Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common sexual health problem that affects many men worldwide. ED is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. There are different medications available to treat ED, and two of the most popular drugs are Sildenafil and Tadalafil, commonly sold under the brand names Viagra and Cialis, respectively.
Today, we will discuss the differences between Sildenafil and Tadalafil, how they work, possible side effects, and when to use them.
How do Sildenafil and Tadalafil work?
Sildenafil and Tadalafil belong to a group of drugs called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. PDE5 is an enzyme that breaks down cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), a molecule that relaxes the smooth muscles in the penis, allowing more blood flow to enter, leading to an erection. By blocking the PDE5 enzyme, these drugs increase the levels of cGMP in the body, thus helping to achieve and maintain an erection.
Sildenafil vs Tadalafil: What’s the difference?
The main difference between Sildenafil and Tadalafil is their duration of action. Sildenafil typically works for about four to six hours, while Tadalafil can work for up to 36 hours, earning it the nickname “the weekend pill.” Because of its longer duration, Tadalafil allows for more spontaneous sexual activity.
Another difference is the time it takes for the drugs to work. Sildenafil takes effect within 30-60 minutes after ingestion, while Tadalafil can take up to 2 hours to work. This delayed onset of action can be an advantage for some men who prefer to plan their sexual activity in advance.
Sildenafil and Tadalafil also differ in dosage strengths. Sildenafil is available in 25mg, 50mg, and 100mg tablets, while Tadalafil is available in 2.5mg, 5mg, 10mg, and 20mg tablets. This difference in dosage strengths allows for more individualized treatment.
Side effects and precautions
Both Sildenafil and Tadalafil can cause similar side effects, such as headaches, facial flushing, nasal congestion, heartburn, and sometimes, vision changes. These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own.
However, taking these drugs with nitrate medications, such as nitroglycerin, can cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure. People with heart disease or low blood pressure should avoid these medications or use them only under medical supervision.
Priapism, a prolonged erection lasting longer than four hours, is a rare but serious side effect that can cause irreversible damage to the penis. It is more commonly seen when the drugs are overdosed.
Hearing loss is another rare but serious side effect that has been reported in some cases. If you experience sudden hearing loss after taking these drugs, seek medical attention immediately.
Sildenafil and Tadalafil are two popular drugs used to treat ED. They work by blocking the PDE5 enzyme, which increases the levels of cGMP in the body, leading to an erection. The main differences between the drugs are their duration of action, time to onset of action, and dosage strengths.
Both drugs can cause similar side effects, and they should not be taken with nitrate medications. Priapism and hearing loss are rare but serious side effects that require immediate medical attention.
It is important to note that both drugs require a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider, and patients should follow their instructions carefully. They should also inform their doctor of any other medications they are taking, as drug interactions can occur.