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Cialis vs Viagra - Which is best?

12th March 2019

When Viagra was launched in 1998, it revolutionised the lives of men with erectile dysfunction and impotence symptoms (and their partners’ lives too). Quickly nicknamed “the little blue pill”, Viagra has been used by countless men around the world. But despite its fame, it’s not the only option. Cialis may not have been around in the UK for as long, but it’s actually overtaken Viagra in the popularity stakes.  The results of 12 studies where men tried both drugs all came back with the same result; that Cialis was the favourite. But why is that, and how do they compare?

The Medicines

Starting with the technical aspects, both drugs contain active ingredients. Viagra contains sildenafil, while Cialis uses tadalafil and whichever one you go for, you’ll need a prescription first. However, Viagra can be prescribed freely on the NHS while Cialis is restricted, meaning it might be harder to get your hands on.

Viagra comes in three dosages (25mg, 50mg or 100mg) while Cialis is available in four (2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg and 20mg), and both drugs are taken orally.  Both drugs are designed to be taken in an ‘on demand’ capacity, so you take a pill before you want to get an erection. However, the lower doses of Cialis (2.5mg and 5mg) are designed to be taken daily so that you don’t need to forward plan. This is particularly popular for men who want to get an erection more than once a week.

The Effectiveness

So how do they stack up in terms of how well they work? Well, Viagra manages to work for a slightly higher percentage of people (84%, compared to 81% for Cialis) but it can sometimes be affected (and the benefits dampened) if you’ve recently eaten a big meal or one that’s high in fat, while Cialis doesn’t suffer this same factor.

Both get to work in about an hour, but the main difference between the two is how long they last. While Viagra tends to last a respectable 4 to 5 hours, Cialis storms ahead in that respect, with its potency lasting up to 36 hours. For anyone alarmed by that fact, it doesn’t mean that the drug produces an instantaneous erection. It simply means that in an erotic context, the drug can still assist 36 hours after taking it. So there’ll be no embarrassing, unavoidable bulges when you’re in public.

The fact that Cialis can last that long has earned it the nickname of “the weekend drug” – if a man takes a pill on Friday, it will last him through to Sunday.

And of course, erectile dysfunction medication is as much about the couple who are using it, as it is about the man taking it, and Cialis is the preferred drug amongst women too. Not only is this powerful pill perfect for hot and heavy new couples, but it’s also the favourite with long-term partners. The 36 hour window of opportunity makes spontaneous sex possible between those in the honeymoon period, and while long-term couples may be more likely to plan sex dates in advance than to have an impromptu session, it opens up availability for those plans too.

The Side Effects

Like with many medications, Viagra and Cialis are both susceptible to side effects. The most common of these are headache (16 percent of users), stomach upset (7 percent), and nasal congestion (4 percent). Although both drugs have these downsides, the side effects may be a mark against Cialis; longer effectiveness, also means longer to put up with the not-so-great parts.

For this same reason, Cialis may also be more likely to cause added side effects if you’re on any other medications. Like with anything though, you should always consult a medical professional if you’re unsure of whether or not erectile dysfunction medication is suitable for you to take.

The Cost

Which drug works best for you is entirely down to the individual, as is the price. Viagra starts from £9.99, and Cialis can be purchased from £13.99 but depending on how regularly you plan on using it and which better fits your lifestyle, they can each work out to be the most cost-effective. It’s all about working out what’s best for you, and your partner.