Tadalafil, Oral Tablet | What is Tadalafil?

Tadalafil is a prescription drug. It comes as an oral tablet.

Tadalafil oral tablet is available as the brand-name drugs Cialis and Adcirca. It’s also available in a generic form. Generic drugs usually cost less than the brand-name version. In some cases, they may not be available in all strengths or forms as the brand-name drug.

Why it’s used

Tadalafil (Cialis) is used for the treatment of men who have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or erectile dysfunction (ED), or both conditions. Tadalafil (Adcirca) is used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

With BPH, the prostate gland is enlarged but isn’t cancerous. It can pinch or squeeze your urethra (the tube that carries urine from the kidneys out of the body). Symptoms of BPH include trouble urinating, painful urination, and a frequent or urgent need to urinate.

With ED, the penis doesn’t fill up with enough blood to harden and expand when a man is sexually excited. ED can also prevent a man from keeping an erection.

PAH is a rare but serious form of high blood pressure. It occurs in the pulmonary arteries, which are blood vessels in your lungs.

How it works

Tadalafil belongs to a class of drugs called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Tadalafil may help relax the muscle in your prostate and bladder. This could help improve your BPH symptoms.

To improve ED symptoms, tadalafil helps increase blood flow to the penis. This can help you get and keep an erection. For tadalafil to help you have an erection, you need to be sexually aroused.

For PAH, tadalafil works to improve your ability to exercise by relaxing blood vessels in your lungs. This increases blood flow.

Tadalafil side effects

Tadalafil oral tablet doesn’t usually cause drowsiness, but it can cause other side effects.

More common side effects

The more common side effects that can occur with tadalafil include:

  • headache
  • upset stomach
  • back pain
  • muscle aches
  • flushing (reddish skin)
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • diarrhea

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

How to take tadalafil

All possible dosages may not be included here. Your doctor will tell you what dosage is right for you. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

Dosage for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

Generic: Tadalafil

Form: oral tablet

  • Strengths: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg

Brand: Cialis

  • Form: oral tablet
  • Strengths: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

  • Typical dosage: One 5-mg tablet per day.
  • When to take your dose: Take it at about the same time each day. Don’t take tadalafil more than once per day.
  • When taking with other drugs: If you’re taking tadalafil with finasteride (another drug used to treat BPH), your tadalafil dosage will be 5 mg once daily for up to 26 weeks.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This medication hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in children under the age of 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Your body processes this drug more slowly. Your doctor may start you on a lowered dosage to keep the drug from building up too much in your body. Too much of the drug in your body can be dangerous.

Dosage for erectile dysfunction (ED)

Generic: Tadalafil

Form: oral tablet

  • Strengths: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg

Brand: Cialis

  • Form: oral tablet
  • Strengths: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

Tadalafil can be used either as needed or taken once a day. Don’t take tadalafil more than once per day.

For as-needed use:

  • Typical starting dosage: 10 mg.
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor may increase your dose to 20 mg or decrease it to 5 mg. This depends on how tadalafil is working for you and how well your body reacts to it.
  • When to take your dose: Take one tadalafil tablet before you expect to have sexual activity. You may have sexual activity 30 minutes after taking tadalafil, and up to 36 hours afterward.

For once-daily use:

  • Typical starting dosage: 2.5 mg per day.
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor may increase your dose to 5 mg per day, depending on how well tadalafil is working for you and how well your body reacts to it.
  • When to take your dose: Take one tadalafil tablet every day. Take it at about the same time each day. You may try to have sexual activity at any time between doses.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

This medication hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in children under the age of 18 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

Your body processes this drug more slowly. Your doctor may start you on a lowered dosage to keep the drug from building up too much in your body. Too much of the drug in your body can be dangerous.

Dosage for erectile dysfunction and benign prostatic hyperplasia (ED/BPH)

Generic: Tadalafil

Form: oral tablet

  • Strengths: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg

Brand: Cialis

  • Form: oral tablet
  • Strengths: 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

  • Typical dosage: One 5-mg tablet every day.
  • When to take your dose: Take this drug at about the same time each day. Don’t take tadalafil more than once per day. You may try to have sexual activity at any time between doses. You need to be sexually aroused for tadalafil to help you have an erection.

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