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Cialis vs Viagra

With various ED meds offered in such abundance these days, choosing one that would be the most effective for you and won’t force you into spending too much is often really challenging. In today’s article we will be looking at one of the most widespread men’s meds in the market – Cialis. Is the legendary ‘weekend pill’ as good as people claim it is? How good is it compared to the biggest names in the treatment of ED? Let’s get these questions answered and see, which med comes out as the winner of the ‘Viagra vs Cialis’ and ‘Levitra vs Cialis’ battles.

What is Cialis?

Cialis is a relatively new medication that was developed in early 2000’s and approved by the FDA for the treatment of erectile dysfunction back in 2003. Additionally, in 2011 it has been approved for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia – both when this condition is to be treated alone and in combination with ED.

Cialis has got Tadalafil Citrate as its active ingredient. It should be noted that Tadalafil is also used in the production of a variety of generic medications, most identical to or only slightly different from Cialis in terms of ingredients and strengths.

Even though it was GlaxoSmithKlein that developed Tadalafil, it is not making this medication at the moment, having preferred Levitra. If you choose to stick with brand-name Cialis, look for the pills manufactured by Lilly ICOS. Generic version of the medication is currently manufactured by at least a few dozens of smaller companies worldwide, the most popular of them being Cipla Limited, Ajanta Pharma LTD, Ochoa Laboratories and a few more.

How does Cialis work?

In order to understand how Cialis works, you need to understand what biological mechanisms cause erection in men. Sexual stimulation enhances blood circulation in your pelvic area, which allows more blood to enter the body of your penis making it swell and get harder. There are two chemicals involved in the conversion of nerve signals during sexual stimulation into changes in blood circulation. The first of them is nitric oxide, which is released by nerve endings. An increased amount of nitric oxide in your system stimulates the production of another chemical called Cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP, for short). cGMP makes the smooth muscles lining the insides of your blood vessels to relax, allowing more blood to pass through them and enter your penis, which results in an erection.

There is also another substance called PDE5, which decreases the amount of cGMP in your system. Most men suffering from ED have got really high levels of PDE5 in their blood, which is exactly why they can’t get an erection even when exposed to sexual stimulation – their bodies simply can’t receive the signals sent by the nerve endings, which makes erection impossible. Tadalafil, and Cialis in particular, lessen the effect of PDE5, which results in permanent ability to achieve an erection and hold it hard for a period of time sufficient for a successful sexual intercourse.

When Cialis is consumed on as-needed basis, the sexual function of the patient taking it only normalizes for the period of time when the amounts of Tadalafil are high in his blood and the amounts of PDE5, consequently, low. However, there’s also a version of Cialis intended for daily use, which allows the person taking it to maintain the concentration of PDE5 under critical levels at all times, thus being ready for healthy sex at practically any moment.

Is Cialis safe?

All, even seemingly innocent medications that are currently known to man have certain side effects, and Cialis, unfortunately, is not an exception from the rule. It does have a few adverse effects that we feel we just have to mention but, in general, it is considered to be a very safe drug. There are certain health conditions that might serve as contraindications to taking it and you’re definitely not allowed to overdose on it if you don’t want to suffer from any side effects. That is more or less it – there are also a few minor side effects that can develop in healthy men too but those are usually mild and can’t stop you from enjoying a perfect sexual intercourse. We will talk about these side effects in the following paragraphs as we get to comparing Cialis with some of the alternative ED meds that are currently out there.

In general, there’s a possibility your healthcare provider won’t recommend you to use Cialis if you have heart problems and taking nitrate medications, if you are suffering from serious liver or kidney disorders, if you have a rare eye condition called retinitis pigmentosa or if your penis is deformed due to Peyronie’s disease or some similar condition. If you are perfectly healthy or if you have health problems that are not on the above list, there’s no need to worry – Cialis will most probably be the perfect ED medication for you.

Viagra vs Cialis

When you’re asked about ED medications, the very first one that comes into your mind is, undoubtedly, Viagra. But what about other similar drugs and Cialis in particular? Which one of them works better, which one has fewer side effects, etc.? These are the questions that we will answer in this section of our article.

All in all, the data from the markets shows that the dominance of Viagra is probably not only in our heads – the oldest and the most famous ED medication is claimed to be holding about 50% of the market. However, Cialis is currently the second and catching up quickly – especially outside of the United States. Levitra, in its turn, is the third with just above 10%.

From the first sight, Viagra and Cialis are not that different from each other – both have PDE5 inhibitors as their active ingredients (Sildenafil Citrate and Tadalafil Citrate respectively), both are prescription medications… Well, at least in some of the countries, like the US and Canada. In other parts of the world both Viagra and Cialis are sold over the counter, which is why ordering them online is a pretty popular option. See, when you’re purchasing from abroad, you don’t have to worry about a prescription – it’s like going to a regular land-based pharmacy in one of these countries where ED meds are sold over the counter and buying yourself some – no papers required whatsoever.

However, when you come comparing the way the two meds work, you will definitely understand why Cialis is becoming more and more popular. First of all, just look at the duration of effect of Viagra and Cialis. While Cialis keeps you perfectly ready for whatever sexual opportunities come your way for 36 hours in a row or even longer, Viagra can offer only up to 6 hours of perfect virility after the moment you take the pill. That’s exactly why many call Cialis ‘the weekend pill’ – you can just pop it on Friday night and have some serious fun all the way into late Sunday!

Additionally, while Viagra can only be taken on as-needed basis, Cialis offers you more freedom with its recently developed version intended for daily use. It has a considerably lower strength as opposed to the 36-hour pill (2.5-5 mg versus 10-20 mg) but it can actually help you to be ready for sex at any time you need – not just within 2 days of popping the pill. This is something that Viagra just can’t give you, no matter what.

Cialis and Viagra are not that different, however, when it comes to the time it takes them to start working. And this is actually where Viagra gets ahead of its opponent, though only a little. When you’re taking the good old blue pills, you are perfectly ready for action mere 30 minutes after popping one while with Cialis you might have to wait for up to 45 minutes. Most men say, however, that 15 minutes are more than enough for both meds to start working but… We guess that there’s a reason why the time stated on the package inserts for Viagra and Cialis equals to 30 and 45 minutes respectively and not 15, right?

Which pill has got fewer possible side effects: Viagra or Cialis?

Now that’s a question that is very easy to answer. Even with its relatively numerous side effects, Cialis seems to be an almost completely harmless medication if opposed to Viagra. Let’s start with those adverse effects that are considered the most serious and compare them. All sources say that a little percentage of Viagra users risk suffering from any of the following: heart attack or stroke, arrhythmia, severe hypotension, sudden loss of hearing and/or vision and priapism. Of all listed here, Cialis users have only been reported suffering from the latter three – and there were so few of them that the risk is considered to be negligible.

Additionally, Cialis appears to be a much more attractive option even when it comes to less serious side effects. All ED meds are claimed to cause headaches, indigestion, nasal congestion and, sometimes, dizziness. Well, when taking Viagra, you are running pretty high chances of suffering from those conditions while only 5-15% of Cialis users report experiencing any of them.

However, there’s one side effect of Cialis that Viagra doesn’t seem to have. Between 3 and 6% of Cialis users report suffering from mild to moderate back and muscle pains that appear about twelve hours after you take the pill and can last for up to 2 days. Lucky, most men say that these pains are easy to tolerate and they never interfere with their sexual feats. However, if you feel the pain after taking Cialis and it’s either too intense or lasting too long, we strongly recommend that you call your doctor and discuss possible ways of soothing it.

Viagra vs Cialis: interactions with other drugs and substances

The first and the most important thing that you should remember about both Viagra and Cialis is the following: never take either of these medications with nitrates – meds used in the treatment of various heart disorders. Used together, nitrates and PDA5 inhibitors can cause a severe drop of blood pressure, which may lead to dizziness, fainting and even death.

Secondly, don’t take Viagra and Cialis together or combine them with any other ED medications. Doing this is just as bad as overdosing on a single medication – you risk suffering from various side effects that may range from simply unpleasant (dizziness and nausea, indigestion, severe headache) to downright dangerous (priapism and severe hypotension).

Besides, there’s one rather curious substance interaction that both Viagra and Cialis users should be aware of at all times too. These two meds should never be taken together with grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Weirdly enough, certain compounds in grapefruit juice and pulp have the ability to help your body absorb Sildenafil and Tadalafil much faster than usual – sometimes fast enough to cause an overdose, even when you don’t go over the prescribed dosage.

Finally, you should be careful with Cialis and Viagra when drinking alcohol. Liquor makes our blood pressure drop and so do ED meds, which is why they can cause hypotension when consumed together. Viagra users seem to be somewhat more susceptible to that while men on Cialis are usually allowed to wash the pill down with up to five glasses of wine or five shots of hard liquor without experiencing any adverse effects.

As per fatty food, which people on Viagra are usually advised to avoid too as it is known to slow down the digestion of Sildenafil and increase the time to the onset of erection… Cialis goes well with any food as long as it doesn’t contain grapefruit – not matter how rich in fat your meal is, you should still be able to perform well with Cialis, no delays whatsoever.

Levitra vs Cialis

The active ingredient in Levitra, Vardenafil hydrochloride, works exactly as the active ingredient in Cialis, Tadalafil. It neutralizes the effect of PDE5, temporarily recovering the patient’s ability to react to sexual stimulation by getting healthy strong erections. Just like Cialis, Levitra is sold over the counter in some countries like India or Mexico while in other regions (USA, Canada) it can be purchased only with a prescription.

At the moment, Levitra is the least popular medication in the ‘big triad’ of Viagra, Cialis and Levitra. There are several reasons why less people prefer it, most of its users being people who couldn’t use Viagra due to certain health conditions or side effects. Let’s now compare Levitra to Cialis and see why the latter is used more and more widely while the popularity of the former is declining slowly.

Time to action, duration of action

While the time it takes Levitra and Cialis to start working is more or less the same – 30 and 45 minutes respectively – it is the duration of effect that make them so different. Just like Viagra, Levitra can keep you ready for sex for as short as 6 hours, after which its effect starts wearing off. Cialis, on the contrary, is the perfect med for those who don’t like strict timing when it comes to sex – its 36-hour version can keep you ready for up to two days in a row and its other version intended for daily use will allow you to get hard whenever you want to as long as you don’t forget to take your 2.5 mg or 5 mg pills of Tadalafil every day.

Side effects

Just like Viagra, Levitra seems to be a riskier option when compared to Cialis. Vardenafil is just like Sildenafil in terms of side effects – it can cause all kinds of them starting from light headache and going all the way to heart attack, stroke and loss of vision and hearing.

Less serious side effects of Levitra are not limited to headache – you are pretty likely to feel dizzy, get digestion problems or have minor vision alterations – such as inability to tell green from blue, etc. However, unlike Cialis, it doesn’t cause any muscle or back pains, which provides at least some consolation to Levitra users.

Levitra vs Cialis: interaction with other drugs and substances

When it comes to drug interactions, all Levitra users should follow exactly the same rules that Viagra users follow. That is – avoid taking the pill together with nitrates (heart medicines, ‘poppers’), grapefruit and grapefruit juice and all other meds that can make your blood pressure drop. Additionally, it’s important to remember that certain antibiotics and antifungals can increase the duration of Vardenafil’s half-life and, therefore, make you overdose on the medication.

Fatty foods and alcohol can also change the effect of Levitra, so you’re advised to treat your diet and drinking habits with maximum attention when you are on this medication.

Viagra or Cialis or Levitra: conclusion

Taking everything said above into account, we will conclude that Cialis seems to be the best option in the big three. The reasons are obvious: it has fewer side effects and drug interactions, it works longer and has a version intended for daily use. On the other hand, it costs a little more than Viagra or Levitra. However, with the price difference being negligible, it leaves its opponents behind with no sweat.

It’s important to remember that all three of these drugs have got an efficiency rate of just above 90%. That means that there is always a chance that one of them will not work for you. If that happens, don’t lose hope – in most of the cases switching to an alternative medication from the triad will be everything you will need to do. Good luck choosing your perfect ED med – hope that this article managed to help you with that, at least a little bit.