Although there are more similarities than differences when it comes to tadalafil and sildenafil, there are a number of key differences to be aware of. The key difference between sildenafil (commercially known as Viagra) and tadalafil (commercially known as Cialis) is the length of time each medication stays in your system after taking it.
This is to say, you should be taking sildenafil an hour before sex and the effects of this drug generally last for between four and six hours after consumption. This makes sildenafil a useful ED medication when it comes to date nights, but less so for more spontaneous sexual encounters.
Tadalafil, on the other hand, stays active inside the user’s system for much longer and gets to work more quickly. Typically, the user will feel the effects of tadalafil after only 30 minutes, and the agent will remain active within your system for 36 hours after consumption. For this reason, while sildenafil is ideal for scheduled date nights, tadalafil is often referred to as the ‘weekend pill’, as once you have taken it, your body is ready for sexual actively for two days. In this way, despite typically being more expensive, tadalafil does allow for a little more spontaneity than sildenafil.
When it comes to potency, both drugs have a high success rate. In clinical trials, tadalafil was shown to be effective at helping 81% of users achieve and maintain an erection, while sildenafil boasted an 82% efficiency rating. Therefore, clinical data would suggest there is no significant difference between the two drugs in terms of effectiveness.
It is important to note though, that the effectiveness of sildenafil can be impacted by a full stomach. Research shows that taking sildenafil immediately after eating a large or high fat meal can impact how the drug is absorbed into your system, providing delayed and even reduced effectiveness when it comes to helping the user achieve and maintain an erection. On the other hand, the potency of tadalafil is not thought to be impacted by a full stomach.
Interestingly, when it comes to preference, a recent study published in the International Urology and Nephrology Journal also showed that tadalafil was more popular among both men and their partners when compared to sildenafil due to the longer-lasting nature of this drug.
No, you should not take both sildenafil and tadalafil at the same time, or even on the same day, to treat ED. If you do take both drugs within the same 24 hour period, you could experience a number of unpleasant and potentially harmful side-effects. These can include nausea, dizziness, indigestion and even a painful erection lasting for more than four hours.
This being said, you can safely use both treatments interchangeably on different days. However, it is important to note that it is not recommended that you take any ED medication on a daily basis or on a regular schedule.
Although it is important to stress that both of these treatments are highly effective at treating those who are experiencing ED, on paper it would appear that tadalafil is ‘better’ than sildenafil when you consider some of the additional advantages this drug offers. These advantages include the fact it gets to work more quickly, stays in the user’s system longer and is not impacted by a full stomach.
However, it is also worth remembering that different individuals react to drugs in different ways. For this reason, it is not uncommon to hear from men that prefer sildenafil despite having tried tadalafil, and vice versa.
When you come to Access Doctor, one of our independent General Pharmaceutical Council-registered prescribers will be able to talk you through each type of ED medication we stock and recommend the best fit for your circumstances.