Male health

Navigating erectile dysfunction treatment: understanding Sildenafil, Tadalafil and beyond

Last reviewed:
January 9, 2024
Next review:
January 9, 2026

Dealing with erectile dysfunction (ED) can be a common frustration, especially for men over 40. At Phlo Clinic, we empathise with the frustrations you may face and are here to provide guidance on your journey towards effective ED management.

Understanding erectile dysfunction: more than just a physical issue

ED manifests as the inability to achieve or sustain an erection and is often linked to factors such as stress, fatigue, excess alcohol consumption or smoking. While occasional difficulties are normal, persistent issues could indicate an underlying condition, prompting the need for a comprehensive assessment.

Lifestyle interventions can significantly improve ED and medications like Sildenafil and Tadalafil, when prescribed by healthcare professionals, prove safe and effective for many. However, as with any medication, there can be side effects or differing results for each individual.

Exploring Sildenafil and Tadalafil: how they work and their differences

Delving into the world of ED medications, let's focus on two popular options: Sildenafil and Tadalafil. Originally developed to treat angina, Sildenafil's effectiveness in treating ED was discovered during clinical trials, leading to its approval as the first oral ED medication.

Both Sildenafil and Tadalafil fall under the category of PDE5 inhibitors, working by inhibiting the PDE5 enzyme, relaxing blood vessels and increasing blood flow to specific areas, notably the penis and lungs. While effective, these medications come with potential side effects, including headaches, flushing, dizziness, nasal congestion and digestive issues.

Key differences between Sildenafil and Tadalafil

Understanding the nuances between these medications is crucial:

  • Duration of effectiveness: Sildenafil lasts up to four or five hours, while Tadalafil can provide efficacy for up to 36 hours
  • Onset of effects: Sildenafil typically kicks in within 30 to 60 minutes, whereas Tadalafil may take around 30 minutes to two hours
  • Dosage flexibility: Sildenafil offers strengths of 25, 50 and 100mg, while Tadalafil provides 10 and 20mg for as-needed use, with additional daily use options of 2.5 and 5mg
  • Interactions with food: Sildenafil is best taken on an empty stomach, as dietary fat can delay its absorption. In contrast, Tadalafil can be taken with or without food
  • Timing of use: Sildenafil is typically taken as-needed before anticipated sexual activity, while Tadalafil can be taken daily for continuous effectiveness

Combining Sildenafil and Tadalafil: caution advised

While research suggests that combining PDE5 inhibitors might enhance effectiveness in certain cases, attempting this without professional guidance is strongly discouraged. Combining these medications without supervision increases the risk of adverse effects and serious complications.

If you find your current medication insufficient, let us know and we can explore options like adjusting dosage or considering alternative treatments.

Remember, never combine ED medications without consulting a healthcare professional.

Read more in this handy guide: Erectile Dysfunction (impotence), Sildenafil.

Questions about ED treatment? Reach out to our friendly, professional pharmacy team for personalised guidance and advice. Your journey to effective ED management starts with informed decisions and professional support.

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