What’s the Best Dosage of Cialis?

What dosages are there, and which strength should you pick?

Last reviewed: 10 Jan 2019

Cialis 10mg dosage
Contents of this article

Cialis is a treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED) that works well for a lot of people. It contains the active ingredient ‘tadalafil’. Cialis come in 4 different dosages, and some dosages can be taken daily.

If you need help find the right dosage of Cialis, an online doctor or GP should be able to help. It’s a good idea to start with the 10 milligram tablet, which is the standard dosage. Just like with most medications, how well Cialis works can vary from person to person.

What are the dosages of Cialis?

There are 4 dosages of Cialis:

  • 2.5mg (milligrams)
  • 5mg
  • 10mg
  • 20mg

The 2.5mg and 5mg dosages are called Cialis daily, because you take them once a day. This way, you can always be ready to get erections easier.

The 10mg and 20mg dosages are called Cialis on demand because you don’t need to take them every day. Instead you take them shortly before you want to be able to get an erection.

What are the differences between Cialis daily and Cialis on demand?

Cialis daily:

  • 2.5mg and 5mg dosages
  • Specifically designed for daily use
  • Should help you to get an erection from 5 days after you start taking it, every day
  • Will help you to get an erection at any time between taking doses
  • Can work well if you want an erectile dysfunction (ED) pill and want to able to get an erection at any time, without planning in advance
  • The 2.5mg dosage is the most common one to start on
  • The 5mg dosage is usually prescribed if you think you’ll have want to get an erection at least twice a week

Cialis on demand:

  • 10mg and 20mg dosages
  • Effects last for up to 36 hours after each time you take a tablet
  • This form of Cialis can work well if you don’t want to take a pill every day
  • 10mg is usually the starting dose of Cialis on demand. It’s normally prescribed if you think you’ll want an erections on up to two days in a week
  • 20mg is the highest dose of Cialis available. This is normally prescribed if you find that the 10mg dose isn’t strong enough for you

How do I pick the right dosage?

The right dosage for you may depend on how often you want to get an erection.

Up to twice a week

The 10mg and 20mg Cialis doses are designed to be used when you need them, so they’re ideal if you’d usually want to get an erection up to twice a week. You’ll be able to get an erection 30 to 60 minutes after you take a 10mg or 20mg dose.

Twice a week or more

Taking Cialis daily builds up a steady amount of medication in your body. So the 2.5mg or 5mg daily dosages would be best if you want to be able to get an erection more than twice a week.

Is there a standard dosage?

If you’ve never taken Cialis before, you should try starting on the 10mg dosage. It works very well for a lot of people, and has a lower chance of giving you side effects than the 20mg dosage. But, 20mg may be an option if the 10mg dosage doesn’t work for you.

Will I find a Cialis dosage that works for me?

Cialis isn’t right for everyone. Before you’re prescribed Cialis, you’ll need a consultation with a doctor. They’ll check your medical history to make sure Cialis wouldn’t interact with any other medications you’re taking, and you don’t have any medical conditions that make Cialis unsafe for you.

Your online doctor or GP may also be able to identify possible causes of your erectile dysfunction (ED). They’ll be able to give advice on how to help tackle those causes.

When should I switch dosages?

Switching because of side effects

If you experience side effects on the dose of Cialis you’ve been prescribed, you can talk to your doctor about switching dosage.

Common side effects:

  • Headaches
  • Redness (flushing)
  • Muscle and back pain
  • Acid reflux and indigestion

Less common side effects:

  • Dizziness
  • Stomach ache
  • Your heart racing, pounding, or fluttering (palpitations)
  • More sweating than normal
  • Nosebleeds
  • Blurred vision
  • Painful eyes
  • A higher heart rate than normal

In a medical emergency, call 999 and get medical attention as soon as you can.

Switching because your Cialis didn't work

You may also think about switching dose if you feel the dosage you’re taking isn’t working for you. If you’re taking the 10mg dose, your doctor might recommend moving to 20mg.

20mg is the maximum dose for Cialis. If this isn’t working for you, you won’t be able to increase it. Instead, it might be better for you to switch to a different ED medication.

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Can I increase the dosage of Cialis if it doesn’t work for me?

If the dosage you’re taking isn’t working for you, your online doctor or GP might prescribe a higher dosage.

But, don’t just take more tablets of your current dosage. Taking Cialis more than once a day, or more than the recommended dosage, could cause serious side effects.

How can I get the best results from my Cialis dosage?

Fatty foods

  • If you take Cialis with a meal, avoid high-fat foods which can affect how your body absorbs the Cialis

Timing

  • Make sure you take Cialis 10mg and 20mg around an hour before you want to get an erection – you won’t get an erection straight away
  • For 2.5mg and 5mg daily dosages, try to take them at the same time every day
  • Cialis doesn’t cause erections directly – to get an erection with any erectile dysfunction (ED) medication, you need to be sexually aroused as normal
  • Take your time, and try to stay relaxed

Alcohol

  • Try to avoid drinking alcohol when you’re taking Cialis
  • Drinking can increase your heart rate
  • It can also reduce your blood pressure
  • Alcohol can make headaches and dizziness more likely
  • Alcohol also makes it harder to get an erection

Grapefruit juice

  • Try to avoid drinking grapefruit juice because it can make Cialis slightly less safe

How do Cialis dosages compare to other medications?

Differences between medications

  • The dosages of Viagra (sildenafil) and Cialis are different
  • They also each contain different active ingredients
  • Cialis can last in the body for up to 36 hours, whereas Viagra may last up to 6 hours

See our page on how Cialis and Viagra compare for more information.

No difference in dosage between branded Cialis and the generic version

  • Cialis and tadalafil have the same dosages available because they have the same active ingredient
  • Tadalafil is the active ingredient in Cialis
  • Tadalafil can be bought as a generic version of the drug
dr-kathryn-basford.png

Dr Kathryn Basford is a qualified GP who works as a GP in London, as well as with Zava. She graduated from the University of Manchester and completed her GP training through Whipps Cross Hospital in London.

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Last reviewed: 10 Jan 2019

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