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Sildenafil vs. Tadalafil: Which Is Better For YOU?

Sildenafil vs. Tadalafil: Which Is Better For YOU?

Erectile  dysfunction in men is no longer the hidden shame that is never talked about anymore. In fact, erectile dysfunction, also called ED, is multifaceted and affects men in a variety of ways.    

From watching too  many adult movies to unrealistic expectations  of themselves, there's a variety of issues that come up. These cause a man to experience  issues related to ED.

ED can even cause issues for younger men in their 20's and 30's. Is there any way to combat this issue so men can enjoy sex again?

Thankfully, with a variety of prescriptions  on the market, there are options to choose from. But soon it becomes a game of distinguishing which is better, sildenafil vs. tadalafil?

We're here to help you figure out the key differences and make an educated choice when it comes to picking the right prescription for your lifestyle. Learn more and see which one can best help serve your needs.  

What Are Key Differences Between Sildenafil vs. Tadalafil?  

Both sildenafil and tadalafil have the same key function -- to help you stay erect for sex even when your body normally cannot. But the way the drugs work varies.

Sildenafil lasts for a shorter amount of time (more than six hours and up to  eight) whereas Tadalafil can last over 24 hours (often up to 36). Think about your intimacy patterns and lifestyle, since these can dictate which drug is going to work better for you.

Because it works for a shorter amount of time, sildenafil is fast-acting in comparison to tadalafil. It normally begins  working in an hour, whereas the competitor can take up to two hours to have effectiveness.

Some individuals experience side effects such as a stuffy nose when they take tadalafil. In this case, sildenafil might work better if  that prevents you from enjoying time with your partner.

It's best to speak with your doctor and communicate your needs and lifestyle. While both medications work in a similar manner, it's important to think about your lifestyle, routine, and how often you'll want to take advantage of the medication.  

These factors can play crucial roles in determining how much and how often you'll need the drug while answering  the question of which one is better for you.  

How Planning Intimacy Makes a Difference When Choosing Tadalafil vs. Sildenafil

Since both prescriptions  focus on providing an erection for intimacy purposes, it's important to consider your sex life. There are several factors such as:

  • How often do you have sex?

  • Is it planned or spontaneous?

  • Do you tend to do it more than once a day?

  • Are you only needing the drug for certain occasions?

Start by looking at your lifestyle to decipher where to make changes first.  

Choosing Sildenafil

If you only need a prescription that lasts a few hours and you enjoy timing sex shortly after taking your medication, consider sildenafil. It's fast-acting and lasts up to eight hours.  

If you have sex at regular times or need it for planned events, such as a vacation or romantic getaway, this can offer the best option for you.

Perhaps you prefer to only have sex once a day? Not a problem when you use sildenafil since it won't stay in your system for hours upon end.  

While it's not quite as fast as the female version (aptly named Scream Queen), it gets the job done.  

Choosing Tadalafil

Perhaps you like to play it loose  and don't want to schedule lovemaking. That's understandable, and it makes sense that you learn more about the benefits of tadalafil.

This prescription allows you to stay in control and pick and choose how often you'd like to be intimate.

Tadalafil works up to 36 hours. If you planned to have sex more than once a day, this provides a useful choice and allows you to be spontaneous.  

If you don't need a fast jump-start to romance, tadalafil can help. It's a slower start, so if you don't need to get into the mood right away, you can feel confident you're not wasting medication.  

Always consider what your current needs and issues are when using ED medication. It's important to figure out which is best suited to help you since ED medication can come with side effects.

Understanding Side Effects

Like any other prescription medication on the market, both sildenafil and tadalafil have side effects. It's important to figure out what you consider a deal-breaker in terms of side effects.

It's also worth noting that some side effects won't even happen to you.  

Tadalafil Side Effects

The side effects for this drug include:

  • Flushing and redness on the body

  • Headaches

  • Problems remembering/memory issues

  • Nausea

  • Feeling as though you have the flu

  • Ejaculation that isn't normal

  • Back pain

  • Erections that last longer than usual

  • Blurred vision, which includes changes in color perception

Side effects for sildenafil share some similarities but have key differences, too.

Sildenafil Side Effects

The most common side effects include:

  • Flushing on the body, including redness

  • Stomach issues that include nausea

  • Nose issues that include stuffiness

  • Diarrhea

  • Memory loss issues

  • Problems associated with back pain

  • Ringing in ears

  • Feeling dizzy

  • Difficulties in seeing blue and green

In either case, it's important to talk to your doctor about the side effects and find out which drug is less likely to give you issues in your daily life. Despite your desire to continue with your romantic life, it's important you can work and otherwise carry on with little hindrance.

Studies have found that recreational use, even in young men, can lead to problems in sexual functioning. Being aware of the possible side effects and knowing what your limits are can make it easier to choose the right solution for you and your partner.  

If you're concerned about side effects and don't plan for a lot of sex, taking sildenafil can help. Because the drug stays in your system less than tadalafil, the long-term annoyance of side effects can go away quickly.

Think about what you need and speak with your doctor about trying both if you're still not sure which one is best for your health.

Know How Drug Interactions Can Influence Use

If you're already taking other medications, it's important to disclose this to your doctor. Regardless of which medication you're most interested in taking, both have reactions to other prescriptions.

Don't take sildenafil if you have allergies to the drug. If you take medication that contains any sort of nitrates, it's important to avoid sildenafil.  

If you take anything with riociguat  as an ingredient, it's important to let your doctor know right away. Sildenafil mixed with these other medications can cause problems, rendering the other drugs less effective.

Drugs created for ED purposes can affect both antibiotics and antifungal medications. If you're currently on one of these for a short-term problem, it might be best to avoid taking ED medication until the problem clears up.

Tadalafil follows the same warnings, urging users to avoid nitrates and  riociguat. If you currently take a medication that may affect one of these, talk to your doctor. It's possible you can swap out medications or learn about other helpful options.

Switching medication can make it possible for you to take one or the other safely. This means you can focus on your relationship with your partner, and avoid issues of medicine missing and being less effective than you anticipated.  

Planning How to Take Sildenafil or Tadalafil

Now that you know how the medications work, you can choose how you'll take Sildenafil or Tadalafil, depending on which one you've been prescribed.  

If the medication is prescribed for daily use, it's better to start out on the smallest dose possible and work your way up. This can lessen the side effects and prevent you from developing too much of a dependence on the medication right away.

If your medication is prescribed for "as needed" use, you'll likely take a higher dosage, but it won't be every day.  

Sildenafil works the fastest, allowing you to take it shortly before intimacy. In contrast, it leaves the body quickly, usually in eight hours or less.

Tadalafil presents the option of allowing you to keep on going with intimacy that takes place more than once a day. The drug can last over 36 hours, so it's helpful for multiple sessions.

If you notice the side effects hit you harder than you'd like when taking tadalafil, consider sildenafil. The latter leaves your body quickly, making the side effects temporary and something you'll be able to muddle through.

Sildenafil can work with food. However, if your food is on the heavy side, it's possible it's going to take longer to start working.  

Consider how your body reacts, your normal schedule, how often you plan to be intimate on any given day, and your partner's needs. This can make it easier to choose the right medication when you work together with your doctor.  

Taking a Break From Your Perscriptions But Not Your Sex Life

Many people find their sex life improves with the help of ED medications. Much in the same way that hormone replacement therapy can change one's life, so can taking ED medication when it comes to sparking up sex.

However, there may be times when you're looking for a break from taking medicine or want to try something different. In this case, it's helpful to talk openly and honestly with your partner.

Many couples find that while it's nice to have the option of using ED medicine, they can get a lot out of other romantic actions. These include holding hands, cuddling, oral sex, manual sex, and even massage.  

Sometimes the spark of doing something different can make going back to regular sexual activities even more exciting than before.  

If you ever feel the need to take a break from current medication, don't let it stop you from being intimate with your partner. Both sildenafil and tadalafil can help you have a greater experience, but they shouldn't be considered the only options when it comes to a closer connection.  

Discover More

ED is more common than people realize, with 50% of men in their 50's experiencing this issue. Thanks to the many options on the market, there's more than one type of medication when it comes to helping men achieve an erection and intimacy with their partner.  

There's a lot to consider when you're debating sildenafil vs. tadalafil.

How often you plan to be intimate with your partner to what your normal routine is when having sex can make an impact on which medication is best for you. Once you know the key differences it's easier to make a choice.

There are side effects to consider and how long each medication stays in your system. It's important to think about what drugs you're currently on, and if these can have any negative effects with an ED prescription.  

Both medications have pros and cons, but it's important to find the one that meets your needs the best.

We hope this helps you find the best option for you when choosing between sildenafil vs. tadalafil. If you're looking for more information on how to feel your best, we can help.

Check out our blog on using peptides for anti-aging and see how other people are turning back the clock with this interesting new treatment. If you have questions about ED or another specific treatment, feel free to contact us.

Thanks to medical advancements, you can take control of your life -- including in the bedroom.

About the author

Dr. Constance Odom, MD

5 min read