FDA-approved treatment for ED
Tadalafil is a phosphodiesterase (PDE) class 5 inhibitor. Medications in this class are used to treat erectile dysfunction, pulmonary artery hypertension, benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), or the concurrent treatment of erectile dysfunction and BPH.
Tadalafil (generic for Cialis) is a lower-cost option for Cialis that contains the same active ingredients. It works exactly the same way as the brand-name medication in your body. In contrast to other oral ED medications, tadalafil provides two convenient treatment dosing options: once daily and as needed.
An erection is the result of increased blood flow into the penis. Sexual stimulation increases blood flow into the penis, temporarily trapping it in spaces called the corpus cavernosum. These spaces make up most of the penis and surround the urethra, the tube shared by both the urinary and the reproductive systems.
Smooth muscle lines the small blood vessels called capillaries that enter the penis, contracting and relaxing to decrease or increase blood flow through them. Damage to these blood vessels from diabetes, high blood pressure, or lipid deposits can reduce blood flow.
When blood enters the penis and fills the corpus cavernosum, the swollen tissue presses on blood vessels draining the penis. This process results in vasocongestion or holding blood in the penis. The pressure within the penis increases, and it becomes rigid.
Nitric oxide is a small molecule found throughout the body. It is released from nerve endings near the blood vessels in the corpus cavernosum of the penis after sexual stimulation. Nitric oxide triggers a chemical cascade that dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow into the penis, resulting in an erection. cGMP (another chemical in the cascade) levels must remain high to maintain the erection. Phosphodiesterase inactivates cGMP. When cGMP is deactivated, the smooth muscles in the walls of small blood vessels contract, reducing blood flow and ending the erection.
Oral ED medications, such as tadalafil, are phosphodiesterase inhibitors. By inhibiting phosphodiesterase, nitric oxide continues to trigger the cascade, and blood flow into the penis is maintained, meaning a firm erection. Understanding this cascade led to the development and subsequent FDA approval of tadalafil in 2003.
Tadalafil is an FDA-approved, generic brand of Cialis with a proven history to treat ED.
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Tadalafil is used to treat erectile dysfunction. It is a phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitor which means that it increases nitric oxide levels around blood vessels after sexual stimulation. Increased nitric oxide levels facilitate smooth muscle relaxation in the penis, allowing blood to fill the corpus cavernosa (hollow cavities) in the penis. This increases pressure in the penis, producing an erection.
Tadalafil is also used to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy and pulmonary artery hypertension.
Tadalafil can be prescribed as a daily dose or as needed.
If you are prescribed tadalafil as a daily dose, you take it once a day regardless of when or if you have sexual activity that day. Many men prefer this dose because the act of taking a medication is disconnected from sexual activity.
If you are prescribed tadalafil as needed, take the dose 30 to 60 minutes before planned sexual activity. Tadalafil may have an effect for up to 36 hours, but you need to be sexually aroused for it to work. The length of time it works is affected by food and alcohol consumption.
Tadalafil is not designed or licensed to increase the time to ejaculation or orgasm. However, some studies have suggested that it might delay ejaculation in some cases.
Tadalafil does not seem to consistently delay ejaculation and, therefore, should not be used for this purpose. Other medications are more effective in treating premature ejaculation.
The length that an erection lasts depends on many environmental and psychological factors. Erections typically last for a few minutes, up to 30 minutes or so.
Priapism is an erection that lasts longer than 4 hours. Erections this long can cause damage to tissues in the penis because blood is not entering and leaving the penis and therefore is not replenishing oxygen stores and removing waste products.
Men who are taking ED medications have an increased risk for priapism and should be aware of the condition. Your healthcare provider will provide a treatment plan in case it should occur.
All medications have side effects. This is why it is important to discuss your medical history with your healthcare provider and provide them with a list of prescription and over-the-counter medications you are taking.
Side effects found in greater than 10% of tadalafil users include the following:
Potentially serious side-effects of tadalafil rarely occur. However, contact a health care provider or seek emergency care if you notice any of these symptoms or are concerned about your health.
Tadalafil is not right for all men. Contraindications for prescribing or using tadalafil include:
Cialis is the brand name for tadalafil, and Viagra is the brand name for sildenafil. Both medications are in the same medication class. They are both phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors.
Tadalafil can be prescribed to be taken as needed or as a daily dose. If prescribed daily, you would take tadalafil whether you planned to have sexual activity that day or not. Many men prefer this dosing because it separates the act of taking the medication from sexual activity.