Sildenafil vs. Tadalafil – Which is better?

Cialis (also known as Tadalafil) and Viagra (also known as Sildenafil) are oral drugs that are taken to treat impotence and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). They belong to a class of drugs termed as phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors that also include Vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn ODT) and Avanafil (Stendra). Sexual stimulation that leads to erection is responsible for the production and release of nitric oxide in the penis. Due to this nitric oxide, an enzyme, guanylate cyclase, produces cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). This is primarily concerned with increasing and decreasing the size of blood vessels that carry blood to and from the penis, respectively, thus, leading to an erection.

While discussing Sildenafil vs Tadalafil and knowing understanding which among them is better, one needs to know that when phosphodiesterase-5, which is another enzyme destroys the cGMP, the blood vessels return to their original size, blood leaves the penis, and the erection is lost. Tadalafil and Sildenafil prevent the destruction of cGMP, and on the contrary, allows it to persist for a prolonged period, thus leading to longer erection, thanks to the prolonged engorgement of the penis.

Sildenafil vs Tadalafil: Detailed Comparison

Sildenafil vs Tadalafil


Sildenafil (Viagra) became the first oral pill, and the first PDE5 inhibitor has received approval on March 27th, 1998 by the FDA. Tadalafil (Cialis) as first approved to treat erectile dysfunction on November 21st, 2003. After Viagra and Levitra, it was the third PDE5 inhibitor that made its foray into the market.

Duration of Effect

Tadalafil (Cialis) boasts of an advantage over the two, in terms of is the duration of effect; while Sildenafil (Viagra) last for 4-5 hours, Cialis may last much longer- up to 36 hours. The duration of effect may vary from person to person.



  • Usually, the recommended starting dose of Tadalafil is 10mg, which is to be taken before sexual activity. Depending on whether it is showing adequate results or the degree of side effects on your body, the dose can be increased to 20mg a day or reduced to 5mg a day.
  • If you are under medication that raises the blood levels of tadalafil, the total dose should not exceed 10mg in 72 hours. If you are administering this drug daily, irrespective of sexual activity, the recommended dose is 2.5 to 5mg every day. Make sure you do not take Tadalafil more than once in a day.
  • Medical experts recommend a daily dose of about 5mg BPH, or BPH and ED. These are to be administered at the same time every day. Tadalafil can also be taken on an empty stomach since there is no correlation with food, as far its absorption from the intestine is concerned. Make sure you use the same according to the recommendation of medical practitioners.


  • In this case, usually, the recommended dose is 25 to 100mg an hour preceding sexual activity. However, the maximum dose you take within a day should not exceed 100mg. If you are above 65 years, you should start at 25mg before sexual activity.
  • It is also interesting to note that sildenafil aids rapid absorption. Plasma concentrations are at their maximum within 30 to 120 minutes of oral dosage, while you are fasting. On the other hand, if you take sildenafil with a meal high in fat content, it decreases the rate of absorption, with the average delay in the time being 1 hour.

How quickly do they work: Sildenafil vs Tadalafil

Tadalafil (Cialis) usually works within 16 to 45 minutes, and its activity remains unaffected by the intake of food. Sildenafil (Viagra) generally works within 30 minutes, though it should also be noted that the effect of Sildenafil might be diluted right after you take a high-fat meal.

As far as effectiveness is concerned, going by reports, the effectiveness of Sildenafil stands at 84%, while that of Tadalafil is 81%. That being said, more men are inclined towards Tadalafil owing to its longer duration of effect.

Thus, though they both serve almost the same purpose, there are some major differences between the two. Before taking either, you should be well-informed about the key aspects of the medications, to make a choice based on awareness and knowledge and not simply a whimsical one. There is no hard and fast rule to determine which is “better” in Sildenafil vs Tadalafil; you have to try both to figure out which one suits you more. It completely depends from person to person. You can try taking each one separately and record your experiences to make the best decision.


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