• Tadalafil is a popular prescription medication for erectile dysfunction (ED) that lasts up to four times longer than other ED pills.
  • Tadalafil is the generic version of Cialis, and the price is the only significant difference between the two. Without insurance, tadalafil generally costs between $0.17 and $12.50 per tablet.
  • While tadalafil is effective for ED, it’s not safe for everyone and comes with certain side effects. Prescriptions are available through telehealth providers, but those with pre-existing health conditions should consider visiting their provider in-person.

When your body or mind is unhealthy, your sexual health is often affected, too. Depression, anxiety, hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes are just a few examples of health concerns linked to an increased risk of erectile dysfunction (ED). Experiencing ED can be a warning sign of other issues like heart attack or stroke. But what’s not often talked about is how erectile dysfunction can worsen men’s mental health by robbing them of their self-esteem. 

“Men care a lot about their penis working,” says Fenwa Milhouse, a board-certified urologist and CEO of Down There Urology. “Erectile dysfunction can interfere with one’s self-image and cause tension in a relationship, but mental health can actually get in the way of erections too.” Erections start in the brain with arousal, so feeling depressed, anxious, or stressed can decrease desire and lead to unsatisfactory erections.

Because ED has far-reaching effects on your mental health, treating it has the potential to improve your mental and emotional state. Oral medications like tadalafil (generic Cialis) are often the first thing a doctor prescribes for erectile dysfunction because they’re accessible and affordable. Tadalafil is particularly popular because it lasts up to four times longer than other ED pills. But it’s not safe for everyone and has a long list of possible side effects.

In this guide, we’ll explain how tadalafil works, who can take it, and how to buy it.

Why HelpGuide cares about sexual wellness

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Four out of 10 men in their 40s experience erectile dysfunction (ED), and it becomes more common with age. That means a significant number of men don’t feel satisfied with their ability to perform sexually. We know this can lead to performance anxiety, less intimacy, tension in a partnered relationship, low self-esteem, depression, increased stress, and even increased absenteeism at work. 

“All of these things have been described in patients that I’ve seen and treated with erectile dysfunction,” says urologist Fenwa Milhouse. “Feeling less of a man, feeling less worthy, feeling less like an individual and the person they once were.”

If that sounds familiar, there’s nothing to be ashamed about, and you’re certainly not alone. We, the Handbook Team, want to shed light on this topic, help you feel comfortable addressing it, and encourage you to seek help for this highly treatable issue. Ignoring erectile dysfunction means ignoring the impact on your physical and mental health—and the ED may only get worse.

The relationship between these mental health conditions and ED can be cyclical. ED can be a source of considerable anxiety and stress for individuals, leading to a self-perpetuating cycle where the fear of experiencing ED again exacerbates the problem.

Rhiannon John, certified sexologist

The good news is that oral medications for ED, such as Viagra (sildenafil) and Cialis (tadalafil), are now available in generic forms, making erectile dysfunction treatment far more affordable than it was even five or six years ago. The recent popularity in online telehealth platforms also means you can request a prescription for ED medication without having to visit a doctor or pharmacy in person. This is a solution for people who may feel embarrassed discussing their sexual health with a doctor or collecting this prescription at the pharmacy, and it’s also safer than turning to “gas station” remedies. These unregulated supplements are often found in dispensers inside gas stations restrooms, and they have been known to contain hidden ingredients

But not all of these platforms use the same screening process, charge the same prices, or let you directly message your provider. We don’t want you to feel frustrated and hampered by low-quality platforms or misled by false information. We want to make it easy to feel like yourself again.

That’s why we mystery shopped at over 25 online ED medication platforms, interviewed more than 20 urologists, sexologists, pharmacists, and psychologists, read dozens of academic journal articles, ran a focus group of real users, and surveyed 360 real people about their experiences with erectile dysfunction. We got really comfortable with this topic and hope to help you do the same by reading our guides and reviews.

Learn more about our erectile dysfunction review methodology.

What you need to know about generic Cialis (tadalafil)

Generic Cialis (Tadalafil)
Cialis and generic Cialis (tadalafil) are the same product from different manufacturers. Cialis and generic Cialis (tadalafil) are the same product from different manufacturers.
Tadalafil costs significantly less than name-brand Cialis. Tadalafil costs significantly less than name-brand Cialis.
Tadalafil stays in the body for 36 hours and can be taken daily. Tadalafil stays in the body for 36 hours and can be taken daily.
Tadalafil doesn’t affect libido or cause a spontaneous erection. Tadalafil doesn’t affect libido or cause a spontaneous erection.
Taking tadalafil may be dangerous for people with cardiovascular, kidney, or liver concerns. Taking tadalafil may be dangerous for people with cardiovascular, kidney, or liver concerns.

What is tadalafil (generic Cialis)?

Tadalafil is the active ingredient in Cialis. It’s a PDE5 inhibitor used to treat erectile dysfunction and ease the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). PDE5 inhibitors block the chemical that deflates an erection, allowing a naturally occurring erection to last longer. Tadalafil is also prescribed under the brand name Adcirca to help people with pulmonary arterial hypertension improve their endurance and overall ability to exercise. 

Tadalafil tablets come in four strengths: 2.5 milligrams (mg), 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg. It’s taken orally, and doctors may prescribe it on an as-needed or daily basis. 

I always start with the highest dosage because I want to knock this out of the water. PDE5 inhibitors are very safe drugs, and I want people to be successful.

Michael Werner, urologist and founder of Maze Sexual & Reproductive Health

What’s the difference between generic and real Cialis?

There is no significant difference between generic and real Cialis. Sarah Lynch, a clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice at Binghamton University, says regular and generic Cialis are both safe to use. “Generic products must demonstrate that they are equivalent to the original brand product in order to be approved,” she says. “There may be some differences in the inactive ingredients, but they should work the same and be just as effective.”

Price is the only substantial difference between generic and real Cialis. Hussain Ahmad, a pharmacist and doctor of medicine from the UK, explains that the manufacturers of Cialis held the original U.S. patent for tadalafil until 2018. “After that, other manufacturers could produce a generic version, which we now know as tadalafil,” he says. With more than one tadalafil manufacturer competing for business, retail prices tend to plummet.

And yet the cost of name-brand Cialis remains high. That’s because the original patent holder, Eli Lilly, shouldered the cost of the research and testing required to bring the drug to market. These expenses get passed on to consumers. Pharmaceutical companies manufacturing generic tadalafil bypass those research and development costs because the approved formula is publicly available in the patent. They can sell generic tadalafil for a much lower price and still turn a profit.

Where can I buy tadalafil (generic Cialis)?

Both name-brand and generic Cialis require a prescription. You can fill that prescription through an online or local pharmacy, but first, you have to request the prescription from your doctor or a telehealth provider. 

Buying tadalafil online is fast, discreet, and convenient for healthy individuals. When ordering online, expect to fill out a health questionnaire, request a specific dosage and quantity (with explanations and guidance), and wait for a doctor to review your information. The doctor may need to call you if they have any follow-up questions or concerns. Otherwise, they’ll approve your prescription, and it will be delivered in discreet packaging.

There’s also a case to be made for visiting your doctor in person for an ED diagnosis if you have certain pre-existing health concerns. 

“Erectile dysfunction is an independent risk factor for heart disease,” says Dr. Milhouse. “Just having erectile dysfunction puts that person at a higher chance of heart attack, stroke, and other heart problems. I’m going to check your blood pressure, cholesterol panel, and cardiovascular status. I would not do my due diligence if I didn’t address that.” Your doctor may also draw blood to rule out low testosterone or order an ultrasound to look for leaking blood vessels in the penis.

Dr. Milhouse also screens her patients for psychological causes of ED and is a proponent of sex therapy for her ED patients, but she doesn’t shy away from prescribing PDE5 inhibitors like tadalafil “to get them back in the saddle.” 

Dr. Werner takes the same approach. “I think the men need to get an erection as soon as possible so they know they can do it,” he says. So while the prescription medications help boost sexual confidence, long-term progress is made in therapy when ED is rooted in anxiety and other psychological factors. 

That said, experts say it’s usually safe to use a PDE5 inhibitor like tadalafil to treat ED without also enrolling in therapy. The medicines aren’t addictive in a chemical sense, but it’s important to be aware of the risk of psychological dependence—believing you can’t get an erection without taking medicine first. Therapy can help with this too.  

As long as you’re not taking other things that could interact with the medication and your heart is in decent working order, it would be safe to continue taking PDE5 inhibitors.

Dr. Milhouse

Erectile dysfunction can also appear as a symptom of diabetes, hypertension, and poor cardiovascular health, so finding a long-term solution for ED may require lifestyle changes and tadalafil alternatives.

Comparing online ED treatment platforms

We mystery shopped several online tadalafil suppliers ourselves to understand the typical buying process.

We also compared each platform’s erectile dysfunction diagnosis and screening questions to those recommended by the American Urology Association. Because tadalafil can cause dangerously low blood pressure in some individuals, it’s important to answer any online questionnaire honestly. The doctor reviewing your answers may recommend a safer erectile dysfunction treatment or dosage if you have a history of hypertension or diabetes or cardiovascular, kidney, or liver disease or if you take certain medications. 

Some online tadalafil suppliers ask you to input payment information before you can take the health questionnaire. We recommend avoiding those marketplaces.

Platform Types of tadalafil offered Cost of consultation Cost per pill for tadalafil* Cost per pill for Cialis* Learn More
Generic tadalafil, Cialis Free $1.33–$7.50 $31.94 Visit Site
Generic tadalafil, Cialis Free $8–$44 $13–$80 Visit Site
Generic tadalafil Varies by provider $5/30 day supply, determined by provider Visit Site
Generic tadalafil, Cialis First visit free; Follow-up consultations $15 $7–$9 $17–$71 Visit Site
Generic tadalafil, Cialis Free $1–$10 $11–$69 Visit Site

* Cost per pill varies based on prescription strength and quantity

Hims

Pros
  • Convenient questionnaire.
  • Free, discreet delivery.
  • Free online consultation.
  • Multiple medication options and prices.
  • Responsive customer service.
Cons
  • Doesn’t accept insurance.

Hims is a telehealth platform geared toward men experiencing premature ejaculation, hair loss, anxiety, depression, and erectile dysfunction. You tell Hims what medications you’re interested in, fill out a medical questionnaire, and wait for a doctor to approve the prescription.

On the Hims homepage, click Erectile Dysfunction to immediately start the preliminary questionnaire. You’ll be asked:

  • How often do you have trouble getting and keeping an erection during sex?
  • Do you also want to increase your libido?
  • Which state do you live in? 
  • When were you born?

You’ll be prompted to create an account, and then the health survey begins with 22 questions, although you may see additional follow-up questions based on your answers. After answering all the questions, the Hims platform shows you a recommended treatment option. To view all options, scroll down and click Explore.

You can compare each medication’s longevity, price, activation time, and recommended schedule (as-needed or daily).

Six erectile dysfunction medication choices from Hims

Hims sells generic Cialis as a tablet and chewable mint. If you don’t see Cialis (tadalafil) in the list of options, it may not be suitable for you based on your health history. 

If you’re healthy—especially if you’ve seen a doctor routinely—and young, and you have erectile dysfunction, I think there’s a place for [platforms] like Hims. I think it opens the door to treatment for patients who are really, really skittish about seeing somebody in person, but [their ED] needs to be handled.

Dr. Milhouse

Our testers were shown different prices for generic Cialis based on their geographical locations. Use the following Hims cost comparison table as a general guideline:

TypeSchedulePrice
CialisDaily$31.94 per tablet
Generic CialisDaily$1.33 per tablet
Tadalafil MintDaily$1.64 per mint
Generic CialisAs-needed$7.50 per tablet
Tadalafil MintAs-needed$6.00 per mint

Daily tadalafil tablets come in smaller doses than as-needed tablets, so they tend to cost less per tablet. Hims doesn’t sell name-brand Cialis for as-needed use. Mints from Hims offer a convenient way to take tadalafil on-the-go, as you don’t need water to swallow them.

To continue with the Hims ordering process, click on the option you want and answer questions about dosage and quantity (as-needed pills only). After that, all you need to do is fill out your shipping information, upload a government-issued ID, and input your payment information.

What people are saying

“I went through the Hims questionnaire and it was pretty streamlined. It’s the only platform I’ve tried and liked. It’s very user-friendly and I don’t have to worry about subscriptions or when it’s going to come in. I got my first order within a week.” —Focus group participant

Roman

Pros
  • Free, discreet, and fast delivery.
  • Free online consultation.
  • Transparent pricing.
  • Easy-to-use chat portal to connect with providers.
Cons
  • Doesn’t accept insurance.
  • More expensive than other options.

Roman is a telehealth platform that offers prescription treatments for erectile dysfunction, hair loss, premature ejaculation, genital herpes, and weight loss, as well as over-the-counter supplements for low testosterone and general well-being. 

Roman provides a similar experience to Hims for buying tadalafil online. From the homepage, click Erectile Dysfunction, then Start Now. 

You’ll answer these initial questions:

  • How often do you have trouble getting and keeping an erection during sex?
  • Do you get erections when you wake up or when masturbating? 

Then, you’ll be prompted to create an account. Roman needs your legal name, assigned sex at birth, zip code, and telephone number. 

We particularly like that Roman explains why they ask each question in the questionnaire. We know that ED is a personal topic, and some of the survey questions may feel invasive. The questions are designed to help the prescribing physician understand what’s causing your ED, evaluate which medications (if any) may be right for you, and track your treatment progress with follow-up surveys. 

Explanation of why Roman asks a question on ED survey

Warnings may also appear based on your answers, but you’ll be allowed to finish the questionnaire regardless. The prescribing physician will follow up with you if they have any concerns about your medical history or other risk factors. 

Once you finish the questionnaire, you’ll be prompted to select how many doses of ED medication you want per month (up to 10) and whether you prefer Cialis or Viagra (if either). Then, you can choose between branded or generic Cialis. Roman shows the per-dose starting price of each option so you can easily find something affordable, but no other information is given to help you compare Cialis to Viagra.

Pricing for Cialis and Viagra at Roman

Compare Roman prices in the table below: 

TypeSchedulePrice
CialisDaily$13 per tablet
CialisAs-needed$20–$80 per tablet
Generic CialisDaily$8/tablet
Generic CialisAs-needed$11–$44 per tablet

Depending on the dose, name-brand Cialis is more affordable from Roman than from other platforms. The cost of generic Cialis, though, is more expensive than other providers.

After selecting generic Cialis, you can request to have it prescribed as needed or daily and select your desired starting dose. Finally, you can submit shipping and payment information. It will take two to three days for a physician to evaluate your survey and contact you.

What people are saying

“Roman was a nice way of feeling confident and learning about the drugs and testing them out. Now I’m feeling confident with a product of choice, feeling confident talking to a doctor if I need a prescription.” —Focus group participant

“Roman sends me a text and email that says they’re preparing my order. I can go onto the app and delay the order because I don’t need any. But if I don’t act by a certain time, they will just go ahead and send it.” —Focus group participant

Optum Store

Pros
  • Immediate questionnaire results.
  • Discreet delivery.
  • Free initial consultation.
Cons
  • Doesn’t accept insurance.
  • As-needed supply only.
  • No 2.5 mg option.

Optum Store is an online marketplace for health products and services. You can also request a small number of prescriptions through the store, including erectile dysfunction and hair loss treatments. 

On the Optum Store homepage, hover over Visitless Prescriptions and select Erectile Dysfunction. Then click Start Your Free Consultation

There are no initial questions here to ease you into the survey. Optum immediately asks for personal information: your legal first and last name, date of birth, sex assigned at birth, and zip code. But we like that you don’t have to enter contact information right away.

The survey begins by asking two questions:

  • How often are you unable to get an erection?
  • Do you get an erection at night or while masturbating? 

As with the Roman questionnaire, we like that Optum explains why some of the questions are asked. Depending on how you answer, you may be prompted to provide more details, but we found that Optum didn’t ask for details as often as Roman. The survey is fast and convenient.

Sample question from Optum erectile dysfunction questionnaire

After answering all 17 questions on the Optum survey, you’ll have a chance to write a paragraph introducing yourself to the prescribing physician and to upload any relevant medical documents—a nice touch we didn’t see on many other platforms. Then, you’ll see whether or not you qualify for oral ED medication based on the survey results. We like that this information is immediately available. With other platforms, you may wait several days only to find out that a PDE5 inhibitor like tadalafil isn’t safe for you. 

If you are a suitable candidate based on the questionnaire, you’ll be prompted to create an account and verify your phone number. You’ll have to upload a government ID and a photo of yourself. 

Finally, you’ll get to see prescription prices from Optum, which you can compare in the table below:

TypeSchedulePrice
CialisAs-needed$17–71 per tablet
Generic CialisAs-needed$7–$9 per tablet

Optum doesn’t sell a 2.5 mg dose of tadalafil, nor does it sell a 30-day supply for daily use. You can buy up to 10 tablets per month through Optum. 

What people are saying

Of the survey respondents who used Optum Store, 43 percent said it was very easy to receive ED treatment through the platform, which is lower than Hims (54 percent) and Roman (59 percent). Optum Store customers were also less likely to report having a live video consultation with a prescriber before receiving treatment.

Watch out for counterfeit Cialis

It’s important to be aware of the risk of counterfeit Cialis. Cialis counterfeits are made with unconfirmed ingredients, making the medication potentially dangerous.

While all of the platforms we’ve included sell real Cialis, that’s not the case with all online pharmacies. Credible online pharmacies will always require a prescription from a health care provider, have a license through a state board, be certified with a VIPPS accreditation, and list a U.S. address and phone number. They’ll also ensure a licensed pharmacist is available to answer any questions.

How does tadalafil work?

Tadalafil works by blocking the chemicals that return the penis to a flaccid state after an erection. With fewer of these chemicals in play, it’s easier to get and maintain an erection.

A series of chemical reactions occurs in the tissues of the penis during sexual arousal. Ultimately, a chemical called cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) causes the penis’s smooth muscle tissues to relax. This relaxation allows blood vessels to widen, and more blood flows into the penis. As a sufficient amount of blood accumulates, the penis enlarges and an erection occurs.

Meanwhile, an enzyme called phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) starts breaking down cGMP. If PDE5 outnumbers cGMP, the smooth muscles won’t stay relaxed, the blood vessels will constrict, and the penis will return to its flaccid state. This is why producing more cGMP than PDE5 is crucial to developing and maintaining an erection. 

Tadalafil prevents PDE5 from breaking down cGMP, restoring these chemicals to the balance necessary for achieving and maintaining an erection. It doesn’t impact libido, nor does it spontaneously give you an erection. 

Is daily or as-needed tadalafil better?

Tadalafil comes in 2.5 mg and 5 mg doses for daily use and 10 mg and 20 mg doses for as-needed use. How often you have sex determines which option is best for you.

“If you anticipate using Cialis [tadalafil] more than twice per week, then you can opt to use it at a lower dose daily,” says Dr. Ahmad. “You have a steady dose of medication, and sexual activity can be performed on demand.” 

Higher doses of as-needed tadalafil should take effect in about 30 minutes, but, according to Dr. Lynch, some people experience a longer onset that can lead to frustrating results. “Studies have found that once-daily dosing may be slightly more effective,” she says.

Generic Cialis cost

Graphic showing 11 tadalafil pills can be purchased for the price of one Cialis pill

The cost of generic Cialis depends on where you buy it and whether your health insurance plan covers it. Without insurance coverage, generic Cialis typically costs between $0.17–$12.50 per tablet, depending on dosage and provider, with some online pharmacies charging up to $44 per pill. Based on our research of more than 25 online prescription platforms, tadalafil costs an average of $5 per tablet.

In contrast, name-brand Cialis costs $31–$80 per tablet. That means you can purchase approximately six to 16 tadalafil tablets for the same price as one Cialis tablet. Because generic and name-brand Cialis are the same medication, most people choose the generic prescription to save money.

When my doctor wrote a prescription for Cialis, I ended up changing insurance. The price just went to something ridiculous, like $38 a pill or something. It was a lot.

Focus group participant

Side effects of generic Cialis (tadalafil)

The most common tadalafil side effects include heartburn, indigestion, burping, and stomach pain. Usually this isn’t a cause for concern, but you should immediately call your doctor if you experience nausea or vomiting when taking generic Cialis. 

Seek medical attention immediately if you experience pain in your chest, head, jaw, neck, back, or arms while taking tadalafil, as this could be a sign of a heart attack. While possible, it’s less common for tadalafil to cause pain in the eyes, throat, or legs, and pain in those areas doesn’t typically require medical intervention.

Call your doctor if you experience any of these side effects when taking generic Cialis:

  • An erection that lasts more than four hours or that occurs without sexual stimulation.
  • Blurred vision or other vision changes.
  • Chills or cold sweats.
  • Confusion.
  • Dizziness.
  • Fainting.
  • Fatigue.
  • Feeling lightheaded when suddenly sitting upright or standing.
  • Irregular or unusually slow or fast heartbeat.
  • Hearing loss or pounding in the ears.
  • Nervousness.
  • Unusual sweating.

Tadalafil has fewer side effects than other medications used to treat erectile dysfunction. In fact, many men who experience nasal congestion, stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea with other PDE-5 inhibitors find that tadalafil doesn’t give them these symptoms.

Carolina Goncalves, superintendent pharmacist at Pharmica

There are other potential side effects considered less common and less dangerous, but you should still bring them up with your doctor if you experience them and they’re interfering with your quality of life. These can include:

  • Bloody nose.
  • Burning, dry, itchy eyes or swollen eyelids.
  • Congestion.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Dry throat or mouth.
  • Fever.
  • Hoarseness or changes in voice.
  • Increased eye discharge or tears.
  • Joint swelling.
  • Muscle weakness or stiffness.
  • Pins and needles or a crawling sensation on the skin.
  • Runny nose.
  • Tender and swollen neck glands.
  • Warm feeling on the face, neck, arms, or upper chest.
  • Vertigo.

Be sure to consult the disclosure pamphlet that comes with your generic Cialis to look for other side effects or warnings. We’ve done our best to provide a thorough list based on our research, but there may be other possible side effects not listed here. When in doubt, seek medical advice from a health care professional.

Alternatives to generic Cialis

Any pharmaceutical treatment should offer benefits that outweigh the discomfort of side effects. If you experience side effects from tadalafil that make it difficult to have or enjoy sex (or enjoy life in general) definitely talk to your doctor about alternative erectile dysfunction treatments. 

Other PDE5 inhibitors—sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra or Staxyn), and avanafil (Stendra)—also make it easier to get and maintain an erection but come with unique side effects. The main difference is their effects wear off sooner compared to tadalafil. Sildenafil lasts up to four hours, avanafil up to six, and vardenafil up to seven, whereas tadalafil works for up to 36 hours in most people.

Bar chart comparing the duration of PDE5 inhibitors

Generic and branded tadalafil is longer-acting than other PDE5 inhibitors, lasting up to 36 hours so patients can have more regular intercourse over a few days.

Dr. Ahmad

If none of these options work for you, your doctor can discuss alternative ED treatments, such as:

  • Penile injections that give a spontaneous and long-lasting erection. 
  • Medications inserted into the urethra for a spontaneous erection.
  • Vacuum pumps used to draw blood into the penis, often combined with penis rings used to hold the blood in place. 
  • Surgical implants that the patient inflates before sex or that remain semi-rigid.

Your doctor may also recommend counseling to address anxiety, depression, or stress, which can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and low testosterone can also lead to erectile dysfunction, so treating these underlying conditions may simultaneously help to treat your ED. Quitting smoking and improving your cardiovascular fitness can also improve ED without medication.

I’ll see young men who are smokers or vapers, and I’m like, ‘This is killing your erection. It’s the vape, the cigarette, or your erection. Which one?’ I’m very blunt because it gets the message to them clearly.

Dr. Fenwa Milhouse, a board-certified urologist and CEO of Down There Urology

Who is generic Cialis (tadalafil) right for?

Tadalafil is ideal for men and people with penises who have a healthy sex drive and want to improve their ability to get and maintain an erection, especially during spontaneous encounters. Here’s why:

  • Tadalafil is currently FDA-approved to treat men with erectile dysfunction and isn’t intended to treat sexual dysfunction in women. 
  • Tadalafil doesn’t affect libido, so another treatment option may be necessary if you have a low sex drive.
  • Tadalafil works up to 36 hours, giving you a much longer window of opportunity than other PDE5 inhibitors like sildenafil (Viagra), which works up to four hours.
  • If you have sex more than twice a week, you can take a small daily dose of tadalafil to help you achieve an erection at any time. 

Saving money is the main reason to choose generic tadalafil over name-brand Cialis. Both options have the same ingredients and give the same results, but one Cialis pill costs nearly 12 times more than one generic tadalafil tablet. Plus, some health insurance plans only cover generic prescriptions.

I like Cialis. It’s more of an on-the-spot thing for like 24 hours [compared to] Viagra, which is more right in the moment. It worked out better for me.

Focus group participant

Who shouldn’t take tadalafil?

Your doctor may advise you not to take tadalafil if you have a history of cardiovascular disease, cancer, liver disease, kidney disease, or certain eye disorders, among other medical concerns. 

Your doctor also needs to know if you take nitrates (including nitroglycerin and amyl nitrite for cardiovascular disease, known recreationally as poppers or rush), soluble guanylate cyclase stimulators (such as riociguat for pulmonary hypertension and vericiguat for chronic heart failure), alpha-blockers (like doxazosin for high blood pressure or an enlarged prostate), anti-coagulants, antivirals, antifungals, or antibiotics, as some of these drugs can interact with tadalafil and cause side effects like dangerously low blood pressure.

The most concerning drug interaction tadalafil has is with nitrates. When the two are taken together, it causes extremely low blood pressure and sometimes death.

Dr. Lynch

Tadalafil is not recommended for use in people under 18.

Our final verdict

You deserve a healthy sex life and the improved mental health that comes with it. Generic medications like tadalafil treat ED for as little as $1 or less per dose, and you can get a prescription and order them online for added convenience and privacy. You can take generic Cialis (tadalifil) in a lower daily dose or in a higher as-needed dose, depending on your needs. But oral medications aren’t the only way to treat erectile dysfunction, and in certain cases talking to a urologist in person ensures you get the safest and most convenient solution for you.

Frequently asked questions

Generic Cialis is just as safe as regular Cialis, but it’s not appropriate for everyone. When taken by people with certain medical conditions or with certain medications, Cialis (tadalafil) can cause serious side effects. Only take tadalafil when prescribed by a licensed medical doctor.

Like name-brand Cialis, generic tadalafil starts working 30 minutes to two hours after ingestion and continues to work for 36 hours. This doesn’t mean you’ll have an erection that lasts for 36 hours. Instead, you’ll have a 36-hour window in which it’ll be easier to achieve and maintain an erection after arousal.

Yes, generic tadalafil gives the same results as real Cialis.

Dr. Werner says Cialis starts working faster than Viagra, offers peak performance within four to six hours versus one hour with Viagra, and stays in your body up to nine times longer. Unlike Viagra, Cialis can be taken with fatty meals and a full stomach, making it a more convenient option. Some people tolerate Cialis better than Viagra thanks to fewer side effects.

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  2. Burnett, A.L., Nehra, A., Breau, R.H., et al. (2018). Erectile Dysfunction: AUA Guideline. Journal of Urology, 200(633). Link
  3. Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. (2021, November 1). Generic Drug Facts. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Link
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