Cialis

Get longer lasting erectile dysfunction treatment with Cialis

4 pack of Cialis 10mg tadalafil film-coated tablets
Packet front of Cialis four 20mg film-coated tablets
The back of a packet containing four 10mg film-coated tablets of Cialis
A blister pack of two Cialis tablets
Two yellow Cialis 20mg film-coated tablets

Cialis is a long lasting erectile dysfunction (ED) medication available in 10mg or 20mg tablets. Its effects last for around 36 hours, or 1 and a half days.

As Cialis is a prescription only medication, you’ll need to speak to a doctor to get a prescription. Fill out a short questionnaire and one of our doctors will review your answers. If Cialis is suitable for you, they will send a digital prescription to a local pharmacy in Ireland. We can also deliver the paper prescription to your home address.

If you request Cialis before 4pm we can send a prescription the same day.


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What is Cialis?

Cialis is a medication taken to treat erectile dysfunction and is the brand name for tadalafil. Its active ingredient is tadalafil. Tadalafil is part of a group of medications called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors.

Cialis works in a similar way to Viagra, except it lasts much longer. You should take Cialis around 30 minutes before you want to have sex. You can get an erection if you are sexually aroused up to 36 hours after taking Cialis. If you have sex frequently during the week, Cialis might be suitable for you as you can take fewer tablets.

How to take Cialis

You can take Cialis before you plan on having sex. Cialis can be taken with or without food.

  • take 1 Cialis tablet around 30 minutes before sex
  • you must be sexually aroused for Cialis to work

Do not take more than 1 Cialis tablet a day.

You should avoid drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruits when you want to take Cialis. Grapefruit can interfere with how tadalafil works.

You should try to limit your alcohol intake if you have ED as alcohol can affect your blood pressure, and make keeping an erection more difficult.

Cialis is available as 10mg or 20mg tablets. Your doctor will usually start you on 10mg tablets, but if you find there is little effect with 10mg, they may increase your dose to 20mg.

How does Cialis work?

Cialis works to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) by increasing the blood flow to your penis to allow you to get or maintain an erection.

When you are sexually aroused, a chemical is released into the blood vessels in your penis which causes the blood flow to increase. This leads to an erection. This chemical is eventually broken down by an enzyme so that your erection disappears.

When you take Cialis, this enzyme is blocked. This means your erection will last longer as the blood flow to your penis is maintained.

As Cialis works on blood vessels, it can affect the blood vessels in other parts of your body. This means you might feel some side effects when you first take Cialis, like dizziness.

How effective is Cialis?

Cialis is an effective medication to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). Remember that Cialis does not cure ED, but can help you manage the condition in your everyday life. Erectile dysfunction can be a cause for concern as it can affect relationships. By taking Cialis, you can take this worry away from you.

Cialis will only work if you are sexually stimulated. Once you have taken Cialis, it’ll take about 30 minutes for it to start working. If you find it has not worked after 1 hour, you may not be sexually stimulated enough, or you may need a different dose. Speak to your doctor if this is the case.

Cialis side effects

You may experience some side effects when taking Cialis, especially if it is your first time. Not everyone will get side effects, and some side effects are more common than others.

Common side effects can affect up to 1 in 10 people, but they will also resolve within a few hours. Some

Common side effects

  • flushing of the face
  • nasal congestion
  • headache
  • back pain
  • muscle aches
  • indigestion

Uncommon side effects

  • dizziness
  • feeling sick or being sick
  • changes to your vision
  • changes in blood pressure
  • nosebleeds
  • feeling tired
  • stomach ache
  • a fast heart rate or pounding heartbeat

Some of these side effects might seem worrying, but they should disappear after a few hours. As Cialis stays in your body for up to 36 hours, it can take some time for the side effects to wear off. If these side effects persist more than a few hours, speak to your doctor.

Some side effects are extremely rare but they can be serious. If you have any of the following after taking Cialis, contact your emergency department immediately:

  • an allergic reaction (facial swelling, difficulty breathing, rashes)
  • chest pain (angina)
  • sudden loss in vision
  • prolonged erection lasting for more than 4 hours, also called priapism

If you get chest pain after taking Cialis, do not use nitrate medication to relieve this. These include isosorbide mononitrate and glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) spray.

For further information on the side effects of Cialis, you can read the patient information leaflet.

Who can take Cialis?

You can take Cialis if you are a man aged between 18 and 65.

In some cases, you should not take Cialis. These include if you:

  • are allergic to tadalafil or any of the ingredients in Cialis
  • have heart disease
  • have low blood pressure or uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • have had a recent heart attack or stroke
  • have had loss of vision due to non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION)
  • are taking any medications containing nitrates, like for chest pain or amyl nitrites (also called ‘poppers’)
  • are taking certain types of alphablockers, a type of high blood pressure medication

Speak to your doctor if you:

  • have blood pressure problems
  • have heart problems
  • a deformation in your penis, like Peyronie’s disease
  • serious liver or kidney problems
  • any eye disease

As Cialis affects your blood flow, speak to your doctor if you have any conditions that might change your blood flow in your blood vessels. This includes sickle cell anaemia, leukaemia and multiple myeloma.

Cialis interactions

Cialis can interact with other medications you are taking. It’s important to let your doctor or pharmacist know if you are on any medications. This includes over the counter products. They can advise whether Cialis is safe for you to take.

These medications include:

  • other erectile dysfunction treatments
  • epilepsy treatment, like carbamazepine, phenytoin or phenobarbital
  • finasteride or dutasteride
  • nitrates for chest pain
  • alpha blockers like doxazosin
  • high blood pressure treatment
  • antibiotics like erythromycin or rifampicin
  • antifungal medications like ketoconazole or itraconazole
  • HIV treatment like ritonavir
  • treatment for pulmonary hypertension, like bosentan or riociguat

You can take Cialis with or without food. Avoid drinking grapefruit juice when taking Cialis as this can interfere with how the medication can work.

Alcohol does not affect Cialis, but it can affect your erection. Limit your alcohol intake when you want to have sex to make it easier to get an erection.

Alternative erectile dysfunction treatments

There are other treatment options available if you do not want to take Cialis. These include:

These medications work in a similar way to Cialis and are known as PDE5 inhibitors. If you want to try an alternative treatment to PDE5 inhibitors, you can try Vitaros cream.

You may want to try some lifestyle changes to lower your chance of having erectile dysfunction. These might be losing weight, stopping smoking or exercising frequently.

There is often a psychological aspect to erectile dysfunction, especially if you only lose your erection occasionally. This can be due to mental health issues like anxiety and depression, or even how you feel about having sex. You can speak to your GP to find out more about psychotherapy, or find a private counsellor.

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Medically reviewed by:
Dr Babak Ashrafi Clinical Lead for Service Expansion

Babak studied medicine at King’s College London and graduated in 2003, having also gained a bachelor’s degree in Physiology during his time there. He completed his general practice (GP) training in East London, where he worked for a number of years as a partner at a large inner-city GP practice. He completed the Royal College of GPs membership exam in 2007.

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Last reviewed: 15 Feb 2022