What dose of Cialis should I take?

Tadalafil 10mg and Tadalafil 20mg
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Tadalafil is an Erectile Dysfunction (ED) treatment used by men who have difficulty in achieving and maintaining an erection. It is the generic (non-branded) version of Cialis, which means they both contain the same active ingredient (tadalafil), and are as good as each other. Tadalafil is commonly referred to as “generic Cialis”. Cialis and tadalafil are the same, and work in the same way. 

Tadalafil tablets are available in 4 different strengths, 2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg and 20mg. Tadalafil 2.5mg and 5mg are taken daily and provide a continuous effect. Tadalafil 10mg and 20mg are taken when required. If you are taking the 10mg and 20mg strength, you should take one tablet around 30 minutes before sexual activity. The effects of tadalafil can last for up to 36 hours.


The weekend pill

Tadalafil 20mg and 10mg are commonly referred to as “the weekend pill”. This is because they have a long-lasting effect of up to 36 hours. This means you can take a tablet on a Friday night, and it can still be effective until Sunday morning.


How Cialis works

Tadalafil works by increasing blood flow to the penis when you are sexually stimulated. The increase in blood flow helps to get and keep an erection. You should take one tablet around half an hour before sex. Tadalafil peaks at around the 2 hour mark, so you may wish to take a tablet slightly earlier, as tadalafil is most effective after 2 hours. Tablets can be taken with a glass of water. You don’t need to worry about taking these pills on an empty stomach. Unlike Viagra, food does not affect the absorption of tadalafil.


Cialis starting dose

Tadalafil 10mg is usually prescribed if you are taking treatment for the first time. There is a lower chance of experiencing side effects with the 10mg dose.

You should take tadalafil 10mg as follows:

  • Take one tablet at a time
  • Take a tablet around half an hour before you plan to have sex
  • Avoid drinking alcohol with tadalafil as this can negatively affect your ability to get erection. Alcohol may increase the chances of experiencing common side effects such as headaches.
  • Do not take more than one tablet in a 24 hour period

Tadalafil tablets, will only work when you are sexually aroused, and treatment alone (or any other type of ED tablets) will not increase sexual desire (libido). If you are experiencing a loss of sexual drive, you should see your doctor as there may be an underlying health condition causing ED. The effects of tadalafil 10mg tablets can last for up to 36 hours, and within this timeframe, you should be able to get an erection when you are sexually stimulated.


The starting dose of Cialis did not work for me. What should I do?

If tadalafil 10mg is not working, there are a few things you can do:

  • Try taking a tablet another 7 times. According to UK national guidelines, you should try taking ED tablets on 8 separate occasions, before increasing the dose or trying another treatment. It can take time for you to get used to the idea of using a tablet to help with ED
  • Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about increasing the strength to tadalafil 20mg
  • Consider using a different ED tablet such as sildenafil or vardenafil


Can I take two Cialis 10mg tablets?

You can safely take two tadalafil 10mg tablets to give you 20mg. You should only do this if your doctor of pharmacist has prescribed you with tadalafil 20mg. The maximum dose of tadalafil that you should take is 20mg within a 24 hour period.


Taking the higher dose of Cialis

You doctor or pharmacist may prescribe tadalafil 20mg initially, although it’s more common to start with tadalafil 10mg and work your way up to 20mg if you have limited success. This lowers the chances of experiencing side effects.

Tadalafil 20mg tablets are taken in the same way as the lower strength 10mg tablets, 30 minutes before sex. There is not too much of a difference between tadalafil 20mg and 10mg. However, clinical trials have shown the 20mg dose to be around 10% more effective than the 10mg dose.

The effects of tadalafil 20mg do not last longer than the 10mg strength, but they may be stronger. This can increase the chances of experiencing side effects.

Common side effects of tadalafil include headaches, facial flushing, indigestion, muscle pain and a stuffy nose. Not everyone experiences side effects, however, the chances increase if you take tadalafil 20mg.


The higher dose of Cialis did not work for me. What should I do?

If the 20mg tablets are not effective, you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist. As is the case with all ED tablets, you should try taking these pills on 8 separate occasions, before trying another ED medication.

If you have followed this advice, and still find tadalafil tablets to be ineffective, you may wish to speak to your doctor or pharmacist about trying an alternative ED treatment.

Most alternative ED tablets belong to the same class of drugs, known as PDE5 inhibitors. This means that they will act in the same way. In certain instances, counselling may be helpful, especially if ED is caused by anxiety. You should speak to a healthcare professional to find our if your ED is psychological, or physical.


Cialis overdose

You should not take more than 20mg of tadalafil within a 24 hour period. This is because 20mg is the highest licensed dose to treat ED. Taking more than 20mg can increase the likelihood of experiencing serious side effects, such as a drop in blood pressure, which can cause headache and dizziness. It can also increase the chances of experiencing other potentially harmful side effects such as priapism.


Can I take Cialis as a daily dose?

Tadalafil 10mg and 20mg are safe to take daily for most men. You should check this with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure. Tadalafil tablets are also available in lower strengths, 2.5mg and 5mg. These tablets are also known as “tadalafil daily”. The 2.5mg and 5mg strength are usually more appropriate to be taken every day, as the dose is smaller, resulting in a lower chance of experiencing side effects.


Tadalafil or sildenafil, which one should I choose?

No ED treatment can make you last longer in bed, however, tadalafil has an advantage over sildenafil as it has a longer duration of action. This means that you can benefit from more sexual encounters within a longer time frame (up to 36 hours). Sildenafil has a shorter duration of action, with the effects lasting up to 4 hours. Tadalafil tablets also work faster than sildenafil, and can take up to 30 minutes to kick in as opposed to sildenafil, which takes 1 hour to kick in. Tadalafil can also be taken after a meal as food does not affect absorption, unlike sildenafil, where the onset of action can be delayed by food.

Having said this, these points are theoretical and ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and what you find suits you. Individuals are likely to experience different responses to different ED tablets, and there is no correct answer for what treatment is best. You may prefer tadalafil or sildenafil, depending on your response to treatment.


So, what dose of Cialis should I take?

Studies have shown that tadalafil is an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction, allowing patients of all ages to regain a satisfactory sex life. The 10mg strength is usually prescribed if you are taking tadalafil tablets for the first time, and the strength is generally only increased if need be. Both the 10mg and 20mg dose take around 30 minutes to kick in, with the effects lasting for up to 36 hours. If you engage in sexual activity more than 3 times a week, you may wish to explore the daily dose of tadalafil. It has a continuous effect and allows you to enjoy a spontaneous sex life. 

It is important to note that these pills are not recreational drugs and are only for use if you are experiencing ED. Certain types of cardiovascular disease, heart disease and other health conditions may mean that ED medication is not appropriate. You can speak to your GP about alternative ED treatments such as penile implants or penis pumps.

Whilst all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it is not intended to be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please speak to your doctor.