What is the difference between Viagra and Cialis?

Viagra (generic name Sildenafil) and Cialis (generic name Tadalafil) are two of the most widely used and effective treatment options for Erectile Dysfunction (ED) and have different characteristics that will suit different men...

Published: Thursday 29 November 2018

Viagra vs Cialis

Viagra (generic name Sildenafil) and Cialis (generic name Tadalafil) are two of the most widely used and effective treatment options for Erectile Dysfunction (ED) and have different characteristics that will suit different men. In this article we compare the treatment options and help you to make a more informed decision as to which will be the most effective treatment for you.

What is Viagra (Sildenafil)?

Viagra, active ingredient sildenafil citrate, was first developed by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and is one of the most well known and popular medications for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. When Pfizer’s patent expired in 2013, other companies started producing the generic version of Viagra known as Sildenafil. It contains the same active ingredient and so has the same benefits and has been proven to be as effective as Viagra at treating erectile dysfunction. They both also have the same safety profile. They are intended to be taken prior to anticipated sexual activity and both Viagra and generic Viagra take approximately 15-20 minutes to work and the effects last between 4 to 6 hours.

What is Cialis (Tadalafil)?

Cialis, active ingredient Tadalafil, was developed by Eli Lilly and approved for the treatment of erectile dysfunction more recently in 2001. The patent for Cialis has recently expired, which has allowed other companies to start producing the generic version of tadalafil. There are two versions of Cialis; Cialis (10-20mg tadalafil) and Cialis Daily (2.5-5mg tadalafil). Cialis takes approximately 15-20 minutes to work and the effects can last for up to 36 hours. Cialis Daily, is simply a low strength version of Cialis, designed to be taken on a daily basis and allows you to be ready for sexual activity at any time during the day. Cialis Daily is a useful option for men who anticipate sexual activity more than twice per week. 

How do Viagra and Cialis work?

Both treatments belong to a group of medications called Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors and they work by relaxing the arteries supplying blood flow to the penis therefore temporarily increasing blood flow and when sexually aroused causes an erection.

Is there a difference in effectiveness?

As they are from the same group of medications, the effectiveness is very similar for both Cialis and Viagra. Clinical trials have showed very similar levels of effectiveness for patients who have tried it. Effectiveness varies from one person to another and is dependant on a number of different factors and until you have tried both options it is difficult to predict which one may be more effective for you. 

Is there a difference in cost?

Cialis is marginally more expensive than Viagra, however Cialis is often seen as a more cost effective option due to its long duration of action. Generic Sildenafil is significantly less expensive than Viagra because it is not marketed as a brand.

Is there a difference in side effects?

Both Viagra and Cialis are generally well tolerated and as they are from the same group of medications, they have a very similar side effect profile. 

Conclusion

Clinical trials have shown no significant difference between Viagra and Cialis. A decision between the two should therefore be based on onset and duration of action versus the cost of the treatment.

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