Surely, you have heard of the little blue pill. Viagra has been a popular erectile dysfunction medication for years and it goes by the generic name of Sildenafil. Viagra is like a sister medication to Tadalafil, which belongs to the same family of medications called phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (PDE5 inhibitors).
Tadalafil can be used for many purposes, including for the treatment of ED. You may also see tadalafil as the brand name Adcirca or Cialis. When taking medication, it is important to know everything you can about it. This allows you to take control of your health and be an informed consumer.
Working together with your health care provider can help you to get the medication that works best for you.Get Started
Written by Elite HRT
on June 09, 2021
Camille Frecking, Regulatory Affairs Specialist, MEDICAL ADVISOR
Keep reading to learn more about tadalafil, what it is used for, how it works, the benefits, dosage information, side effects, and more.
Phosphodiesterase inhibitors work by inhibiting the enzyme phosphodiesterase that is in the body. The receptors for these enzymes are found in the penis and the lungs. When the enzymes are inhibited they cause the smooth muscles to relax which allows blood to flow more easily.
Imagine a garden hose. If the hose is pulled tightly it makes it difficult for the water to flow through, but if the hose is relaxed it has more space in the lumen to allow water to flow more easily. This is similar to what happens with your blood and blood vessels.
With the penis, the smooth muscles are relaxed allowing for the penis to fill with blood and achieve an erection. With the lungs, the blood vessels are relaxed and allowed to dilate, allowing blood to flow more easily and reduce the blood pressure.
Understanding exactly how a drug works in the body is so amazing and can be very helpful in feeling confident that you have control over what you decide to take.
Tadalafil is most commonly used for erectile dysfunction, but there are actually many uses for a medication like tadalafil. Did you know that phosphodiesterase inhibitors were originally made as a drug for people with high blood pressure?
The function of the drug makes it useful for many things, especially related to the cardiovascular system, or heart and blood vessels. Erectile dysfunction, pulmonary hypertension, and benign prostatic hyperplasia are the 3 main uses for tadalafil.
Erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence, is when a person is unable to get and keep an erect penis. Erectile dysfunction can happen to men, especially as they age. Erectile dysfunction can have mental and physical components because of its involvement in sexual activity, which in and of itself is a complex subject.
Physically it can be difficult to get an erection because of issues such as heart problems, clogged blood vessels, high cholesterol, high blood pressure (especially pulmonary arterial hypertension), diabetes, smoking, and more.
Because having erectile dysfunction plays into sexual arousal and functioning there can be mental aspects as well that can impact the ability to get erect. Depression, anxiety, stress, and relationship problems can all play a role in erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction could happen every once in a while and be nothing to be concerned about. However, if it is a consistent occurrence you should talk to your doctor about ways to help.
Regular exercise, managing underlying conditions, stress reduction techniques, and limiting smoking or alcohol may be suggested by your doctor as a preliminary step. Medications such as tadalafil may also be able to help with erectile dysfunction symptoms.
Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in the vessels that carry blood to the lungs. This could be caused by several things such as the blood vessels being damaged or skinnier than usual.
Pulmonary hypertension can be a problem because your heart is having to do extra work to keep up with the pressure in your vessels to the lungs. While your heart can compensate for the backup for a while, eventually they will weaken and become tired causing heart issues.
Pulmonary hypertension can cause symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, increased pulse, tiredness, and dizziness. Pulmonary hypertension can be helped by taking a medication like tadalafil to decrease the blood pressure in the vessels so that the heart does not have to work as hard.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, is when the prostate gland in men enlarges. The prostate is a gland in men that is located between the bladder and the penis and is used to release fluid to protect the sperm when it is ejaculated. The enlargement typically happens as men age and can cause some issues because of its location in the body.
When the prostate grows it can block the flow of urine through the urethra which is uncomfortable and can lead to problems. Depending on the size of the prostate there are a few options that your doctor may present including surgery and medications including tadalafil.
Tadalafil’s main benefits are helping with the conditions named above. On top of helping with erectile dysfunction, pulmonary hypertension, and benign prostatic hyperplasia it can also help to improve your quality of life.
When you feel that your conditions are managed well you have peace of mind that your body is working the best that it can. Removing unwanted symptoms such as not being able to get an erection during sexual relations or being able to urinate with these may seem simple, but when they get in the way of your life it can be a big deal.
Tadalafil can help to give you back the life you had before these issues arose. Work with your doctor to decide if tadalafil can be helpful for you and is the right choice for you and your body.
The dosage of tadalafil that you receive will be different based on the condition you are taking it for. The dose can also be impacted by the degree of your symptoms, your weight, age, and sex. Keep in mind that the dosages provided below are the most common dose, but your doctor will be the best one to decide what the best dose is for you.
For erectile dysfunction the usual dose is 10 mg, however, 20 mg is also an acceptable dose to be prescribed. When taking the tablet you are usually advised to take it at least 30 minutes before you have sex. The pill should give you an erection but works best if you are feeling sexually aroused.
For pulmonary hypertension, the usual dose is 40 mg, taken in two 20mg tablets. The tablets are usually taken once a day.
For benign prostatic hyperplasia, the usual dose is 5mg. The tablet can be taken in the morning or the evening but should be taken consistently at the same time each day. The pill can come in 2.5mg or 5mg. Because BPH and erectile dysfunction most commonly happen in aging men, it is not common to be taking it for both conditions. If this is the case, the dose is commonly 5mg.
While tadalafil is a helpful medication for many, some people are not usually advised to take it.
The first major guideline is that it is only approved for adults 18 and over. If you have ever had an allergic reaction to tadalafil or another phosphodiesterase inhibitor you should likely not take one again, however, your doctor may decide if the benefits outweigh the risks.
Tadalafil can interact with other types of medications and worsen symptoms when taken with other medications. Nitrates are a common drug that should not be taken with tadalafil. Nitrates are commonly prescribed for chest pain, and nitroglycerin is a common example.
Because both drugs have vasodilation properties it could result in your blood pressure dropping to a dangerously low level. Also, if you have naturally low blood pressure you should be careful that tadalafil does not lower your blood pressure too much. If you have recently had a stroke or heart attack it is also not advised to take tadalafil.
Tadalafil can be a very helpful drug, especially for conditions like erectile dysfunction, BPH, and pulmonary hypertension. Tadalafil works by inhibiting special enzymes that are usually received in the penis and the lungs.
Because the receptors are only in these specialized places it makes it perfect for targeting these areas with the medication. If you think that tadalafil might be a good fit for you you should talk to your doctor and only take it as prescribed.