The blue pill or Viagra is world-renowned for its effectiveness in the management of erectile dysfunction. Another popular medication is Cialis. Although both are beneficial in counteracting the inability to achieve or maintain an erection, ‘which is more effective – Viagra or Cialis?’ – is the most commonly asked question. 

To settle your doubts once & for all and help you decide on which would be more suitable for you, we have compiled useful information to steer you in the right direction. 

What Are These Drugs?

what are these drugs

Viagra and Cialis are both treatment drugs for erectile dysfunction. They are PDE5 (phosphodiesterase 5) inhibitors and vasodilators. These pills dilate the blood vessels and promote blood flow to the penile tissue. 

  • Erection occurs when the penis is filled with increased blood flow. 
  • Under healthy conditions, sexual stimulation results in the release of nitric oxide in the penile tissue which activates the enzyme guanylate cyclase. 
  • This enzyme results in the production of cGMP (cyclic guanosine monophosphate) that oversees the dilation and contraction of blood vessels. 
  • cGMP is primarily responsible for the erection in men as it controls the amount of blood that flows into the penis. 
  • As a part of a natural phenomenon, cGMP gets destroyed by the PDE5 enzyme which is responsible for the end of erection. 
  • Viagra & Cialis inhibit the action of the PDE5 enzyme and preserve cGMP. Accumulation of which assists in prolonging the erection time.

Cialis Vs Viagra Strength

These ED medications are available in varying strengths depending on a particular requirement. In general, lower tablets are prescribed first then gradually increased.

The dosage strengths for Cialis:

  • 2.5 mg
  • 5 mg
  • 10 mg 
  • 20 mg
  • 40 mg
  • 60 mg

The lower doses, 2.5 & 5 milligrams, are known as Cialis Daily and are prescribed for daily consumption.

For Viagra:

  • 50 mg
  • 100 mg
  • 120 mg
  • 150 mg
  • 200 mg

Frequency of Cialis Dosage Vs Viagra

frequency of viagra vs cialis

Cialis and Viagra are usually taken on-demand 30-60 minutes before the expected sexual act. However, Cialis Daily is intended for daily oral administration when you have sex frequently (at least twice a week).

  • Cialis tablets can be consumed either with or without food. Food does not affect the absorption of Cialis in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Viagra shows the best results when consumed on an empty stomach.
  • Taking viagra with a high-fat diet restricts the pace of absorption in the body.

Cialis Daily Vs Viagra – Suitability

  • Cialis Daily is prescribed for people who have sex at least twice a week. The constant level is maintained in the body and effects last you for 24 hours, making it the best choice for those who do not like to plan the medication for such activities. 
  • Viagra is suitable for those who are not frequently involved in sexual activity as it can be used whenever required for a night.  
  • Another area to consider is the negative effects of these medications. As some people experience side effects from the use of ED medications, the longer life of Cialis in the body will result in a prolonged duration of side effects as well. In such cases, the shorter time of effects of Viagra compared to Cialis may be better suited. 
Important Information 
CialisViagra
The overall blood level should not increase by 10 milligrams in 72 hours.The maximum level of Viagra that is considered safe is 100 milligrams in 24 hours.

Differences Between Viagra and Cialis

difference between viagra and cialis

The main difference between the two medications is the active ingredient present in them, their spectrum for treatment, and the duration for which they stay in the body. 

  • Viagra has Sildenafil citrate as its active ingredient, whereas the active agent in Cialis is Tadalafil.
  • Sildenafil has a shorter half-life and peaks within 30 minutes to 2 hours after consumption. It stays effective for 4-6 hours.
  • Tadalafil, the active ingredient in Cialis, has a longer half-life and can stay effective for up to 36 hours.
  • Cialis can be taken with food or on an empty stomach, while Viagra’s absorption is affected when consumed with high-fat food.
  • Viagra has been approved for the erectile dysfunction therapy only, however, it is sometimes prescribed off-label for Female Sexual Arousal Disorder and Raynaud’s Phenomenon. It is also effective for the management of early ejaculation.[1]
  • Cialis is used for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia and erectile dysfunction and, off-label for Raynaud’s Phenomenon. Some studies show that Cialis can also help men with ejaculatory and orgasmic functions.[2]
  • While Viagra is intended for consumption 30-60 minutes before the anticipated sexual activity, Cialis in lower doses can be consumed daily by those who regularly have sex (at least twice a week). People who do not have sex regularly can take higher strength of Cialis when required. 
AspectViagraCialis
Active IngredientSildenafil CitrateTadalafil
Lasts For4 to 6 hoursUp to 36 hours
Prescribed forErectile DysfunctionOff label for – Raynaud’s Phenomenon & Female Sexual Arousal DisorderErectile DysfunctionBenign Prostatic HyperplasiaOff label for – Raynaud’s Phenomenon

Cialis Vs Viagra Effectiveness 

viagra vs cialis

Studies show that the effectiveness of both Cialis and Viagra in men is equivalent.[3,4] There aren’t major differences when comparing the effects and side effects. The only difference lies in the duration for which they stay active in the body. 

Which Lasts Longer?

In terms of the duration of their effects, Cialis has a longer half-life, therefore, will stay in your body for a prolonged period. Those who consume Cialis daily can feel the effects for up to 24 hours, while those who take it on demand may experience the effects for up to 36 hours. Viagra usually lasts anywhere between 4 to 6 hours. 

Cialis Vs Viagra Hardness

Both these medications assist people with obtaining a firm erection when they aren’t able to achieve one due to erectile dysfunction. Neither of these can get you harder than the other one. If you can achieve a strong erection naturally, taking Cialis or Viagra won’t improve the hardness.  

Side Effects – Cialis Vs Viagra

side effects cialis vs viagra

The majority of the side effects are similar. Serious symptoms such as chest pain, nausea, or dizziness during sex are considered critical and in case experienced, immediate medical assistance should be sought after.

ViagraCialis
HeadacheDizzinessBackacheMuscular painNauseaIndigestionNasal congestionFacial FlushingChanges in normal visionRashPriapism: an erection that persists for more than 4 hours
HypotensionUnusual ejaculationA localized pain in legs or armsUrinary Tract InfectionStomachache

Safety of Consumption: Cialis Vs Viagra

safety of consumption of cialis vs viagra

Although the overall safety data for both these drugs are convincing, Cialis & Viagra are known to interact with certain medications which may cause adverse health effects. Do not use Cialis or Viagra in the following conditions. 

  • If you are on nitrates or any other hypertension medication. PDE5 inhibitors can drop blood pressure levels to a dangerous low.
  • Drinking heavily with these medications should be avoided as alcohol-PDE5 inhibitor combination can result in orthostatic hypotension.
  • If you have or have had any heart-related issues, you should discuss the suitability of Cialis or Viagra with your doctor. 
  • Other medications that may interact with ED medications are pulmonary arterial hypertension medications and amyl nitrate.
  • Use of Cialis should be avoided when you are using alpha-blockers, some HIV treatment drugs, antibiotics, and epilepsy medicines.

Cost of Cialis Vs Viagra

The brand tablets Cialis and Viagra are expensive. 50 mg or 100 mg Viagra tablets may cost you around 80$ per tablet, and the cost of one Cialis 20 mg tablet should be around 70$ and 12$ for 5 mg strength. The brand pills Cialis and Viagra are not covered by insurance, however, their generic versions Tadalafil and Sildenafil, are covered by some insurance plans. 

The effectiveness of generic medication and brand versions is the same, provided you are buying from a reputed manufacturer and supplier. So when comparing Sildenafil Vs Cialis, generic Sildenafil will be a more pocket-friendly choice. Similar goes for choosing generic Tadalafil over Cialis, and generic Sildenafil over Viagra if you are looking for economic options. 

Final Verdict – Which Is Better?

Cialis Vs Viagra reviews, as well as the clinical data, conclude that both of these ED medications are effective in alleviating erectile dysfunction symptoms. The difference is the preferred choice of the user for their specific intended purpose. People who are involved in sexual activity regularly may benefit from Cialis, while those who need to use it sparingly may be inclined towards Viagra. 

FAQs

Q. Does Viagra work better than Cialis?

  • As Viagra is available in higher strengths when compared with Cialis, people usually assume Viagra to be better than Cialis. Both work well for managing the symptoms of erectile dysfunction and help you achieve and maintain an erection. Viagra can be used infrequently when your sexual encounters are not regular, whereas Cialis Daily (lower concentrations of 2.5 & 5 milligrams) can be consumed daily. 

Q. What makes you harder – Viagra or Cialis?

  • Both of them. If you are asking about getting an erection when you face difficulties achieving it on your own, then both these medications will help you out. They do not work to intensify the hardness of your penis, these medications are intended for providing relief to those who suffer from erectile dysfunction. 

Q. Is 20 mg Cialis the same as 100 mg Viagra?

  • 20 mg Cialis is a high dose and 100 mg is a high dose strength for Viagra, which some people may assume to be comparable. But the dosage strengths for Cialis and Viagra cannot be compared like this because Cialis is more potent than Viagra. Determining the correct dosage for your condition should be carried out by a medical professional after a thorough medical examination. 

Q. Can Viagra and Cialis be used together?

  • As both of these medications work similarly, the risk of encountering serious side effects will increase when these medications are consumed together. Therefore, it is not advised to use Cialis and Viagra with each other. 

References

  1. https://www.bumc.bu.edu/sexualmedicine/informationsessions/ejaculation-problems-too-fast-too-slow-or-not-at-all/ 
  2. https://news.weill.cornell.edu/news/2013/01/erectile-dysfunction-drug-also-helps-men-ejaculate-and-orgasm 
  3. Ali ST. Effectiveness of sildenafil citrate (Viagra) and tadalafil (Cialis) on sexual responses in Saudi men with erectile dysfunction in routine clinical practice. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2008 Jul;21(3):275-81. PMID: 18614424. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18614424/ 
  4. AMA Gong B, Ma M, Xie W, et al. Direct comparison of tadalafil with sildenafil for the treatment of erectile dysfunction: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int Urol Nephrol. 2017;49(10):1731-1740. doi:10.1007/s11255-017-1644-5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5603624/ 

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