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Your guide to Cialis

How Does Cialis Work?

Cialis is a PDE-5 (Phosphodiesterase Type 5) inhibitor and is in the same family of medications as Viagra (sildenafil) and Levitra (vardenafil). These medications increase the blood flow to the erectile tissue in the penis and help men with erectile dysfunction (ED) to get and maintain an erection. Cialis only works when you are sexually aroused and is not an aphrodisiac and doesn’t enhance your libido.

How Should I Take Cialis?

You should take Cialis around 30-60 minutes before sexual intercourse. Alcohol may impair the effect of Cialis so it is recommended you do not drink more than one or two units of alcohol when taking it. Alcohol can also increase the risk of side effects such as dizziness when you take Cialis, as it can temporarily cause a lowering of your blood pressure

You should not take more than one tablet in a 24 hour period. Cialis should not be taken within 24 hours of taking any other ED treatment. You should not take Cialis unless you intend to have sex.

How Long Does Cialis Work For?

Cialis can remain effective for up to 36 hours after taking the tablet. This does not mean your erection will last this long, rather that you will be able to get an improved erection more easily during this period of time if sexually aroused.

How Effective is Cialis?

Cialis can be highly effective in treating erectile dysfunction in many men. However its effectiveness depends on the underlying cause of the erectile dysfunction, its severity, any anxiety and the degree of sexual stimulation. If Cialis doesn't work the first time then this could be due to many factors. In most circumstances it is advised you try Cialis on eight different occasions before changing medication or trying a higher dose (if safe and appropriate). You should speak to a doctor if the Cialis does not improve your erection as they will be able to advise you on what to do next and you should ensure you have had the checks and tests we advise with your GP.

Does Cialis Have Any Side Effects?

As with most prescription medicines, there are some side effects associated with Cialis. Side effects are usually mild to moderate. The most common side effects include: facial flushing, headaches, light-headedness, a stuffy nose, backache and indigestion.

If you experience any chest pain or your erection lasts for longer than four hours you should contact emergency services and seek medical help immediately.

You should read the patient information leaflet that accompanies your medication, before taking Cialis, for a full list of side effects and warnings.

Can I take Cialis with other medicines? 

Cialis should not be taken if you are taking certain medicines due to serious and potentially life threatening interactions. It is extremely important that you let us know about ALL the medicines you have or are taking every time you use our service.

Nitrates: Do not use Cialis if you are taking Nicorandil or any Nitrate containing medication. Nitrates are found in some heart medications such as a GTN spray or tablets that you put under your tongue and isosorbide mononitrate/dinitrate used for angina, as well as in certain recreational drugs; in particular “poppers”, “room odorizers” and “aromas”. Nitrates can also be found in other medications so it's very important you list all medicines and recreational drugs you have or are taking when asked, this is because when combined with ED medications they can cause a serious and life threatening drop in your blood pressure which can be fatal.

Alpha Blockers: If you are taking alpha-blockers (such as alfuzosin, doxazosin, tamsulosin, prazosin or terazosin), you must not use Cialis as it can cause a dangerous drop in your blood pressure.

This is not a full list of all the medication interactions - Cialis can interact dangerously with other medicines. Please list ALL the medicines you are taking when asked. If you subsequently start taking a new medication, before taking your Cialis please always check with a doctor first to ensure the Cialis is still safe to take.

Does Cialis Treat the Underlying Causes of Erectile Dysfunction?

Cialis helps men with ED to get improved erections however it does not treat the underlying cause of the condition. Erectile dysfunction is often a symptom of an underlying physical health condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or a hormonal problem. Most commonly it is due to vascular disease (narrowing of the blood vessels). ED can be an early warning sign for heart disease and stroke especially in men over the age of 40 so it is very important to have the tests we advise so that any underlying conditions and risk factors can be treated.

Sometimes ED is caused by psychological factors such as stress, anxiety and depression. Cialis can help build up your confidence and reduce the anxiety and stress resulting from having the ED itself. This can help break the vicious cycle of failure to get an erection.

If you think you have erectile dysfunction, click here to complete our free medical assessment or if you think Cialis may be the right treatment for you click here. Our doctors will then assess whether you are suitable for treatment.