Many medications are available to treat erectile dysfunction – which is a medical condition that is becoming common among men. Of the medications available, Tadalafil (sold through a brand name “Cialis”) is widely used. Read on to know if Cialis is safe, and are there dangers associated with the use of this drug?

Medical research done reveals that nearly 25% of men are suffering from at least one sexual health problem or other. Reasons why men have such conditions are due to both physical and psychological factors. Physical causes include diabetes, vascular problems, cardiac disorders, or other medical conditions affecting men’s liver, kidneys, etc. Smoking, substance abuse (excessive consumption of alcohol), etc. may also trigger sexual health conditions. Men may have sexual problems triggered by psychological causes; these are found to occur among men who are overly stimulated with their sexual performance, stress at work, social anxieties, traumatic experiences from the past, problems with their married lives, etc. Intake of medications to treat a few other conditions, especially epileptic seizures, depression, etc. have also found to cause sexual dysfunction among men.

Erectile dysfunction is a medical condition wherein you may find maintaining an erection of your penis a difficult thing to do; especially during a sexual activity. This medical condition is triggered due to insufficient flow of blood into your penile region. ED is not an uncommon medical condition. Men need to get over their shyness to discuss openly about this problem. A candid conversation with the treating physician will help him detect your medical condition. Your physician will listen to your clinical history carefully. Then, a complete physical check-up will be carried out. Also, a few lab tests may be performed to rule out or confirm incidence of suspected medical conditions, if any. The most common tests administered to diagnose Erectile Dysfunction are blood tests, overnight examination of your erection, scan of the penile area, urinalysis and tests to check your mental health (to detect psychological or emotional causes – if any – that may have triggered this medical condition).

You may need to understand the relationship between your ability to maintain an erection and your age. It is better to know that age may not often be the only reason to trigger Erectile Dysfunction. Medical research shows more than 20% of men with this condition are aged less than 40 years. These patients are also found to have more severe incidence of erectile dysfunction; more than even older men. So, you are advised to seek all needful information on ED before starting your treatment plan.

Treatment of erectile dysfunction

After diagnosing the triggers of Erectile Dysfunction, your physician may commence needful treatment. Medicines administered to treat ED are tadalafil (Cialis), sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), etc. Almost all these medications work to boost proper flow of blood into your penis and its surrounding areas. Other treatments offered are tobacco cessation drugs or drugs to stop abuse of alcohol. Your doctor may also help you adopt a regular workout plan or exercise regimen. ED may also be treated with a surgery, penis pump or implants (penile implants done through surgeries).

What are the adverse side effects of taking Cialis?

Cialis is administered for the case management of erectile dysfunction as well for benign prostatic hypertrophy (in other words, an enlargement of your prostate). This drug falls under the class of medications known as Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5) inhibitors. The prime functions of this drug include (a) relaxing the muscles of your penile region (b) establishment of needful flow of blood to your penis and (c) thus, maintenance of a hard and erected penis all through your sexual activity.

Intake of Cialis may cause the following side effects – indigestion, vomiting, weakness, blurring of eyesight, headache, dizziness, etc. This drug can make you drowsy. Hence, you are not advised to operate any kind of heavy machinery, drive a vehicle and in general, keep away from work that may require high levels of mental and physical agility. It is also advised to not take Cialis if you have any known allergies or hypersensitivity to it. Cialis is not taken if you have had a recent history of strokes or heart attacks, etc.

Extremely adverse side effects of taking Cialis are generally uncommon. Such serious side effects include loss of hearing, ringing in one’s ears and having a prolonged spell of erection. Other such uncommon reactions may also include unstable blood pressure, allergies such as rashes, itching, discoloration of skin, etc. Drop in blood pressure can lead to other side effects such as fainting episodes, dizzy spells, etc. On the other hand, an increase in your blood pressure may lead to pain in your chest or an acute headache. Severe problems associated with allergies to this drug are gasping for breath, swelling of throat and oral regions, inflammation of limbs or eyelids, etc.

Is it safe to take Cialis with other drugs?

Cialis is known to interact with ritonavir, other such antiretroviral medications, ketoconazole, similar types of antifungal drugs, drugs taken to manage HIV infections, doxazosin (belonging to a class of medications called alpha blockers) and nitrates (such as isosorbide, nitroglycerin, etc.) Cialis is also known for its active interactions with riociguat. You may also need to stay away taking medications consumed for recreation (also known as poppers); these may contain butyl nitrite or amyl nitrate in them. Certain macrolide antibiotics (for instance – erythromycin, clarithromycin, etc.) are not to be administered while taking Cialis. It is equally risky to co-administer inhibitors of protease of virus – especially hepatitis C – for example – drugs such as telaprevir, boceprevir, etc. It is recommended not to take Cialis along with other medications for pulmonary hypertension or male impotence (for instance, drugs like vardenafil, sildenafil, etc.)

Safety precautions needed while taking Cialis

Two substances play an effective role in changing nerve messages to change the circulation of your blood. These are (a) nitric oxide and (b) cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP). Of these, nitric oxide is the substance ending points of your nerves make; this in turn boosts the making of cGMP. It is this second substance that relaxes your blood vessels and enables better flow of blood through them. An enzyme in your blood called PDE-5 works against this. Cialis is a drug that inhibits the power of PDE-5 and ensures better flow of blood into your penile region. Hence, intake of Cialis is advised only when it is acutely needed.

You are advised to consult your physician about all possible interactions with chemicals and medications – i.e., apart from those listed above. These interactions may be triggered if Cialis is taken along with other medications or specific foods – like grapefruit juice, etc. Also, keep your physician informed about health supplements like minerals, vitamins that you may be taking and also about intake of non-prescription medications, OTCs, etc. if any.

Is it safe to take Cialis?

Regular intake Cialis can bring down the level of PDE-5 to a suboptimal level. But, there is daily-consumption variant of Cialis; this variant ensures your blood has needful levels of PDE-5; but not high enough to inhibit cGMP. This activity makes you ready for a sexual performance at any given point in time. Cialis – in general – is safe to consume. But, if you are having a few medical conditions, known allergies or hypersensitivity to this drug, you are advised not to take it. These medical conditions include cardiac disorders, diabetes, vascular problems, or other medical conditions that can affect your liver, kidneys, etc. If you are an excessive smoker or are abusing drugs (such as alcohol) it is advised not to take the drug. So, apart from these, your doctor may check if you are suffering from retinitis (an uncommon medical condition affecting the eyes), peyronie’s disorder (wherein your penis may get deformed), etc. This drug may also trigger a few side effects even among men who do not have any of the above conditions. You can be rest assured that your physician may not prescribe Cialis if you have any likely conditions that may cause severe side effects. In general, if you are not having any of these conditions – listed above – it is safe for you to take Cialis for treating erectile dysfunction.

So, which one to choose between the two – i.e., Cialis or Viagra?

Viagra is one of the first few drugs introduced to treat male impotence. As a first entrant, this drug is naturally on top of everyone’s mind as a treatment option for erectile dysfunction. Cialis is getting equally popular all over the world, and is fast reaching a similar position as Viagra. Levitra – another drug – is also gaining a wider acceptance all over the world.

If you wish to critically compare between the two – both Cialis and Viagra are PDE-5 inhibiting medications. Cialis scores an edge over Viagra in making you ready at any time to have a sexual encounter; its effect remains deep in you upto even 34 hours. However, the effects of Viagra are commonly known to wear off within 5 to 6 hours. This is the reason why Cialis is termed as “the weekend wonder pill”; a pill popped during late Friday evening can last till Sunday night. The daily use variant of Cialis – with a moderate strength – can make you ready for sexual action without impacting any of your other activities.

On the side effects front – among the users of Cialis, only a small percentage has experienced adverse side effects such as nasal blocks, headaches or indigestion. This is not the case with Viagra. A large percentage of users (of Viagra) have complained of headaches, drowsiness, indigestion, etc. But, Cialis users may complain more often about a back ache; this is not observed among users of Viagra.

Regardless of the brands used, you need to remain watchful of the side effects if you are a regular consumer of alcohol. Drinkers of alcohol have often complained of a sudden decrease in their blood pressure. Among the two, users of Viagra have been subject to a severe bout of low pressure than those taking Cialis. Also, intake of fatty foods does not get along well with Viagra. You are hence advised not to take excessive fatty or oily foods while using Viagra. This however is not a risk with Cialis; you can practically take any kind of foods while using it. But, only ensure that you do not consume juice of grapefruit while taking Cialis. Last but not the least, it is not recommended to take both these drugs – i.e., Cialis and Viagra – together.

In sum, Cialis is a drug safe to consume; only ensure that you do not have known allergies or hypersensitivity to this drug. You must not take Cialis if you suffer from conditions such as cardiac disorders, diabetes, vascular problems, or other medical conditions that affect your liver, kidneys, etc. Also, if you are a smoker (chain smoking) or into substance abuse (especially alcohol), it is advised not to take Cialis. So, if you are not having any of these conditions – listed above – it is safe for you to take Cialis to treat erectile dysfunction. Above all, you can be rest assured that your physician may not prescribe Cialis if you have any conditions that may trigger adverse side effects.

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