Tadalafil vs Sildenafil: How to choose?

Tadalafil and Sildenafil Citrate are the salts used in treating Erectile Dysfunction (ED) in men. 

Sexual dysfunction like impotence can be treated with medicines containing Sildenafil or Tadalafil. Sildenafil medicines are also known as “blue pills.” 

Pfizer introduced Sildenafil Citrate as Viagra in 1998. It was later, in 2017, that Sildenafil came into the market as Sildenafil Generic. 

Contrastingly, Cialis as Tadalafil was introduced by Eli Lilly in 2003. It was approved by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2008 for a single dose daily. 

The generic version of Cialis, Tadalafil, was manufactured by pharmaceutical companies after the patent on the brand-name medication expired in 2017.

However, both Sildenafil and Tadalafil have a high success rate. Pills containing this salt help man achieve and maintain a hard erection for men during sexual intercourse.

Sildenafil and Tadalafil combinations also treat other health-related complications in men.

Sildenafil is also used in treating Hypertension.

In comparison, Tadalafil is also used in treating Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH).

What is Erectile Dysfunction?

Man holding his sexual organ.
Roman Didkivskyi/Getty Images

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) or impotence is a sexual dysfunction in men. 

It is usually self-diagnosable and can be lifelong. 

However, your healthcare provider might recommend some medicines to treat this dysfunction.

ED is caused when a man cannot keep and maintain an erection in bed during sexual intercourse.

Erectile Dysfunction signifies a physical and a psychological condition as well. This sexual dysfunction can lead to stress, relationship strains, low self-confidence, etc.

Tadalafil vs Sildenafil: How does it work?

Both, Tadalafil and Sildenafil are Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors.

Sexual stimulation in a man helps in raising Nitric oxide present in the penile region. 

This rise in Nitric oxide increases the Cyclic Guanosine Monophosphate (cGMP) level in the body.

Increased Cyclic Guanosine Monophosphate (cGMP) levels further help in relaxing the blood vessels.

This relaxation helps the blood to circulate freely in the penile region, causing an erection when sexual stimulation occurs.

Thus, Sildenafil and Tadalafil help get and keep an erection for a man.


Man holding ED medication.

Sildenafil Citrate and Tadalafil cannot be bought over the counter. Thus, it should be taken only when your doctor recommends it. 

Sildenafil Citrate is available in Kamagra, Vigora, and Suhagra.

Similarly, Tadalafil is available in different strengths and forms in medications like Vidalista and Tadarise.

The pills can be swallowed with a glassful of water. However, if it is an oral jelly, wait until it dissolves.

Sildenafil’s action is delayed if taken immediately after food, but Tadalafil’s action remains unaffected.

The impact of Sildenafil might get impacted if consumed right after fatty, high-calorie meals. 

However, you can take it after a light meal.

It is best to take these Sildenafil pills 30 minutes to 1 hour before engaging in any sexual activity. Contrastingly, Tadalafil begins to show its desired effects within 20 minutes of consumption. 

However, it would help if you consumed only once daily.

Tadalafil vs Sildenafil: How long does Sildenafil stay in your system?

Sildenafil lasts in our body for upto 24 hours. However, the effect of Sildenafil shall remain there for 4 hours. 

However, the active elements of medicines containing Tadalafil can last in our body for upto 36 hours. 

Which pill, Sildenafil or Tadalafil, has the fewest adverse effects?

Tadalafil and Sildenafil have similar side effects, but the side effects may linger longer because Tadalafil lasts in the body longer. 

Both have the common side effect of headaches.

Additionally, you might experience facial flushing, a sudden feeling of warmth on your face. Another typical side effect of Sildenafil and Tadalafil is nasal congestion.

Tadalafil might have rare side effects like diarrhea, stomach aches, etc.

Tadalafil vs Sildenafil: A comparison

Man holding medicine in hand and deciding in between Sildenafil or Tadalafil.

Sildenafil only works for up to 4 hours, while Tadalafil can continue to operate for up to 36 hours. 

Compared to Sildenafil, Tadalafil takes 20 to 30 minutes longer to start working.

Sildenafil begins to operate between 30 and 60 minutes after ingestion. 

However, a patient’s response to each treatment determines the medications’ effectiveness.

Does food influence the functioning of Sildenafil or Tadalafil?

Sildenafil’s action is delayed if taken right after food; however, Tadalafil’s action is unaffected.

Usually, Sildenafil begins to work within 30 minutes of intake.

A fatty or high-calorie meal may negate the advantages of Sildenafil.

A light meal before taking medication won’t significantly influence it, even though taking Sildenafil on an empty stomach is better.

In contrast, Tadalafil often starts working 20 minutes after consumption, and food does not affect how well it works.

Alcohol use is advised to be limited to no more than one or two drinks per day because it may interfere with ED medications.

Any quantity of alcohol consumption while using these pills may lessen their effectiveness or result in health issues related to high blood pressure.


Tadalafil has advantages over Sildenafil for males with Erectile Dysfunction, making it a superior option.

Even though, Tadalafil lasts longer and is less affected by large meals than Sildenafil, which is more widely used and less expensive.

Even if the personal decision is frequently influenced by experience, getting treatment should always be your first line of defense when treating ED.

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Julian Carter

Julain Carter is mental health expert for Goodrxmedicine.com. He is an experienced clinical mental health counsellor with recognition in cognitive behavioural therapy. Julian’s sharp behavioural observations reflect in both his personal and professional life.