Posted: 09/03/2014

The Differences Between Cialis and Viagra

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The market for medications that treat erectile dysfunction is highly competitive, with both Viagra and Cialis touting its superiority over the other. But is there any significant difference between the two products? While for the most part, they are comparable medications used to treat similar conditions, they do diverge in a few areas.

Essential similarities between Viagra and Cialis

Both Viagra and Cialis work in the same manner – increasing nitric oxide in the body, which, in turn, opens and relaxes blood vessels in the penis so that an erection can be achieved and maintained during sexual activity. And while the active ingredients are different (sildenafil citrate in Viagra; tadalafil in Cialis), because they work in the body in the same way, changing from one to the other will not produce different results. Thus, if one is not effective, neither will the other. Both medications require physical stimulation in order to achieve an erection.

Both are available only by prescription and neither is available as generic.

Both have similar side effects, including headache, clogged sinuses, indigestion and priapism (an erection lasting more than four hours). Those taking nitrates for heart conditions should not take either medication.

Some minor variations in their use

While both Viagra and Cialis are used to treat erectile dysfunction (and this is what they are most commonly identified with), they can be used to treat other conditions. Cialis is sometimes prescribed to treat Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) and Benign Prostetic Hyperplasia (BPH); Viagra may be used in the treatment of PAH, but not BPH. Even when these medications are prescribed for these conditions, it does not diminish its ability to support erections.

Significant differences between Viagra and Cialis

The greatest differences between these two medications are in their dosage amounts, how long it takes them to become effective, and how frequently they can be taken.

Viagra

  • This medication is taken on an as needed basis, 30 minutes to four hours prior to anticipated sexual activity;
  • Available in increments of 25, 50, and 100 mg, with 50 being the standard starting amount; it may be increased or decreased by the physician if circumstances dictate;
  • Will become active within thirty minutes to an hour after taking;
  • Effects last from four to five hours;
  • No more than a single dose can be taken in a 24-hour period;
  • Taking Viagra may cause an inability to distinguish between the colors blue and green.

Cialis

  • Taken on either a daily or an as needed basis;
  • Dosages come in 2.5, 5, 10, or 20 mg concentrations, depending on whether it is for use on a daily or as needed basis; may be increased or decreased at the physician’s discretion;
  • Effects become noticeable within thirty minutes of ingestion and will remain active for up to 36 hours;
  • Taking Cialis may cause back pain.

For daily use, the amount is typically 2.5 mg taken at the same time each day, with or without consideration of sexual activity. When taken on an as needed basis, the starting dose is 10 mg. In either situation, no more than a single dose may be taken in a twenty-four hour period.

Cost differences between Viagra and Cialis

Ten tablets of 50 mg doses of Viagra start at $370 and may climb as high as $420, depending on the vendor. The prices for Cialis are slightly higher, with prescriptions of ten tablets of the 10 mg strength running about ten dollars higher across the board. Increases in strength or quantity remain proportionally the same. However, it is possible to find discount coupons & programs that can reduce these numbers on both medications by as much as 90 percent.

The most significant differences between the two medications is how long they remain active in the body, and that Cialis has the flexibility of being taken either daily or as needed (but not both). These timelines should be taken into account when considering either of these medications.

For more information about and free discounts for Cialis, Viagra and other Erectile Dysfunction medications visit our Erectile Dysfunction Condition Page.

By Diana, HelpRx Staff Blogger

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About the HelpRx.info Blog

HelpRx.info is staffed by experts in the prescription medication industry. Get the latest health, medical news and pharmaceutical news that can save you money and allow you to take charge of your healthcare. With frequent updates about the prescription drug industry as well as medicine news, you'll gain an insider look into the industry and learn more about how to get the best price on your prescriptions while not sacrificing quality. Subscribe to the HelpRx.info pharmacy blog through our RSS feed or get updates by liking HelpRx.info on Facebook and following HelpRx.info on Twitter.

About HelpRx

Our discounts provide you access to negotiated prices on your prescription drugs at your local pharmacy. We can provide these because we're partnered with OptumRx, a BIG pharmacy benefit provider that provides prescription coverage for MILLIONS of people like you.

About ScriptRelief

Script Relief, the creator of the NPSN card and HelpRx discounts, helps consumers save an average of 50%, and up to 75%, off their prescriptions.

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