shorter duration of action: While the shorter period of Viagra’s effects may benefit some, it may also be a drawback for those seeking a longer-lasting treatment option.
  2. Possible interactions with food: High-fat meals can delay the absorption of Viagra, potentially reducing its effectiveness. [8] 

Cialis Pros

  1. Longer-lasting effects: Cialis is known for its longer duration of action, with results lasting up to 36 hours. This makes it a popular choice for those seeking a weekend-long treatment option. [5] 
  2. Less affected by food: Unlike Viagra, the effectiveness of Cialis is not significantly impacted by food, allowing for more flexibility in when the medication can be taken.
  3. Daily dosing option: Cialis is available in a lower-strength daily dose, which can be more convenient for those who engage in sexual activity more frequently.

Cialis Cons

  1. Longer duration of action: While the longer-lasting effects of Cialis may benefit some, it can also be a drawback for those who prefer a medication with a shorter period of activity.
  2. Potentially less effective for some individuals: Some men may find that Cialis does not work as effectively as Viagra, necessitating a trial-and-error approach to finding the best medication for their needs.

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Effectiveness: Which is Better, Cialis or Viagra?

In terms of effectiveness, both Cialis and Viagra have been proven to be effective in treating erectile dysfunction. Numerous studies have demonstrated that both medications can improve erectile function in most men, regardless of the cause of their ED.

However, some studies about Cialis vs Viagra have suggested that Cialis may have a slight advantage over Viagra regarding its overall effectiveness. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that men taking Cialis reported higher levels of sexual satisfaction and improved erectile function compared to those taking Viagra. [9]

Another study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research found that Cialis was more effective in treating ED caused by diabetes compared to Viagra. [10] That being said, individual responses to these medications can vary, and what works best for one person may not necessarily work as well for another. 

Cialis vs Viagra: Dosage Comparison 

The appropriate dosage for Cialis and Viagra can vary depending on the individual’s needs and response to the medication. The typical starting dose for Cialis is 10 mg, which can be adjusted up to 20 mg or down to 5 mg, depending on the patient’s response. [5]

Cialis is also available in a daily low-dose formulation (2.5 mg or 5 mg), which can be taken daily to maintain a constant level of the medication in the body. [11]

  • Cialis is available in four dosage forms:

Cialis is available in four dosage forms

  • Cialis 10mg is the suggested initial dosage for this medication. Your medical professional may prescribe this dose if you’re new to ED treatments. Generally, younger men with ED find that a 10mg Cialis dose provides positive outcomes.
  • Cialis 20mg is the maximum advised dosage for this drug. If you don’t see any improvement with a 10mg Cialis dose, increasing the dosage to 20mg could enhance your results.
  • Cialis 2.5mg and 5mg, also known as “Cialis Daily,” are lower-dosage tablets intended for men with ED who enjoy spontaneous intimacy and prefer taking a daily dose rather than using Cialis as needed.
    Related: Is ‍20mg Cialis Equal to 100mg Viagra

Viagra, on the other hand, is typically prescribed in doses of 25 mg, 50 mg, or 100 mg, with 50 mg being the standard starting dose. The dosage can be increased or decreased based on the patient’s response and tolerance to the medication. [12]

  • Viagra is available in three distinct dosage forms:

Viagra is available in three distinct dosage forms

  • Viagra 50mg serves as the suggested starting dosage for the medication. Healthcare professionals may prescribe this amount if you are younger, have mild to moderate ED, or haven’t used Viagra or other ED treatments before.
  • Viagra 100mg represents the highest possible dosage for the drug. This dosage is generally prescribed for those experiencing moderate to severe erectile dysfunction and not seeing significant improvements with the 50mg tablet.
  • Lastly, Viagra 25mg is the lowest available dosage. Many younger individuals and those with mild ED find this dosage effective. Additionally, this lower dose is less likely to result in side effects.

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Cialis vs Viagra: Side Effects

Cialis and Viagra share similar side effects due to their similar mechanism of action. Common side effects of both medications include headache, flushing, nasal congestion, indigestion, and muscle aches. These side effects are generally mild and tend to subside as the body becomes accustomed to the medication. [2]

However, there are some differences in the side effect profiles of Cialis and Viagra. Cialis is more likely to cause back pain and muscle aches, while Viagra is more likely to cause visual disturbances, such as changes in color vision or sensitivity to light.

Patients need to discuss any side effects with their healthcare provider to determine if a change in medication or dosage may be necessary.

Cialis vs Viagra Interactions and Precautions

Both Cialis and Viagra can interact with certain medications and medical conditions, so patients need to discuss their medical history and any current medications with their healthcare provider before starting treatment.

Some common medications that can interact with Cialis or Viagra include nitrates (used to treat chest pain), alpha-blockers (used to treat high blood pressure or enlarged prostate), and certain antifungal or antibiotic medications. These potential drug interactions can increase the risk of side effects or reduce the effectiveness of the ED medication.

Additionally, Cialis and Viagra should be used cautiously in patients with certain medical conditions, such as severe liver or kidney disease, low blood pressure, or a history of heart attack or stroke. Patients with these conditions may require a lower dose or cannot take these medications. [13]

Cialis vs Viagra: Price Comparison

The Cialis vs Viagra price can vary depending on the dosage, the quantity prescribed, and the pharmacy or online retailer where the medication is purchased. 

The price of Viagra fluctuates based on the pill’s potency, with the 50mg or 100mg dosage typically costing around $80 per tablet. Meanwhile, Cialis is priced at roughly $12 for the 5mg dosage and $70 for the 20mg dosage per tablet.

However, it is worth noting that the longer duration of action of Cialis may make it a more cost-effective option for some individuals, as fewer doses may be required compared to Viagra. Additionally, generic versions of both medications are available, which can significantly reduce the cost of treatment.

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Cialis vs Viagra Reviews: FAQ

How Long Does It Take for Cialis and Viagra to Work?

Cialis typically takes 30 minutes to 2 hours to become effective, while Viagra usually takes 30-60 minutes.

How Long Do the Effects of Cialis or Viagra Last?

Cialis can last up to 36 hours, while Viagra usually lasts 4-6 hours.

Can I Take Cialis or Viagra With Alcohol?

While moderate alcohol consumption is unlikely to interfere with the effectiveness of Cialis or Viagra, excessive alcohol use can increase the risk of side effects and may reduce the effectiveness of the medication.

Can I Get Generic Versions of Cialis or Viagra?

Yes, generic versions of both medications, Cialis or Viagra, are available and can be significantly cheaper than the brand-name versions.

RELATED: Generic Viagra Online

Can Cialis or Viagra Cause an Erection That Lasts Too Long?

In rare cases, Cialis or Viagra can cause a prolonged erection that lasts more than 4 hours. This condition, known as priapism, requires immediate medical attention.

Viagra 100mg vs Cialis 20mg – Is 20 mg of Cialis the Same as 100 mg of Viagra?

The highest dosage for Cialis is 20mg, while for Viagra, it’s 100mg. If your healthcare professional recommends switching from Cialis to Viagra, they may advise using the 100mg dose. If you wonder whether Cialis 20mg vs Viagra 100mg is better, please notify your healthcare provider, as it differs for everyone.

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Conclusion – Which Is Better Viagra or Cialis?

Both Viagra and Cialis are effective erectile dysfunction medications for treating erectile dysfunction, but they have essential differences in duration, onset of action, dosage, side effects, and cost. Patients should work with their healthcare provider to determine which medication best suits their needs and preferences.

Answering the question of Cialis vs Viagra is difficult, as both medications have advantages and disadvantages. Patients should consider factors such as the duration of action, onset of action, dosage options, side effect profile, and cost when deciding.

Discussing concerns or questions with a healthcare provider is essential, as they can provide personalized advice and guidance based on the patient’s medical history and individual needs. Ultimately, the right choice of medication will depend on the patient’s unique situation and preferences.

For those who prefer to purchase their ED medications online, several reputable telemedicine services, such as Hims, Rex MD, Elan MD, and Roman, offer Cialis and Viagra, and BlueChew offers Sildenafil, Tadalafil, and Vardenafil as chewables. However, discussing any concerns or questions with a licensed healthcare provider before starting treatment with these medications is essential.

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References

1. [1] – Dhaliwal A, Gupta M. PDE5 Inhibitors. [Updated 2022 May 20]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK549843/

2. [2] – Huang SA, Lie JD. Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) Inhibitors In the Management of Erectile Dysfunction. P T. 2013 Jul;38(7):407-19. PMID: 24049429; PMCID: PMC3776492.

3. [3] – Gong B, Ma M, Xie W, Yang X, Huang Y, Sun T, Luo Y, Huang J. Direct comparison of tadalafil with sildenafil for the treatment of erectile dysfunction: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int Urol Nephrol. 2017 Oct;49(10):1731-1740. doi: 10.1007/s11255-017-1644-5. Epub 2017 Jul 24. PMID: 28741090; PMCID: PMC5603624.

4. [4] – Eardley I, Ellis P, Boolell M, Wulff M. Onset and duration of action of sildenafil for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2002;53 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):61S-65S. doi: 10.1046/j.0306-5251.2001.00034.x. PMID: 11879261; PMCID: PMC1874251.

5. [5] – Coward RM, Carson CC. Tadalafil in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008 Dec;4(6):1315-30. doi: 10.2147/tcrm.s3336. PMID: 19337438; PMCID: PMC2643112.

6. [6] – Eardley I, Ellis P, Boolell M, Wulff M. Onset and duration of action of sildenafil for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2002;53 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):61S-65S. doi: 10.1046/j.0306-5251.2001.00034.x. PMID: 11879261; PMCID: PMC1874251.

7. [7] – Chamsi-Pasha H. Sildenafil (viagra) and the heart. J Family Community Med. 2001 May;8(2):63-6. PMID: 23008645; PMCID: PMC3437061.

8. [8] – Nichols DJ, Muirhead GJ, Harness JA. Pharmacokinetics of sildenafil after single oral doses in healthy male subjects: absolute bioavailability, food effects and dose proportionality. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2002;53 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):5S-12S. doi: 10.1046/j.0306-5251.2001.00027.x. PMID: 11879254; PMCID: PMC1874258.

9. [9] – Rubio-Aurioles E, Porst H, Kim ED, Montorsi F, Hackett G, Morales AM, Stuckey B, Būttner H, West TM, Huynh NN, Lenero E, Burns P, Kopernicky V. A randomized open-label trial with a crossover comparison of sexual self-confidence and other treatment outcomes following tadalafil once a day vs. tadalafil or sildenafil on-demand in men with erectile dysfunction. J Sex Med. 2012 May;9(5):1418-29. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2012.02667.x. Epub 2012 Mar 16. PMID: 22429760.

10. [10] – Porst, H. IC351 (tadalafil, Cialis): update on clinical experience. Int J Impot Res 14 (Suppl 1), S57–S64 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ijir.3900807

11. [11] – Washington SL 3rd, Shindel AW. A once-daily dose of tadalafil for erectile dysfunction: compliance and efficacy. Drug Des Devel Ther. 2010 Sep 7;4:159-71. doi: 10.2147/dddt.s9067. PMID: 20856843; PMCID: PMC2939761.

12. [12] – McMurray JG, Feldman RA, Auerbach SM, Deriesthal H, Wilson N; Multicenter Study Group. Long-term safety and effectiveness of sildenafil citrate in men with erectile dysfunction. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2007 Dec;3(6):975-81. PMID: 18516312; PMCID: PMC2387281.

13. [13] – Corona G, Razzoli E, Forti G, Maggi M. The use of phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors with concomitant medications. J Endocrinol Invest. 2008 Sep;31(9):799-808. doi: 10.1007/BF03349261. PMID: 18997493.

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