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) is a well-known medication widely used to treat Erectile Dysfunction (ED). A variety of alternative ED medication has been produced in recent years, one of which being Cialis (generic name Tadalafil). Both medications work very similarly whereby their active ingredient works to increase the blood flow to the penis to help men get and maintain an erection, but they have different characteristics which 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 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, sildenafil citrate 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. It is 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. It comes in 3 dosage levels, 25mg, 50mg and 100mg, with 50mg being the recommended dose for men trying Viagra for the first time.

Viagra Connect
Since March 2018, Viagra Connect has been made available in the UK to buy over the counter. It works exactly like Viagra and Sildenafil, but only comes in a 50mg dose. The availability of Viagra Connect over the counter means it will hopefully help men with ED find more readily available means of treatment and steer them away from buying illicit medication which may have serious side effects.

What is Cialis (Tadalafil)?

Cialis 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 called tadalafil, both containing the same active ingredient tadalafil. There are two versions of Cialis; Cialis (10-20mg tadalafil) and Cialis Daily (2.5-5mg tadalafil). Cialis and its generic version take 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 work in a similar way. They both belong to a group of medications called Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors which work by relaxing the arteries supplying blood flow to the penis therefore temporarily increasing blood flow and when sexually aroused causes an erection. Viagra and Cialis are not aphrodisiacs and you have to be sexually stimulated for the medication to be effective in order to produce an erection.

Is there a difference in effectiveness?

As they are from the same group of medications, the effectiveness is very similar for both Viagra and Cialis. Clinical trials have showed very similar results where 84% of people who tried Viagra said it was effective for them compared to 81% for Cialis. Food affects how well Viagra works because if a meal was eaten containing high amounts of fat, it will take longer for Viagra to work. On the other hand, food does not affect Cialis.

Effectiveness varies from one person to another and is dependent 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 much cheaper than Viagra because it is not marketed as a brand. Similarly, Tadalafil is cheaper than Cialis.

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 similar side effects.

Can I try both?

You are able to try both medications, but not at the same time. Both Viagra and Cialis are designed to be taken once per 24 hour period.

Conclusion

Clinical trials have shown no significant difference between Viagra and Cialis. Although both medications work in very similar ways, the effectiveness of the medication depends upon the individual itself. Some men prefer using Cialis because of its longer duration and it can be taken with food. The downside of the longer duration is that if you suffer from any side effects, this will last longer as well. The best way of knowing which one is suitable for you is by trying each of them yourself. Whether it is Viagra or Cialis, you will know it is working if you experience longer erections which could take a few tries. It is recommended that you try the medication on 8 different occasions and then consult with your doctor to consider other alternatives.

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