Comparing Cialis and Levitra for Treating ED

Men who are living with erectile dysfunction (ED) have a challenge on their hands, but there also are many treatment options. One popular option is the use of oral ED drugs, of which there are now five: avanafil (Stendra), sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (both Levitra and Staxyn). Here we are comparing Cialis and Levitra for ED treatment.

All of the oral ED drugs are in the same drug class (phosphodiesterase inhibitors) because they all work by blocking an enzyme called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5). When PDE-5 is blocked, blood flow can be increased to the penis and, in the majority of cases, will result in an erection. Generally, the success rate of oral ED drug use is about 77 percent to 84 percent.

What is Cialis for ED treatment?

Cialis generally works within 15 to 45 minutes, and food has no impact on its response. Once the effects kick in, you can expect them to last up to 36 hours. The most common side effects of Cialis are headache and indigestion. Less common ones are back pain, dizziness, facial flushing, muscle aches, and nasal congestion.

What is Levitra for ED treatment?

Men who take Levitra can expect to be ready to achieve an erection within 25 minutes, but it may be longer if the drug has been taken with a fatty meal. The effects of Levitra last for about 4 to 5 hours. The most common side effects are headache and facial flushing. It is less common to experience dizziness, indigestion, nasal congestion, and nausea.

What are rare side effects of Cialis and Levitra?

On rare occasions, both Cialis and Levitra—as well as the other ED drugs—may cause color vision changes (including sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes) or sudden loss of hearing in one or both ears. Thse side effects should be reported to your healthcare provider immediately. Another unusual side effect is a 4 hour erection (priapism). If you experience an erection that lasts 4 hours or longer, you should seek immediate medical attention.

What else should you know about Cialis and Levitra?

Before you take Cialis, Levitra, or any of the other ED drugs, you should talk to your healthcare provider about any medications and supplements you are taking. You also should reveal if you have or have ever had any of the following health conditions:

  • Heart attack, angina, or other heart problems
  • Heart surgery within the last 6 months
  • Stroke
  • Low or high blood pressure
  • Peyronie’s disease
  • 4-hour erection (priapism)
  • Blood disease, such as multiple myeloma, leukemia, sickle cell anemia
  • Retinitis pigmentosa (a genetic eye disease)
  • Bleeding problems
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Liver problems
  • Severe vision loss
  • Kidney problems
  • Any other medical conditions

Read more in our Erectile Dysfunction Health Center.

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