Cialis Side Effects

What side effects could Cialis give you?

Pack of 20mg Cialis that could cause side effects

Key takeaways

  • Only about 1-10% of people will get side effects from Cialis

  • Common side effects include pains in your legs, arms or back headache muscle ache flushed (reddened) face a stuffed, blocky nose indigestion

  • There are more serious side effects to watch out for, including an allergic reaction

  • A doctor will be able to identify your side effects and give advice on how to manage them

  • You can always switch your dosage or your medication if you can't put up with your side effects

Contents of this article

What are the side effects of Cialis?

There are – as with any medicine, there is always the possibility of getting some side effects when taking Cialis. According to reports from people who have used it, the side effects of Cialis are usually only mild to moderate in nature. It’s important to remember that not everybody will get them, and some people won’t get any at all.

The most common side effects (affecting 1-10 in every 100 users) are: 

  • Pains in your legs, arms or back
  • Headache
  • Muscle ache
  • Flushed (reddened) face
  • A stuffed, blocky nose
  • Indigestion 

Uncommon side effects (affecting 1-10 in every 1,000 users) are: 

  • Stomach ache 
  • Feeling dizzy, nauseous or being sick (vomiting)
  • Blurred vision or eye pain
  • Breathing problems 
  • Finding blood in your urine
  • A prolonged erection 
  • Heightened heart rate 
  • Changes to your blood pressure levels
  • Nosebleeds
  • Swollen hands, feet or ankles
  • Tiredness

Rare side effects (affecting 1-10 in every 10,000 users) are: 

  • Fainting 
  • Seizures
  • Momentary memory loss
  • Swollen, red eyes
  • A sudden loss of hearing
  • An itchy skin rash (hives)
  • Sweating
  • Finding blood in your semen

Other rare side effects can include: migraines, severe allergic reaction, serious skin rashes, stroke or heart attack. The rate of these happening is not known exactly. 

Can you get any serious side effects from Cialis?

There are some more serious side effects that you can get as a result of taking Cialis. 

If you experience any of the following side effects while taking Cialis, stop using it immediately and seek emergency medical help:

  • An allergic reaction (including skin rashes)
  • Sudden chest pains
  • A prolonged or painful erection (called ‘priapism’) lasting longer than 4 hours
  • Sudden loss of vision

If you ever experience any side effects from Cialis that are severe or painful, you also should stop taking the medicine immediately and seek urgent medical help.

How likely is it I’ll get side effects from Cialis?

Obviously, you are more likely to get the side effects listed as ‘common’ to Cialis as opposed than the side effects listed as ‘rare’ or ‘uncommon’. 

About 1-10% of people who use Cialis will experience any side effects at all – a relatively low number compared to some other medical treatments for ED. 

You are more likely to get negative side effects from Cialis if you: 

  • Use recreational drugs, like poppers (amyl nitrate)
  • Are taking certain prescription medication that might interact with Cialis, like alpha-blockers
  • Take more than the recommended dose

Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your risk of getting side effects when using Cialis. The overall risk is, again, very small. Many men believe that the effective and long-lasting results of Cialis far outweigh the potential risks of side effects, however, every person is different.

How can I tell if I’m having Cialis side effects?

Sometimes, side effects can be hard to recognise. If in doubt – your doctor will know best. 

Think about the timing – if you are experiencing any symptoms which are unusual, or that seem to have increased or suddenly started around the time when you are also using Cialis, these are likely to be side effects of the medication. 

A doctor can give you the best answer – there is always a chance that your symptoms are being caused by something else entirely. If you aren’t sure, or your symptoms are worrying you, by far the best course of action is to ask for advice from your doctor. 

Book an appointment with your GP to discuss any of the side effects that you might notice, and follow previous instructions if you experience any severe or painful symptoms. 

What can I do about side effects?

Talk to a medical professional – if you are getting any side effects that are serious, painful, or that bother you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist in the first instance. 

For mild side effects – your doctor will probably suggest that you try to manage them at home by yourself, for example: 

  • Self-medicating for headaches with over-the-counter painkillers
  • Using over-the-counter remedies for indigestion or diarrhoea
  • Avoiding triggers (like alcohol)

Changing dosage or medications – your doctor may also suggest that you try a lower dosage of Cialis. You are less at risk of side effects when you are taking a lower dosage of the drug. If this doesn’t help, you may need to switch medication entirely. Not all medications for ED will work for everyone, and to some extent, erectile dysfunction treatment requires a little bit of trial and error while you find the best option for you. 

Reporting your side effects – if you have any side effects that haven’t been mentioned here, or that aren’t listed in the information leaflet with your medication, you can also report your side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme online. This helps to provide more information on the safety of Cialis for other users and medical practitioners. 

Are other treatments less likely to cause side effects?

You can't tell for sure – other medications similar to Cialis (Like Viagra, Viagra Connect, Sildenafil, and others) could be less likely to give you side effects but this is not something you can predict. You can only try out different ones and see which one suits you best.

Should I consider other treatments instead? – it’s possible that other types of treatment will be less likely to cause side effects than Cialis, but these can also be much less effective at treating your erectile dysfunction (ED). The side effects that come with Cialis aren’t very common and are usually only mild to moderate in nature. Ask your doctor if you need any more information about the side effects of Cialis or other PDE-5 inhibitors. They will be able to help you to decide what the right form of treatment is best for you by weighing up the pros and cons of your treatment options. 

Erectile dysfunction treatments with no side effects – the only treatments that are likely to be side effects free are non-medical treatments for ED. These can include: 

  • Lifestyle changes (e.g. eating less fatty foods and sticking to a balanced low-calorie diet, quit smoking, drinking less alcohol and exercising regularly)
  • Psychological treatments (like counselling or CBT)

To help decide which form of ED treatment is right for you, ask your nurse or doctor for more information on your individual options.

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