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Tadalafil is a generic, more affordable version of Cialis. It’s the same active ingredient, just without the branding.
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Erectile Dysfunction: Here's what else we have.
Comes as an on-demand pill that lasts for 36 hours, or as a daily dose that's active all the time.
Lower dose pill. Better option if you're older or have a pre-existing condition like diabetes.
Like Viagra, but cheaper and works in the same way. Non-branded version of the original ED drug.
The one you've heard of. Works in 30-60 minutes and lasts for up to 5 hours.
Tadalafil is a treatment for erectile dysfunction. It’s a non-branded or generic version of Cialis. So it does the same job in the body, but the packaging and the look of the tablets is different. For this reason, it’s a little cheaper.
There are two versions of Tadalafil: daily and on-demand. Daily comes as a 2.5mg or 5mg dose, and you can take it every day so you’re always ‘covered’. On-demand comes as a 10mg or 20mg, and the effects last for up to 36 hours after you take it.
In short, Tadalafil increases blood flow to your penis by relaxing tight blood vessels. This helps blood to fill the muscle tissue in the penis so it can get erect more easily (and stay erect).
Erections happen because of a chemical process which occurs when you’re sexually aroused. The brain sends chemical messages to the blood vessels in the penis and lets them know it’s time to relax and dilate. This allows blood to fill two expandable muscles called the corpus cavernosum, When these are filled, you become erect.
Often with ED, a problem in the body or mind means that these floodgates don’t open – even if you’d really like them to. Tadalafil is in a class of medications known as PDE5 inhibitors. PDE5 is an enzyme that can cause blood vessels to become constricted and narrow.
Tadalafil limits the action of the PDE5 enzyme, and so allows for blood to flow into the penis in moments of arousal. (Key word being arousal here – you need to be turned on for ED drugs like Tadalafil to work.)
The big difference is the price. But the manufactures and packaging they come in will also vary. Cialis is branded Tadalafil, and it’s always made by a specific company. Tadalafil is generic Cialis, and is manufactured by a number of companies and labs.
When a company brings a new drug to the market, they typically have the exclusive right to produce that drug for an amount of time. One company had this right with Cialis up until 2018, when the drug became available for other companies to make it as a generic.
Cialis and Tadalafil also look different, but they have the same active ingredient, doses, side effects, contraindications (reasons certain people may not be able to take them) and uses.
Both drugs work in exactly the same way. But Tadalafil, being generic, is cheaper. This is almost always the case with generic medications.
Tadalafil [Accessed 8 March. 2022].
Tadalafil in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. NCBI, [online] Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008 Dec; 4(6): 1315–1330.
If you’re taking the on-demand 10mg or 20mg dose of Tadalafil:
Tadalafil can stay active in the body for up to 36 hours, so may be more preferable for that reason. A clinician will always want to prescribe the lowest dose that works because it’s generally safer. Most men taking the weekend option will start on 10mg. If that doesn’t help, a clinician may recommend the 20mg dose.
If you’re taking 5mg of Tadalafil:
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