What is Cialis?

 

Cialis is a prescription drug that primarily treats erectile dysfunction (ED), but it’s also commonly prescribed to treat an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH). Cialis is marketed as a different drug, Adcirca, to treat high blood pressure in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension).

It’s a brand name for the drug tadalafil, which belongs to a drug class called phosphodiesterase inhibitors (PDE5 inhibitors). Phosphodiesterase type 5 is an enzyme that controls blood flow in blood vessels around the penis, lungs, and other areas. By blocking this enzyme, tadalafil allows for more blood flow to the area, making it easier to get an erection during sexual activity.

Arousal, however, is all about timing. Men often wonder when they should take Cialis and how long it lasts. Fortunately, there’s a pretty big window. It can take anywhere between 15 minutes and two hours to take effect. After that, it can last up to 36 hours. Taking it two hours before sex is usually the best bet. However, Cialis isn’t an aphrodisiac. It makes getting an erection easier but still requires sexual stimulation.

There are multiple brands of tadalafil, but Cialis (created by Eli Lilly) is the most popular. It’s also expensive. Depending on the strength and dosage prescribed, it can cost upward of $1,350 without insurance.

Doctors will prescribe Cialis, generic tadalafil, or a comparable medication like Viagra for men who have ED. However, underlying health issues like heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, and others can cause ED, so the doctor might want to test for and treat those first or simultaneously.

 

 

Why is Cialis prescribed?

 

Tadalafil (Cialis) is used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED, impotence; inability to get or keep an erection), and the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH; an enlarged prostate) which include difficulty urinating (hesitation, dribbling, weak stream, and incomplete bladder emptying), painful urination, and urinary frequency and urgency in adult men. Tadalafil (Adcirca) is used to improve the ability to exercise in people with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH; high blood pressure in the vessels carrying blood to the lungs, causing shortness of breath, dizziness, and tiredness). Tadalafil is in a class of medications called phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors. It works to treat erectile dysfunction by increasing blood flow to the penis during sexual stimulation. This increased blood flow can cause an erection. Tadalafil treats PAH by relaxing the blood vessels in the lungs to allow blood to flow more easily.

If you are taking tadalafil to treat erectile dysfunction, you should know that it does not cure erectile dysfunction or increase sexual desire. Tadalafil does not prevent pregnancy or the spread of sexually transmitted diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

How should this medicine be used?

 

Tadalafil comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It may be taken with or without food.

If you are taking tadalafil to treat erectile dysfunction, follow your doctor’s directions and the guidelines in this paragraph. There are two different ways to take tadalafil, either daily or on an as needed basis. Talk to your doctor about which dosing schedule is right for you. Tadalafil is sometimes taken as needed, usually at least 30 minutes before sexual activity and not more often than once every 24 hours. Your doctor will help you decide the best time for you to take tadalafil before sexual activity. Tadalafil is also sometimes taken once a day every day without regard to timing of sexual activity. You may attempt sexual activity at any time between doses. If you are taking tadalafil on a regular schedule, take it at around the same time every day. If you have certain health conditions or are taking certain medications, your doctor may tell you to take tadalafil less often or may prescribe a lower dose to be taken once a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take tadalafil exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

If you are taking tadalafil to treat PAH or BPH, follow your doctor’s directions and the guidelines in this paragraph. You should take tadalafil one time a day. Take all of the tablets for your daily dose at one time each day; do not divide the tablets to take as separate doses. Take tadalafil at around the same time every day. If you are already taking medication to treat BPH, your doctor may tell you to stop taking your other medication at least one day before starting treatment with tadalafil. Follow your doctor’s directions carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand.

If you are taking tadalafil for erectile dysfunction, your doctor will probably start you on an average dose of tadalafil and increase or decrease your dose depending on your response to the medication. Tell your doctor if tadalafil is not working well or if you are experiencing side effects.

If you are taking tadalafil for PAH, you should know that tadalafil controls PAH but does not cure it. Continue to take tadalafil even if you feel well. Do not stop taking tadalafil without talking to your doctor.

Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.

Cialis Candy

Cialis is the brand name for tadalafil, a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction. It is similar to Viagra and Levitra. Under the brand name Adcirca, tadalafil is used for pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Cialis increases blood flow to the penis, and this enables a man to achieve an erection. It does not lead to sexual arousal. It should be used with caution, and only under medical supervision.

Tadalafil was approved by the United States (U.S.) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2003 for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED).  It is also used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension and benign prostatic hyperplasia, a condition in which the prostate gland becomes enlarged, causing problems with urination.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

 

What should I talk to my doctor about when considering if Cialis is right for me?

Because sexual activity can increase the work of the heart, your doctors should talk to you about your heart’s general condition and if Cialis is right for you. Patients who have a condition called “left ventricular outlet obstruction” from valvular problems or heart muscle enlargement may get side effects such as fainting or light-headedness. Because patients with recent heart attacks or stroke, heart pains (angina), heart failure, uncontrolled blood pressure or uncontrolled irregular heart beats, severe liver disease, and retinal eye problems were not studied with Cialis, Cialis is not recommended for these patients. There may be rare occurrences of priapism or painful, prolonged erections. This is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. Patients should seek prompt medical attention if their erection lasts longer than four hours.

How long does tadalafil last?

Keeping it simple, tadalafil lasts for 36 hours and sometimes longer, and has the longest duration of action of all the PDE5 inhibitors. This compares for example to sildenafil (Viagra) which lasts for around 4 hours.

In addition, absorption of tadalafil is not affected by food, so it can be taken at any time before, during, or after a meal.

Tadalafil is a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction. It is a type of PDE5 inhibitor. Tadalafil is a generic or drug name – ‘Cialis’ is a branded form of tadalafil.

36 hours – really?

Yes, although this does not mean a continuous erection for 36 hours. Like all PDE5 inhibitors, tadalafil requires sexual stimulation to work – ie: you only get an erection when you want to.

The following timeline has been collated from several studies. After taking tadalafil:

  • First responders: 16 minutes
    Some men report having an erection as quickly as 16 minutes.
  • Average responders: 30 minutes
    Most men feel the benefit of tadalafil after 30 minutes. 52% of patients can have successful sexual intercourse within 30 minutes of taking tadalafil.
  • Maximum effect: 2 hours
    After 2 hours, the maximum concentration of the drug is in the bloodstream.
  • Half mast: 17.5 hours
    Tadalafil has a 17.5-hour ‘half-life’, meaning it takes 17.5 hours for half the drug to have left the blood stream. This long half-life is the reason tadalafil is effective over such a long time period.
  • Still effective?: 36–48 hours
    Some men can get good erections for upto 48 hours. This is why tadalafil is sometimes known as ‘the weekend pill’ – you can take it on a Friday night and still make use of it on a Sunday morning!
  • All gone: 96 hours
    After 96 hours tadalafil has virtually disappeared from the blood stream.

Cialis usually takes about 30 minutes to take effect with sexual stimulation and its effect lasts for up to 36 hours, which is why it is sometimes referred to as a “weekend pill”.
Talk with your doctor. You may need to try a different erectile dysfunction medication, such as Viagra, or Levitra. It is possible that a different drug will be more effective for you.

If pills do not work, other options are available. Testosterone may be prescribed by either skin patch or injection, especially if the problem is related to age. Alprostadil, injected at the penis or inserted as pellets, improves blood flow to the penis. This technique is usually more effective than medications taken by mouth.

For some patients, a vacuum pump or penile prosthesis (implant) may also be recommended or required.

Cialis (tadalafil) relaxes muscles of the blood vessels and increases blood flow to particular areas of the body. Cialis is used to treat erectile dysfunction ED and symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy (enlarged prostate).

Cialis is available in four different dosages of 2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg and 20mg.
20mg is the maximum dosage of Cialis, taking more will not help.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking tadalafil,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to tadalafil, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in tadalafil tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor if you are taking or have recently taken riociguat (Adempas) or nitrates such as isosorbide dinitrate (Isordil), isosorbide mononitrate (Monoket), and nitroglycerin (Minitran, Nitro-Dur, Nitromist, Nitrostat, others). Nitrates come as tablets, sublingual (under the tongue) tablets, sprays, patches, pastes, and ointments. Ask your doctor if you are not sure whether any of your medications contain nitrates. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take tadalafil if you are taking nitrates.
  • tell your doctor if you are taking street drugs containing nitrates (‘poppers’) such as amyl nitrate, butyl nitrate, or nitrite while taking tadalafil. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take tadalafil if you are taking street drugs containing nitrates.
  • you should know that tadalafil is available under the brand names Adcirca and Cialis. You should only be treated with one of these products at a time.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: alpha blockers such as alfuzosin (Uroxatral), doxazosin (Cardura), dutasteride (Avodart, in Jalyn), prazosin (Minipress), silodosin (Rapaflo), tamsulosin (Flomax, in Jalyn), and terazosin; amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone); certain antifungals such as fluconazole (Diflucan), griseofulvin (Grifulvin, Gris-PEG), itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox), ketoconazole (Extina, Ketozole, Nizoral, Xolegel), and voriconazole (Vfend); aprepitant (Emend); bosentan (Tracleer); carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Tegretol, Teril, others); clarithromycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac); diltiazem (Cardizem, Cartia,Tiazac, others); efavirenz (Sustiva, in Atripla); erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin); HIV protease inhibitors including indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), and ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra), lovastatin (Altocor, in Advicor); medications for high blood pressure; nefazodone; nevirapine (Viramune); other medications or treatments for erectile dysfunction; other medications or treatments for PAH; phenobarbital; phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek); rifabutin (Mycobutin); rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane, in Rifamate, in Rifater); sertraline (Zoloft); telithromycin (Ketek); and verapamil (Calan, Covera,Verelan, in Tarka). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor what herbal products you are taking, especially St. John’s wort.
  • tell your doctor if you smoke; if you have ever had an erection that lasted more than 4 hours; and if you have recently had diarrhea, vomiting, not been drinking enough fluids, or sweating a lot which may have caused dehydration (loss of a large amount of body fluids. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had pulmonary veno-occlusive disease (PVOD; blockage of veins in the lungs); any condition that affects the shape of the penis; diabetes; high cholesterol; high or low blood pressure; irregular heartbeat; a heart attack or heart failure; angina (chest pain); a stroke; ulcers in the stomach; a bleeding disorder; blood circulation problems; blood cell problems such as sickle cell anemia (a disease of the red blood cells), multiple myeloma (cancer of the plasma cells), or leukemia (cancer of the white blood cells); or heart, kidney, or liver disease. Also tell your doctor if you or any of your family members have or have ever had an eye disease such as retinitis pigmentosa (an inherited eye condition that causes loss of vision) or if you have ever had sudden severe vision loss, especially if you were told that the vision loss was caused by a blockage of blood flow to the nerves that help you see.
  • if you are a woman and you are taking tadalafil to treat PAH, tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking tadalafil, call your doctor.
  • if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking tadalafil.
  • talk to your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages during your treatment with tadalafil. If you drink a large amount of alcohol (more than five glasses of wine or five shots of whiskey) while you are taking tadalafil you are more likely to experience certain side effects of tadalafil such as dizziness, headache, fast heartbeat, and low blood pressure.
  • if you are taking tadalafil to treat erectile dysfunction, tell your doctor if you have ever been advised by a health care professional to avoid sexual activity for medical reasons or if you have ever experienced chest pain during sexual activity. Sexual activity may be a strain on your heart, especially if you have heart disease. If you experience chest pain, dizziness, or nausea during sexual activity, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment, and avoid sexual activity until your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • tell all your health care providers that you are taking tadalafil. If you ever need emergency medical treatment for a heart problem, the health care providers who treat you will need to know when you last took tadalafil.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Talk to your doctor about eating grapefruit and drinking grapefruit juice while taking this medicine.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you are taking tadalafil for erectile dysfunction on a regular schedule, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose or more than one dose per day to make up for a missed one.

If you are taking tadalafil for PAH or BPH, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Tadalafil may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • headache
  • indigestion or heartburn
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • flushing
  • pain in the stomach, back, muscles, arms, or legs
  • cough

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:

  • sudden decrease or loss of vision (see below for more information)
  • blurred vision
  • changes in color vision (seeing a blue tinge on objects or having difficulty telling the difference between blue and green)
  • sudden decrease or loss of hearing (see below for more information)
  • ringing in ears
  • erection that lasts longer than 4 hours
  • dizziness
  • chest pain
  • hives
  • rash
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • blistering or peeling of skin

Some patients experienced a sudden loss of some or all of their vision after they took tadalafil or other medications that are similar to tadalafil. The vision loss was permanent in some cases. It is not known if the vision loss was caused by the medication. If you experience a sudden loss of vision while you are taking tadalafil, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment. Do not take any more doses of tadalafil or similar medications such as sildenafil (Revatio, Viagra) or vardenafil (Levitra) until you talk to your doctor.

Some patients experienced a sudden decrease or loss of hearing after they took tadalafil or other medications that are similar to tadalafil. The hearing loss usually involved only one ear and did not always improve when the medication was stopped. It is not known if the hearing loss was caused by the medication. If you experience a sudden loss of hearing, sometimes with ringing in the ears or dizziness, while you are taking tadalafil, call your doctor immediately. Do not take any more doses of tadalafil or similar medications such as sildenafil (Revatio, Viagra) or vardenafil (Levitra) until you talk to your doctor.

Tadalafil may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

Cialis dosages

Cialis comes in tablet form and four different strengths: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg. Dosing varies depending on a patient’s tolerability and condition severity.

“There are multiple ways to dose Cialis,” says Michael Hall, MD, founder of the Hall Longevity Clinic. “Typically 20 mg is given for 72 hour’s worth of use. It also can be given as a 2.5 or 5 mg tablet on a daily basis depending on the condition being treated. Some find daily use may be more effective for their needs.”

The average daily use dosage for BPH treatment is 5 mg. Brand-name Cialis isn’t indicated for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Instead, doctors prescribe a different form of tadalafil called Adcirca in a heftier dose—40 mg, once per day.

Cialis can take effect anywhere between 15 minutes and two hours and has a half-life of 17.5 hours. The drug’s concentration will peak anywhere between 30 minutes and six hours.

Cialis restrictions

Women and children should not take Cialis, although they might take Adcirca for pulmonary arterial hypertension.

There’s not typically a dosage adjustment for elderly patients unless they show heightened sensitivity.

Dr. Hall suggests that any “men who have had a history of stroke or heart attack need to be more careful with the use of any phosphodiesterase inhibitor,” including Cialis. Additionally, Eli Lilly’s drug info says that anyone with a history of one or more of the following medical conditions should inform their doctor before taking Cialis:

  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Liver or kidney problems
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Peyronie’s disease
  • Retinitis pigmentosa
  • Sickle cell anemia or multiple myeloma

Cialis interactions

On top of those restrictions, according to the FDA drug label, Cialis can have potentially dangerous drug interactions with the following medications:

  • Nitrates: Simultaneously taking nitroglycerin, isosorbide mononitrate, isosorbide dinitrate, or recreational “poppers” like amyl nitrite and butyl nitrite may cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure, which can lead to dizziness and fainting.
  • Alpha-blockers: Also used to treat enlarged prostate and high blood pressure, drugs like terazosin, tamsulosin, doxazosin, alfuzosin, and silodosin can cause dangerously low blood pressure when combined with Cialis.
  • Azole antifungals: Some antifungal drugs (ketoconazole and itraconazole) can increase Cialis levels in the bloodstream, potentially lowering your blood pressure further.
  • Macrolide antibiotics: Certain antibiotics like erythromycin, clarithromycin, and telithromycin can increase Cialis levels in the blood.
  • HIV protease inhibitors: These drugs (specifically ritonavir) can also increase the concentration of Cialis in the blood.
  • Alcohol: As a mild vasodilator (dilates blood vessels), excessive alcohol consumption while taking Cialis can cause low blood pressure, dizziness, headache, and an increased heart rate.
  • Other pulmonary arterial hypertension medications like Revatio (sildenafil).
  • Other erectile dysfunction medications like Viagra (sildenafil) or Levitra (vardenafil).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Adcirca®
  • Cialis®

Last Revised – 04/15/2016