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Cialis Patient Tips

Written by C. Fookes, BPharm on Jul 07, 2017

How it works

  • Cialis is a brand (trade) name for tadalafil.
  • Tadalafil blocks the action of an enzyme known as cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE-5). This enzyme breaks down cGMP, a substance that induces smooth muscles to relax. Blocking PDE-5 means increased levels of cGMP within the smooth muscles which promotes muscle relaxation and vasodilation (a widening of blood vessels).
  • High levels of PDE-5 are found in the penis, lungs, and retina. PDE-5 is also found throughout the body within the smooth muscle cells of blood vessels and muscles.
  • Tadalafil belongs to the class of medicines known as PDE-5 inhibitors.

Upsides

  • Cialis is used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). It increases blood flow to the penis following sexual stimulation and allows men to keep an erection hard enough for sex.
  • Cialis is also used to treat the signs and symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
  • Cialis is available as a lower strength tablet that can be taken on a daily basis, eliminating the need to 'plan' for sex.
  • Cialis is also available as an 'as needed' tablet. The effect of one tablet lasts for up to 36 hours.

Downsides

If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, take no other medication or have no other medical conditions, side effects you are more likely to experience include:

  • A headache, dyspepsia, back pain, nasal congestion, and flushing are the most commonly reported side effects.
  • Other side effects include a drop in blood pressure, muscle or limb pain, or conjunctivitis.
  • Rarely, may decrease blood flow to the optic nerve causing sudden vision loss. The risk is greater in people aged older than 50, with diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, who smoke, or with certain pre-existing eye problems.
  • Rarely, may cause other side effects including hearing loss or lead to painful erections lasting longer than four to six hours. See your doctor immediately if this happens.
  • May not be suitable for some people including those with angina, chest pain, or other heart conditions, liver or kidney problems, blood or bleeding disorders, stomach ulcers, certain eye conditions, or a physical deformity of the penis (such as Peyronie's disease).
  • May interact with some medications including nitrates - use of Cialis and nitrates is contraindicated because of the severe hypotension that can develop. May also interact with other medications including ketoconazole or ritonavir; dosage adjustment is recommended.
  • The dosage of Cialis may need reducing in men with kidney disease. Once daily use may not be recommended in men with severe kidney disease.
  • A lower dosage of Cialis is recommended in men with mild-to-moderate liver disease;.Cialis should be avoided with severe liver disease.

Notes: In general, seniors or children, people with certain medical conditions (such as liver or kidney problems, heart disease, diabetes, seizures) or people who take other medications are more at risk of developing a wider range of side effects. For a complete list of all side effects, click here.

Bottom Line

Cialis is used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) and to reduce symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). One 'as needed' tablet lasts for 36 hours or Cialis is available as a lower dosage that can be taken on a daily basis, eliminating the need to 'plan for sex'.

Tips

  • Once daily Cialis can be taken without regard to sexual activity but should be taken at the same time every day (for example, on awakening).
  • Cialis may be taken with or without food.
  • Drinking alcohol after taking Cialis may lower blood pressure and decrease sexual performance.
  • Eating grapefruit or grapefruit products while taking Cialis is not recommended.
  • Always talk to your doctor before taking ANY medication for ED. Some ED medications are not suitable for men with certain medical conditions.
  • Call your doctor immediately if you experience dizziness or feel nauseous during sexual activity, or develop pain, numbness, tingling in your chest, arms, neck, or jaw.
  • Do not take Cialis if you are also taking a nitrate drug (such as nitroglycerin or isosorbide dinitrate/mononitrate) for chest pain or heart problems. Do not take Cialis with recreational drugs such as "poppers". Taking these substances together can cause a sudden and dangerous drop in blood pressure.
  • Always buy your ED medications from a reputable supplier as there are a lot of counterfeit products on the market.
  • Certain lifestyle and psychological factors, such as smoking, drinking, and stress, can impact on ED. Eliminating these - for example, staying more active, losing weight if you are overweight, reducing alcohol intake, stopping smoking and reducing stress - may also help improve ED.
  • Taking Cialis does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. Consider condom risk or abstinence if a sexual partner's history is unknown.
  • Seek urgent medical advice if an allergic reaction, sudden vision loss or painful erections lasting more than four hours occur.

Response and Effectiveness

  • Peak plasma concentrations of Cialis are reached within 30 minutes to six hours (average time two hours) of a dose. Effects of 'as needed' Cialis last for up to 36 hours.
  • The recommended starting dose for once daily Cialis for ED is 2.5mg; once daily Cialis for BPH, 5mg; and 'as needed' Cialis, 10mg. The dosage may be adjusted based on individual response.

References

Cialis (tadalafil) [Package Insert]. Revised 05/2017. Eli Lilly and Company https://www.drugs.com/cialis.html

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Cialis only for the indication prescribed.

  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. It is an informational resource designed as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Drugs.com does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of this information. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2017 Drugs.com. Revision Date: 2017-07-09 19:16:18

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