how does cialis compared to levitra

how does cialis compared to levitra

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Cialis Viagra Levitra Comparison

The deciding factors that influence a person's decision when choosing between Cialis, Viagra and Levitra are ultimately safety and dependability. You may also consider checking how each medication can be taken, when it should be taken and the risk of side effects during or after treatment before you make a purchase. This article attempts to shed light on these topics by weighing up the advantages of Cialis. Viagra and Levitra one by one. By offering clear, practical information on the aspects of these three brands of oral impotence treatment you can make an informed choice on how to tackle your impotence problem with medication.

Cialis, Viagra, Levitra – are they safe for me to use?

No prescription drug can be released for sale without authorisation from the FDA, (the Food and Drink Administration) the regulating body that has the final say on whether a medicinal aid is safe for public use. The manufacturers of Cialis, Viagra and Levitra have all had clearance from the FDA to market their products worldwide. The only legal way to obtain one of these genuine impotence drugs is to ask your doctor to write you a prescription or complete a medical consultation at an online clinic, such as 121doc.

Cialis, Viagra and Levitra – how do they work?

When reading about Cialis vs. Viagra vs. Levitra you will become familiar with the term PDE-5. It is a chemical compound that builds up within the body, restricting sufficient blood flow to the penis in impotent men. Cialis, Viagra and Levitra each work to inhibit PDE-5 by widening the vessels in your penis. This action allows blood to be trapped in the penis and harden, thereby causing a firm erection. The main difference in their mode of action is that Viagra and Levitra can achieve this for a limited amount of time, as each tablet has a life expectancy of 4-5 hours. Cialis however can last for up to 36 hours, you should be capable of getting a firmer erection at any time within this window providing you are aroused.

Cialis, Viagra, Levitra – when to take them

As shown in the comparison table below, each of the three drugs can be taken as and when you feel in the mood for sex, rather than on a fixed dosage schedule. Usually, these medications take affect within 30-60 minutes and can be used with or without water. When using Viagra or Levitra, no more than one tablet must be taken per 24 hours as this may heighten your risk of side effects. Men taking Cialis have greater flexibility and need only to take a tablet once every 36 hours, due to its longer lasting-effects.

Cialis, Viagra and Levitra – side effects and warnings

Another way to establish which medication is best suited to you is to consider the probability of side effects. The fact that Cialis, Viagra and Levitra affect the body is the same way means the amount and severity of side effects, if produced, will not be dissimilar. Some of the most commonly reported side effects include headache, facial flushing, stomach upset, and stuffy or runny nose. Before taking Cialis, Viagra or Levitra, make sure that you are not allergic to any of the ingredients used.

Levitra vs. Cialis and Viagra – clinical trials

Levitra also shares similar side effects to Cialis and Viagra, but this medication is more suited to men with underlying health conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Levitra has been proven to work in men who have failed to respond to a Viagra dosage, it is also seen as a sensible second choice for those men who cannot use Cialis.

Cialis vs. Viagra vs. Levitra – ordering online at 121doc

It's important to choose the drug that you know is right for you and if for some reason these medications are not right for you then you can visit our ED treatment page for more impotence treatments. Cialis is quickly becoming the number one treatment for impotence as more men are seeking a trusted method of tackling impotence, such as Viagra but without such short-lived effects. If you too are thinking of obtaining a course of Cialis tablets you'll be happy to know there is a fast and convenient way to do so. Select a treatment from the price table below and take a free online medical consultation at 121doc. If approved by our doctor, your Cialis tablets may be delivered within just 24 hours.

What's On this page?

Comparison of Viagra, Levitra and Cialis

Male sexual dysfunction is one of the most common health problems affecting men and is more common with increasing age. Chronic ED affects about 5% of men in their 40s and 15пїЅ25% of men by the age of 65. Transient ED and inadequate erection affect as many as 50% of men between the ages of 40 and 70.

In around 95% of the cases, a satisfactory treatment can be found. Erectile dysfunction is treatable at any age, and awareness of this fact has been growing. More men have been seeking help and returning to normal sexual activity because of improved, successful treatments for erectile dysfunction.

Three PDE-5 inhibitors

Currently, there are three oral medications approved by the FDA for the treatment of erectile dysfunction: sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), and tadalafil (Cialis). They block the enzyme phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE-5) and belong to a class called phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors.

Since introduction of the first PDE-5 inhibitor Viagra, there has been a fundamental change in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Although there are a number of options available for non-surgical treatment, it is clear that oral therapy has revolutionized the treatment approach to patients with erectile dysfunction. The development of the PDE-5 inhibitors Levitra and Cialis prompts the question of whether and how these sexual medications differ in terms of their efficacy and adverse effects.

Viagra was the first and is probably the most famous of the three PDE-5 inhibitors used to treat erectile dysfunction. Viagra was approved for erectile dysfunction in March 27, 1998. Viagra is manufactured by Pfizer, Inc.

Levitra was the second PDE-5 inhibitor to come to market in the United States, and it was approved by the FDA in August 19, 2003. Levitra is manufactured by Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

Cialis was the third PDE-5 inhibitor to come to market in the United States and was approved by the FDA at the end of November 21, 2003. Cialis is manufactured by Lilly ICOS LLC.

The major advantage of these medications for sexual enhancement is that they do not cause an erection at inappropriate times, because they act only in response to sexual stimulation. If there is no sexual stimulation drug remains in the background. All three are taken orally prior to planned sexual activity, acting to increase blood flow in the penis in response to sexual stimulation. However, there are important differences between the three, differences that could influence safety, specificity, duration of action, adverse effects, and ultimately, public acceptance within this class.

back pain, muscle aches, nasal congestion, facial flushing, dizziness

Mechanism of action

Sildenafil, vardenafil, and tadalafil do not directly cause an erection of the penis, but they alter the body's response to sexual stimulation by enhancing the effect of the nitric oxide, a chemical that is normally released during stimulation. Nitric oxide causes relaxation of the muscles in the penis, which allows for better blood flow to the penile area.

All PDE-5 inhibitors have demonstrated excellent efficacy in general and in specific populations (eg, men with diabetes mellitus or those who have undergone radical prostatectomy). Viagra, at 84%, is slightly more effective than Levitra at 80% and Cialis at 81%.

Viagra and Levitra differ only minimally in terms of their structure, while Cialis differs markedly from Viagra and Levitra in terms of its molecular structure, which is also reflected in pharmacokinetic differences.

  • Viagra. 25 mg, 50 mg 100 mg tablets
    • Onset of action. 30 minutes (effect delayed if taken with food)
    • Duration of action. 4 to 5 hours
  • Levitra. 2.5 mg, 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg tablets
    • Onset of action. 25 minutes (effect delayed by fatty meal)
    • Duration of action. 4 to 5 hours
  • Cialis. 5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg tablets
    • Onset of action. 16-45 minutes (effect NOT delayed by food)
    • Duration of action. 36 hours

Viagra does not work as well as it would otherwise if you eat a high-fat meal around the time you take it. Viagra should be taken on an empty stomach. Levitra may be slightly less effective if you eat a high-fat meal, but a moderate-fat meal does not reduce its effectiveness. Cialis works without regard to what you eat.

Viagra and Levitra have similar half-lives, and onset and duration of action. Cialis has a slower onset of action and longer duration of action, which is attributed to its longer half-life.

Men who wish for spontaneity may opt for Cialis, which may allow for successful intercourse up to 36 hours postdose, even though it takes longer to reach peak effect. The considerably longer duration of effect for Cialis will likely allow less frequent dosing and greater impulsiveness between partners, but also could potentially prolong adverse effects.

PDE-5 inhibitors are primarily excreted via the fecal route with varying percentages eliminated renally.

The recommended dose for Viagra is 50 mg, and the physician may adjust this dose to 100 mg or 25 mg, depending on the patient.

The recommended dose for either Levitra or Cialis is 10 mg, and the physician may adjust this dose to 20 mg if 10 mg is insufficient. A lower dose of 5 mg is available for men who take other medicines or have conditions that may decrease the body's ability to use the drug. Levitra is also available in a 2.5 mg dose.

None of these PDE-5 inhibitors should be used more than once a day.

Most common side effects:

  • Viagra. headache, epistaxis, flushing, indigestion, dizziness, nasal congestion, abnormal vision
  • Levitra. headache, flushing, indigestion, nausea, dizziness, nasal congestion
  • Cialis. headache, indigestion, back pain

PDE-5 inhibitors are generally well tolerated. Side effects include headache, flushing, dyspepsia, and nasal congestion.

Visual abnormalities are encountered with Viagra, but are less likely with Levitra and unlikely with Cialis. Flushing and dyspepsia that are associated with Viagra and Levitra are less common with Cialis. Back pain and muscle aches (myalgia) may occur with Cialis, but are unusual with either Viagra or Levitra. Side effects of Cialis tend to last longer, but are less marked than with the other drugs.

Precautions and contraindications

All PDE-5 inhibitors are absolutely contraindicated in persons who take organic nitrates, because they induce vasodilation.

The FDA no longer considers concomitant use of alpha-blockers a contraindication to use of PDE-5 inhibitors. However, persons on alpha-blockers must be on a stable dose of alpha-blocker prior to using a PDE-5 inhibitor.

Since both Viagra and Levitra have moderate vasodilatory and hypotensive effects, they should not be given in the presence of marked arterial or orthostatic hypotension, and should only be administered with caution in aortic stenosis or hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy.

Men who have had a heart attack or stroke within the past 6 months and those with certain medical conditions (e.g. uncontrolled high blood pressure, severe low blood pressure or liver disease, unstable angina) that make sexual activity inadvisable should not take Cialis. Dosages of the drug should be limited in patients with kidney or liver disorders.

The differences between the 3 drugs are not great. All appear to be effective and safe. Levitra has less side effects compared to Viagra and lasts about the same time as Viagra in the body. Cialis has few side effects and lasts longer in the body to increase spontaneity than either Levitra or Viagra and there is no reduction in absorption when Cialis is taken with food. However, the longer half-life imposes increased risk for drug interactions.

  • 1. The Merck Manual of Medical Information. Mark H. Beers et al. eds. 2nd Home Edition. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck; 2003.
  • 2. Doggrell SA. Comparison of clinical trials with sildenafil, vardenafil and tadalafil in erectile dysfunction. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2005 Jan;6(1):75-84.
  • 3. Viagra Prescribing Information PDF
  • 4. Levitra Prescribing Information PDF
  • 5. Cialis Prescribing Information PDF

Published: May 05, 2007
Last updated: March 24, 2016

Erectile Dysfunction Health Center

13 Common Sex-Drive Killers

What Are the Differences Between These Drugs?

Cialis, Levitra, Staxyn, Stendra, and Viagra work similarly. There are subtle differences in how long the drug works and how quickly it works.

Levitra works a little longer than Viagra. They both take effect in about 30 minutes. With Levitra, the effects last for about 5 hours. With Viagra, they last about 4 hours.

Cialis works much longer -- up to 36 hours in some cases. Stendra can start doing its thing in as little as 15 minutes, and its effects last up to 6 hours.

Staxyn dissolves in your mouth. It contains the same active ingredient as Levitra, but it should not replace Levitra. It also can begin working in about 15 minutes.

If One of These Doesn’t Help Me, Can I Try Another?

Yes. But because these drugs work the same way, you’re likely to have similar results.

What Precautions Should I Take Before Trying One of These Drugs?

There are situations where these drugs may not be safe. Before you take them, tell your doctor:

  • If you are allergic to any drugs, including other ED medications.
  • About any prescription or nonprescription medications you take and any herbal and dietary supplements .
  • If you are scheduled for surgery, even dental surgery.
  • If you take nitroglycerin or a similar medicine for chest pain. The combination of ED medication and these drugs can cause dangerously low blood pressure .
  • If you take alpha-blockers for blood pressure or prostate problems. These can lower your blood pressure when taken with ED pills. You should not start on Staxyn unless your doctor has prescribed you Levitra before.

Always follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. Also make sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain anything you don’t understand. Take these drugs exactly as directed.

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