Viagra ( Sildenafil )

Why You Don’t Need to Take Cialis in the Morning and Viagra at Night

You shouldn’t take Cialis (tadalafil) and Viagra (sildenafil citrate) together to help with treating erectile dysfunction (ED).

It’s also typically recommended that you take one or the other shortly before sex, but not daily or on a regular schedule. These ED medications only work if you’re already aroused.

Taking both Cialis and Viagra can also increase your risk of side effects, such as low blood pressure.

And if you feel like you need to take a second ED medication because the first one isn’t helping, you may need to see your doctor so they can check for any underlying issues that may be causing your ED.

Let’s look into why taking both Cialis and Viagra won’t make a big difference in how easily you can get an erection, when you should seek treatment for ED, and what other home remedies for ED you can try.

Cialis and Viagra are both phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors. PDE5 is an important enzyme involved in erections that’s one of the biggest culprits behind ED.

Here’s how Cialis and Viagra work:

  • When your penis nerves are stimulated, you get an erection. When this happens, muscles that surround two cylinder-shaped pieces of tissue in your penis, called the corpora cavernosa, relax and fill with blood.
  • When you have ED, nerves aren’t communicating between your brain and your penis to help make this process happen, so blood doesn’t flow properly into your penis.
  • Viagra and Cialis block PDE5 and help relax your blood vessel walls. This makes it easier for blood to flow into your penis tissues and give you an erection.

Since Cialis and Viagra are both PDE5 inhibitors and both are used to treat the symptoms of erectile dysfunction, it is not necessary or recommended to take both at the same time.

If you want to maximize the benefits of taking a PDE5 inhibitor, it’s better to evaluate which drug better suits your lifestyle rather than double up on medications. Doubling up increases your risk of severe side effects from exceeding the recommended dosage.

For example, Cialis has a longer 24-hour window of effectiveness than Viagra, but to see the results, you need to take it daily. You only need to take Viagra as needed, but it’s only effective for a few hours.

If someone is having sex infrequently or has trouble remembering to take their medications daily, Viagra may be the better option. They should see results after just one dose and won’t see a drop in effectiveness from missing daily doses.

However, someone having more frequent or spontaneous sex — where it would be difficult to take a pill early enough before a sexual encounter — may find Cialis is the better option.

Keeping in mind how Cialis and Viagra work, here’s why it’s not necessary to take them together:

  • Both Cialis and Viagra work on the same mechanism of arousal and erection. Taking both is basically the equivalent of increasing your overall dose of PDE5 inhibitor. Increasing your dose of any medication without approval from your doctor can be dangerous. Your body may not respond the same way to a higher dose of medication.
  • You need to be sexually aroused for PDE5 inhibitors to work. Cialis and Viagra don’t cause erections on their own. They simply help your natural erection processes work more easily. Taking them every day won’t help if you’re not aroused.
  • Cialis is designed to last much longer than Viagra. Viagra typically lasts about 4 hours after you take it. Cialis can last up to 36 hours after you take it. If you’re already taking Cialis, Viagra may not have any additional effects because Cialis is still functioning in your body.

The dosage of each medication makes it unnecessary to take them together, too.

Cialis is usually given in a low dose form of 2.5 milligrams (mg), which makes it safe to take every day on its own. The low dose also makes it less likely that you’ll experience side effects.

Viagra is given in much higher doses — the lowest available dose is 25 mg. It also needs to be taken 30 minutes or more before sex because the ingredients work much more quickly at such high concentrations.

Cialis and Viagra don’t have any dangerous interactions with each other because they’re the same type of medication.

But increasing your dose of a PDE5 inhibitor can increase your risk of side effects that are associated with these kinds of ED medications.

Here are some of the more common side effects of Viagra and Cialis:

  • stuffy or runny nose
  • feeling dizzy
  • upset stomach
  • blurry vision
  • limb pain

See your doctor if you notice any of these side effects, especially if they last for a few hours after the medication has worn off or if they linger for more than a day afterward.

Cialis can cause your blood pressure to drop dangerously low when taken together with nitroglycerin (Nitrostat). Don’t use Cialis if you’re already taking nitroglycerin for blood pressure.

Seek emergency medical treatment if you notice any of the following side effects:

  • sudden chest pains during or after sex
  • an erection that lasts 4 hours or more (priapism)
  • trouble seeing or hearing
  • skin reactions like hives or eye swelling
  • unexplained seizures

If PDE5 inhibitors aren’t working for you, there are some other ED treatments your doctor might recommend:

  • therapy or counseling for anxiety, depression, stress, or other mental health conditions that can cause ED
  • other ED medications, such as avanafil (Stendra)
  • alprostadil urethral suppositories, which are inserted directly into your urethra , if low T levels are causing ED , which can help induce an erection by sucking and trapping blood in the penis
  • insertion of an implant

Your doctor may also recommend one of the following experimental treatments:

Here are some other treatments you can try to help make your ED medication more effective or as alternatives to medication:

  • Limit alcohol. Drinking less alcohol can improve blood flow.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking can inhibit blood flow.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Exercise and a healthy diet will keep your weight down and improve your blood flow.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. This will reduce stress damage to tissues that can make ED worse.

Don’t buy Cialis or Viagra without a prescription. Only your doctor can perform the examinations necessary to make sure these medications and their dosage are safe for you.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of ED on a regular basis over a period of several weeks, talk with your doctor to rule out the possibility of more severe underlying issues. Your doctor will be able to begin diagnosing your symptoms and help you find an effective treatment.

For people who are already taking Cialis or Viagra, consider seeing your doctor if you aren’t seeing the desired results from your medication or you are noticing a dip in its effectiveness. Your doctor will be able to discuss alternative treatment options or decide if you should change your dosage.

In addition, if you are experiencing severe or sudden side effects from either Cialis or Viagra, it’s important to reach out to your doctor.

As with most medications, some side effects are expected, but more severe side effects, like issues with your vision, hearing loss, and erections lasting over 4 hours should be reported to your doctor. These uncommon side effects may indicate that you have accidentally taken too much of the drug or it is having a negative reaction to another medication you are taking.

How long does it take for Viagra to work?

One of the biggest benefits of Viagra is how fast it starts working. On average, it can begin working in about 30 to 60 minutes, but it can take up to 2 hours to take effect in some people. Unlike Cialis, Viagra can work after taking just one pill and doesn’t require daily usage. It is worth noting that Viagra is only effective for a few hours and can become less reliable after 2 to 5 hours.

How long does Cialis last?

Cialis can work for an estimated 36 hours . However, Cialis does require a daily dose to be fully effective and relies on a certain level of the drug to have built up in your system. In other words, when a dose is being taken regularly every 24 hours, the effects of the drug can last as long as you are able to keep maintaining daily usage.

How does Cialis work?

Cialis works as a PDE5 inhibitor that works to block the PDE5 enzyme that restricts blood flow to the penis. Cialis is a low dose pill that requires you to take it daily so it can build up in your system and maintain its effectiveness. When used correctly, you should always be ready for sex and wouldn’t need to rely on taking a drug like Viagra a few hours in advance of having sex.

Don’t take Cialis and Viagra together. Not only will combining them not improve ED symptoms, but it can also be dangerous.

Talk with your doctor about any concerns you have about your ED and its causes. In some cases, incorporating both medication and lifestyle changes is the best way to help improve ED symptoms.

Last medically reviewed on June 15, 2022

9 sources collapsed

Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.