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Is Viagra Better Than Cialis? Compare Benefits & Drawbacks

Highlights 

  • Is Viagra better than Cialis, or does Cialis work better for ED?
  • Viagra and Cialis are both PDE5 inhibitors and have a similar mechanism of action.
  • Viagra acts faster but doesn’t last as long.
  • Cialis comes in two forms, on-demand and low-dose Daily Cialis.
  • On-demand, single-use Cialis works in about 30 minutes for most men and can last up to 36 hours.
  • Low-dose Cialis for daily use is taken every day so you can be ready for intimacy anytime.
  • Which one is right for you depends on multiple factors.

Age and lifestyle have caught up with you, and you’ve been flying the flag at half-mast for some time. You’re ready to pop the magical pill and regain your full erectile function. But which do you choose? Is Viagra better than Cialis? Are there significant differences between the two? We’ll answer all of your questions here. 

Understanding Viagra and Cialis

Viagra and Cialis are both phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. They both boost erections in men with ED by relaxing smooth muscles and improving blood flow. But there are some important differences between Viagra and Cialis.

What Is Viagra? 

Viagra is Pfizer’s brand name for its sildenafil citrate-based ED drug. The best-known and most popular ED pill, Viagra has been helping men get erections since its 1998 FDA approval. 

When a man becomes aroused, nitric oxide floods the arteries in his penis, activating an enzyme called cBMP, which relaxes the smooth muscle cells. The relaxed muscles allow more blood to flow to the penis and give rise to an erection. 

cBMP is naturally broken down by a compound called PDE5. By inhibiting PDE5, sildenafil preserves the cBMP, restoring the patient’s ability to achieve an erection. 

cGMP molecule

Can Viagra cure ED permanently? It can’t — and neither can any other erectile dysfunction medication. Their effects only last while their active substances are in the body. 

What Is Cialis? 

Cialis is Lilly ICOS’ brand name for a tadalafil-based erectile dysfunction drug. After Viagra, Cialis is perhaps the second most popular solution for ED sufferers. 

Like sildenafil, tadalafil is a PDE5 inhibitor, so Cialis works similarly to Viagra. The two active substances are different, however. There are minor differences between Viagra and Cialis in side effects, how quickly they act, how long their effects last, etc. 

One of Cialis’ prominent selling points is that, unlike Viagra, it’s available in two forms — a single-dose, on-demand formulation, and a lower-dose version that’s taken daily. 

Comparing Efficacy — Is Viagra Stronger than Cialis?

Since the FDA only approved Cialis in 2003, Viagra has enjoyed the first-mover advantage. Its popularity edge may be a direct consequence of being around longer and having become a household name — more people are familiar with it.

Many studies have compared the two ED drugs. The studies concluded that their efficacy and safety are similar. They both work, and they both help men with ED gain confidence.

Some research points to Cialis (tadalafil) being more popular with patients and their partners. Other studies have been less conclusive in this respect.

Effect duration and onset of action are the two main differences between the two medications. 

Duration of Effect

The duration of the erection-boosting effects of Viagra and Cialis depends on individual sensitivity and other variables like taking the drugs with or without food, etc., but we’ll talk about averages.

Viagra

Viagra is the equivalent of a sprinter rather than a marathon runner. It usually boosts erections from four to six hours. After that, its effects slowly diminish until they disappear. 

However, at least one study suggests that in some users, sildenafil’s effects may last up to 12 hours. Food doesn’t affect its efficacy. It may delay the onset of its effects, however, but it can also prolong their duration.

On-Demand Cialis

Even if it lasts 12 hours, Viagra falls short of Cialis’ duration. Cialis can last up to 36 hours, earning it the nickname “the weekend pill.” After taking on-demand Cialis, most men are ready for action for an entire weekend.

You can take Cialis either with or without food, but high-fat foods can delay the onset of Cialis’ effects.

Cialis for Daily Use

Daily Cialis is the low-dose version of the medication. It comes in 2.5 to 5 milligram doses and requires ED patients to take it daily. When taken as directed, its effects are continuous — for as long as you continue taking it every day.

Onset of Action

Viagra is slightly quicker-acting than Cialis. If you pop a blue pill, you can expect it to start boosting your erection in 30 to 60 minutes. To hasten its onset of action, it may be a good idea to take it on an empty stomach.

Cialis usually starts working within 30 minutes, but for some men, it may take up to two hours. 

This one may be a draw. Whether Viagra or Cialis works faster for you will depend on your individual response.

Viagra vs. Cialis Side Effects: Which Is Safer?

Some people may experience a side effect with Viagra but not with Cialis or vice versa. Once again, your personal responses will determine which is the better choice for you.

Here are the most common side effects of all three medications, according to their FDA labels:

Viagra

Viagra’s possible side effects include:

  • Flushing
  • Headache
  • Abnormal vision
  • Back pain
  • Nasal congestion
  • Dizziness
  • Rashes
  • Dyspepsia
  • Low blood pressure

It may also have other, less-frequent side effects. The higher the dose, the more likely it will result in side effects.

On-Demand Cialis

Cialis’ side effect profile differs slightly from Viagra’s  and includes:

  • Flushing
  • Dyspepsia
  • Nasal congestion
  • Back pain
  • Pain in the limbs
  • Headache
  • Myalgia
  • Diarrhea
  • Low blood pressure

Because Viagra leaves the body faster than Viagra, its side effects generally subside more quickly than on-demand Cialis. 

Daily Cialis

The side effects of the low-dose formulation of Cialis are the same as those of the on-demand version. However, due to its lower doses, daily Cialis is less likely to produce side effects. 

Viagra vs. Cialis User Experiences

There is no shortage of Viagra and Cialis user reviews. People are keen on sharing their experiences with these drugs, and their feedback is a mixed bag.

Personal Testimonials

One user says he experienced minimal results with Cialis. He found Viagra to work slightly better.

Another user says he experienced “rocket-like” erections from Viagra. Cialis made him “feel 16 again.”

A third user swears by daily 5 milligram Cialis. He takes the drug for prostate enlargement and started having “random erections” during the day, as he did in his youth.

Viagra vs. Cialis Reddit Discussions

Reddit is host to many discussions on the Viagra vs. Cialis subject. And people voice a wide range of opinions and experiences, covering every angle. Some say Cialis doesn’t work, while Viagra does. Others say Cialis works well with fewer side effects than Viagra.

Some find Viagra’s side effects unbearable. Some have reported that Viagra works, but it makes their penises numb. 

Once again, user satisfaction seems to come down to individual difference. You may want to try both to see which works better for you.

Making the Right Choice

Is Viagra better than Cialis? Is one stronger than the other? For optimal results, consider your needs and personal sensitivity to the medications.

Factors To Consider

Before which is better for you, ask yourself a few questions.

  • How often do you have sex? If you have sex regularly, once or twice a week, a daily solution may be a reasonable choice.
  • Do you need spontaneity? With Cialis’ 36-hour-long duration, spontaneity is not likely to be a problem.
  • Do the side effects bother you? If you feel you can’t handle the side effects of one of the two drugs, try the other.
  • Do you drink alcohol? You should not drink more than a drink or two when taking any erectile dysfunction medication because they can drop your blood pressure to dangerous levels (and may interfere with the effectiveness of the medication!). However, because daily Cialis is in your system all the time, drinking alcohol is potentially more dangerous with this formulation.
  • Is price a consideration? Do your research and see which option costs you less. 

Consulting with a Healthcare Professional

It is always a good idea to get an educated opinion from a healthcare professional before taking a drug. Talk to your doctor. Specify your needs and consider options together. Viagra and Cialis are both prescription-based.  You will need a doctor’s prescription to get them.

If you buy your ED medications from eDrugstore, we offer free online consultations to establish your needs and the optimal treatment course. We have in-house doctors who can help you. 

male pharmacist

The Bottom Line — Is Viagra Better Than Cialis?

The answer depends entirely on you. One may work better for you than the other. Or both may work well — and you’ll have options!

If you would like still more options, you might also consider one of the alternatives to Viagra and Cialis — Levitra (vardenafil), Staxyn (vardenafil sublingual), and Stendra (avanafil). At eDrugstore, we carry all of these brand-name and generic erectile dysfunction medications. We also provide medical expertise and free, discreet shipping. 

Whether you choose Viagra, Cialis, or another ED medication, take control of erectile dysfunction and enjoy a healthy, more fulfilling sex life.

 

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